• May 27, 2020
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

Top EU data protection agency under pressure to act against Internet giants as GDPR turns 2 years old

A few weeks ago, this blog noted that there were questions hanging over the GDPR, not least the fact that no major fines had been issued against top Internet companies. The GDPR has just passed the two-year mark, and many have taken the opportunity to weigh in on this issue. For example, the data protection … Continue reading “Top EU data protection agency under pressure to act against Internet giants as GDPR turns 2 years old”

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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 8, 2020
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, Networking, News, Privacy, Security,

OK Zoomer: avoiding a privacy disaster in the post-coronavirus world

It would be an understatement to say that Covid-19 has affected practically every aspect of our lives, given the scale of the transformation. Its impact on privacy, too, is evident. Last week, this blog wrote about a rush by governments around the world to use smartphones to help enforce quarantines and carry out contact tracing. … Continue reading “OK Zoomer: avoiding a privacy disaster in the post-coronavirus world”

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  • Mar 19, 2020
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Open Source, Privacy, Programming,

As Covid-19 spreads around the globe, so does the idea of using smartphones to track everyone to help contact tracing

It seems extraordinary that it was only a month ago that this blog wrote about the new coronavirus, also called Covid-19. At that time, it was not yet clear whether it would turn into a full-blown pandemic. Now, there is no doubt on the matter. As that blog post reported, Covid-19 began in China, and … Continue reading “As Covid-19 spreads around the globe, so does the idea of using smartphones to track everyone to help contact tracing”

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New study quantifies how much Americans value their private information: about $3.50

A new study by the Technology Policy Institute (TPI) has identified how much money a Facebook user would want to be paid in exchange for having their contact information shared by Facebook: $3.50 per month. Across the pond, German users indicated that they would require $8 per month for the privacy violation of having their … Continue reading “New study quantifies how much Americans value their private information: about $3.50”

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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 31, 2020
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

What can we learn from the Clearview “end of privacy” story?

A couple of weeks ago, a story in the New York Times put facial recognition, and the serious problems it raises, firmly into the mainstream. It concerned the start-up Clearview AI, which, as the headline breathlessly informed us, “might end privacy as we know it.” The reason for this worrying description is not any breakthrough … Continue reading “What can we learn from the Clearview “end of privacy” story?”

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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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Facebook reversed cryptocurrency ad policy ahead of Libra announcement

Facebook, the social media platform used by billions, had banned cryptocurrency related ads for a year and a half starting in January of 2018. During this time period, Facebook’s ad approval algorithms and moderators were so sensitive to potentially cryptocurrency tangential ads that even ads for physical events that had cryptocurrency sponsors weren’t allowed. An … Continue reading “Facebook reversed cryptocurrency ad policy ahead of Libra announcement”

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At last, some good news for privacy: signs that micro-targeted advertising may be on the way out

At the beginning of this year Privacy News Online wrote about how people were waking up to the dangers of micro-targeted advertising. Despite that, nothing much happened – until now. One reason for the shift is the heightened awareness of the role of social media in politics and elections. Twitter has said it will drop … Continue reading “At last, some good news for privacy: signs that micro-targeted advertising may be on the way out”

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  • Nov 7, 2019
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

Google, Facebook and many others are coming for your health data: watch out for your privacy

Last week, Google announced that it would be buying Fitbit, valuing the 12-year-old company at $2.1 billion. Many have seen this as an attempt to boost Google’s position in the wearables sector. So far, the company’s Wear OS platform has made relatively little impact. The acquisition certainly improves Google’s position, but it is only part … Continue reading “Google, Facebook and many others are coming for your health data: watch out for your privacy”

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  • Sep 18, 2019
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

Now is the time to defend the final haven for privacy: your brain

One of the principal concerns of privacy is to prevent others – typically governments or companies – from monitoring what we think. They have to do that indirectly, by spying on what we say or write, and inferring what is going through our minds from that data. We assume that our actual thoughts are immune … Continue reading “Now is the time to defend the final haven for privacy: your brain”

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  • Sep 13, 2019
  • Glyn Moody
  • News, Privacy, Programming,

Should apps share details of women’s menstruation and sex lives with Facebook and other sites? Some already do

Back in January, Privacy News Online wrote about some important research from Privacy International. It found that 61% of the Android apps it investigated automatically transfer data to Facebook the moment a user opens them. This happens whether or not people have a Facebook account, and regardless of whether they are logged into Facebook or … Continue reading “Should apps share details of women’s menstruation and sex lives with Facebook and other sites? Some already do”

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  • Aug 31, 2019
  • Glyn Moody
  • News, Privacy, Programming,

Google says: “Privacy is paramount to us, in everything we do”; here’s why that can’t be true

Back in May Mark Zuckerberg proclaimed: the future is private“. Now Google is joining in: Privacy is paramount to us, in everything we do. So today, we are announcing a new initiative to develop a set of open standards to fundamentally enhance privacy on the web. We’re calling this a Privacy Sandbox. As a slogan, … Continue reading “Google says: “Privacy is paramount to us, in everything we do”; here’s why that can’t be true”

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  • Aug 1, 2019
  • Caleb Chen
  • Governments, News, Security,

UK, US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand meet to discuss the “ghost protocol” aka built in encryption backdoors

Representatives from the UK, US, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand recently finished a two day meeting in London where the countries renewed their commitment to seeking encryption backdoors from technology companies around the world. The meetings were held by the UK’s Home Secretary, Priti Patel, and the official topics were strengthening the countries’ abilities to … Continue reading “UK, US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand meet to discuss the “ghost protocol” aka built in encryption backdoors”

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