• Jul 15, 2020
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy, Security,

Privacy-loving EU building massive travel surveillance system for visitors that will affect billions of people

As this blog has noted, for all its faults, the European Union’s GDPR represents one of the most important attempts to protect digital privacy. Although it concerns the EU and its citizens, it has had knock-on effects around the world. Against that background of supporting privacy, it’s disturbing to read a new report from Statewatch … Continue reading “Privacy-loving EU building massive travel surveillance system for visitors that will affect billions of people”

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  • Jul 2, 2020
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Open Source, Privacy, Programming,

After exaggerated claims about their importance, here’s the reality of contact tracing apps

Back in February, this blog was one of the first to warn that the obvious technological response to the coronavirus – the use of contact tracing apps – raised important privacy questions. Since then, both the apps and their implications have been the subject of debate around the world. That’s particularly the case for the … Continue reading “After exaggerated claims about their importance, here’s the reality of contact tracing apps”

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  • Jul 1, 2020
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

Big win for online freedom in EU: key parts of France’s new “hate speech” law ruled unconstitutional

One of the most worrying trends in today’s online world is a move by governments against “hate speech”. That’s a vague term in itself, so policing it is hard. Making things even worse, recent moves to rein in such hate speech typically involve placing the responsibility with online platforms such as Google, Facebook and Twitter. … Continue reading “Big win for online freedom in EU: key parts of France’s new “hate speech” law ruled unconstitutional”

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  • May 1, 2020
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

Is the GDPR failing? If it is, how can it be saved?

The coronavirus pandemic rightly dominates the headlines, including those of the privacy world, but in the background, life goes on. For example, companies operating in the EU are still subject to the GDPR, two years after it first came into operation. But as this blog noted a few months back, there are increasing fears that … Continue reading “Is the GDPR failing? If it is, how can it be saved?”

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  • Apr 23, 2020
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Open Source, Privacy, Programming,

What’s the best approach for building Bluetooth-based tracing apps as a way out of the pandemic lockdowns?

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, governments around the world are desperately trying to find a way to ease current lockdowns without triggering massive new waves of infection by Covid-19. There is a wide consensus that one promising element of any plan is the use of tracing apps. As this blog wrote back in March, the … Continue reading “What’s the best approach for building Bluetooth-based tracing apps as a way out of the pandemic lockdowns?”

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  • Apr 1, 2020
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Open Source, Privacy,

How can we protect privacy during a crisis like Covid-19, when “health surveillance” is on the rise around the world?

A couple of weeks ago, this blog looked at the use of smartphones to track people so that contact tracing can be carried out to slow the spread of Covid-19. Two weeks is a long time in a pandemic. Soon after, it emerged that many countries were going further, and using smartphone location to check … Continue reading “How can we protect privacy during a crisis like Covid-19, when “health surveillance” is on the rise around the world?”

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  • Mar 26, 2020
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

Coronavirus delays the passage of the world’s most important new privacy law

For obvious and justified reasons, the coronavirus pandemic dominates the news currently. One of the latest developments is that India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has put his entire country on lockdown. Ordering 1.35 billion people to stay indoors is a pretty dramatic move. A side-effect of that lockdown is that one of the most important … Continue reading “Coronavirus delays the passage of the world’s most important new privacy law”

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  • Mar 13, 2020
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

Police forces around the world continue to push for routine – and real-time – facial recognition capabilities

Facial recognition crops up on this blog more than most technologies. That’s in part because the underlying AI is advancing rapidly, boosting the ability of low-cost systems to match faces to those in databases. The Clearview saga is a good example of this, where an unheard-of startup has put together what is claimed to be … Continue reading “Police forces around the world continue to push for routine – and real-time – facial recognition capabilities”

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  • Feb 7, 2020
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

Why the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) risks turning into a paper tiger

Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) has just announced two new GDPR inquiries. One of them concerns Tinder, as a result of “concerns raised by individuals both in Ireland and across the EU”. The other inquiry will examine Google’s processing of location data and the transparency surrounding that processing. The issue is whether consent to share … Continue reading “Why the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) risks turning into a paper tiger”

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  • Jan 26, 2020
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

Top EU court’s advisor: bulk surveillance is “disproportionate”, and national security exemptions do not always apply

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), the EU’s top court, has played a key role in protecting privacy in the digital age, in Europe and beyond. In 2014, it ruled that a major piece of EU legislation, the Data Retention Directive, was “invalid” – that is, illegal – and should be taken … Continue reading “Top EU court’s advisor: bulk surveillance is “disproportionate”, and national security exemptions do not always apply”

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  • Jan 17, 2020
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, Privacy,

Police forces around the world continue to deploy facial recognition systems, despite no evidence of their utility

Last month, this blog wrote about governments around the world continuing to trial facial recognition systems, and the growing concerns this is provoking. There’s one area in particular where facial recognition systems are deployed: law enforcement. That’s hardly a surprise, since the legal system can only operate if it identifies alleged criminals that need to … Continue reading “Police forces around the world continue to deploy facial recognition systems, despite no evidence of their utility”

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  • Jan 6, 2020
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

Why 2020 will be make or break time for transatlantic personal data transfers

The transfer of personal data lies at the heart of much of online activity. Since many of the leading online companies were founded and have their headquarters in the US, that typically means that huge quantities of personal data cross the Atlantic every day. If information concerns EU citizens, those data flows are governed by … Continue reading “Why 2020 will be make or break time for transatlantic personal data transfers”

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  • Dec 31, 2019
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

As public fears mount over online surveillance and lack of control, advertising industry gets privacy religion – sort of…

A new Pew Research Center survey confirms what readers of this blog already know: many people are deeply worried about the routine tracking of their activities online: A majority of Americans believe their online and offline activities are being tracked and monitored by companies and the government with some regularity. It is such a common … Continue reading “As public fears mount over online surveillance and lack of control, advertising industry gets privacy religion – sort of…”

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  • Nov 25, 2019
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

EU’s ePrivacy regulation is being subverted by publishers who want their “right” to use tracking cookies enshrined in law

Last year, Privacy News Online wrote about the important EU ePrivacy legislation. As that noted, it was moving through the EU’s legislative process slowly because of massive lobbying against the new law, which aims to regulate how metadata is gathered and used, and to limit how people are tracked online, for example using cookies. A … Continue reading “EU’s ePrivacy regulation is being subverted by publishers who want their “right” to use tracking cookies enshrined in law”

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  • Oct 4, 2019
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

Web sites have a problem after top EU court rules that pre-ticked checkboxes for tracking cookies aren’t valid for consent

Last week we wrote about two important judgments from the EU’s top court – the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). It has just released another long-awaited ruling that is likely to have an even bigger impact on privacy and the Internet. It involves the use of pre-ticked checkboxes for allowing cookies. It’s … Continue reading “Web sites have a problem after top EU court rules that pre-ticked checkboxes for tracking cookies aren’t valid for consent”

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