• Jul 9, 2020
  • Caleb Chen
  • Governments, News, Privacy, Security,

New German law would force ISPs to allow secret service to install trojans on user devices

A new law being proposed in Germany would see all 19 federal state intelligence agencies in Germany granted the power to spy on German citizens through the use of trojans. The new law would force internet service providers (ISPs) to install government hardware at their data centers which would reroute data to law enforcement, and … Continue reading “New German law would force ISPs to allow secret service to install trojans on user devices”

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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 29, 2020
  • Caleb Chen
  • News, Privacy, Privacy News Online,

Privacy News Online | Weekly Review: May 29th, 2020

Featured: Privacy News Online – Week of May 29th, 2020 UK’s largest airline, easyJet, reveals January 2020 breach of 9 million customer records The biggest airline in the United Kingdom, easyJet, has revealed a data breach which affects over 9 million customers. Affected customers had their email addresses and travel details stolen by the hackers. … Continue reading “Privacy News Online | Weekly Review: May 29th, 2020”

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  • May 22, 2020
  • Caleb Chen
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

Germany’s highest court rules individual right to privacy applies to everyone, even non-Germans

Germany’s Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof), the highest court in the country, has ruled that parts of a 2016 law that allowed monitoring of the internet activity of foreign targets outside of Germany are unconstitutional. This landmark ruling will force the Merkel government to update laws governing Germany’s foreign intelligence agency: The BND. Essentially, the … Continue reading “Germany’s highest court rules individual right to privacy applies to everyone, even non-Germans”

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  • Mar 27, 2020
  • Caleb Chen
  • Governments, News, Privacy, Security,

Telecoms across Europe are sharing phone location data with governments as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic

A telecommunications lobbying group, the GSMA, has confirmed that several telecom companies in Europe are providing mobile phone location data with the European Union as a way to track the spread of COVID-19. According to Reuters and other media sources, these are the telecommunications companies that are working with the European Union to provide “anonymized” … Continue reading “Telecoms across Europe are sharing phone location data with governments as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic”

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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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  • 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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General Data Protection Regulation one year on: what next?

A previous post discussed what has happened in the world of the GDPR during its first year. Although only a few rulings have been handed down, there are many legal complaints working their way through the system that could have important implications for the EU. And far beyond, too, as more countries consider bringing in … Continue reading “General Data Protection Regulation one year on: what next?”

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  • Feb 16, 2019
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

Facebook may not collect or combine personal data using “forced consent”, says German competition authority

It would be an understatement to say that Facebook is under intense scrutiny at the moment. Mostly this has come from data protection authorities in the EU, using the GDPR as a means for challenging Facebook’s business practices. But the attack has just broadened, with Germany’s competition authority, the Bundeskartellamt, issuing a ruling that strikes … Continue reading “Facebook may not collect or combine personal data using “forced consent”, says German competition authority”

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Germany is dealing with children’s surveillance watches in the right way

The internet of things comes with all kinds of privacy worries, and one country in particular is keen to address them. Having earlier this year banned an internet-connected talking doll for its lack of proper security, Germany’s Bundesnetzagentur (Federal Network Agency, or BNA), has now turned its attention to smartwatches that are marketed for use … Continue reading “Germany is dealing with children’s surveillance watches in the right way”

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  • Aug 10, 2017
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, Privacy,

Putting the “face” in Facebook: how Mark Zuckerberg is building a world without public anonymity

Facial recognition has matured sufficiently that it is cropping up in real-world applications with increasing frequency, as recent Privacy News Online stories attest. There’s one well-known company that is more active in this area than most, not least because it has access to more facial images than any other. It even has the word “face” … Continue reading “Putting the “face” in Facebook: how Mark Zuckerberg is building a world without public anonymity”

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  • Aug 3, 2017
  • Glyn Moody
  • News, Privacy, Security,

If you use a browser extension, your full Internet history may be for sale – and easily de-anonymized

The recent repeal of broadband privacy protection in the US has highlighted the highly-personal nature of browsing histories. One natural solution is to use a VPN in order to shield details of your Internet activities from your ISP. But research by a German journalist and data scientist, originally released last year at the 33rd Chaos … Continue reading “If you use a browser extension, your full Internet history may be for sale – and easily de-anonymized”

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  • Jul 26, 2017
  • Caleb Chen
  • Governments, News, Privacy, Security,

German police to be able to read encrypted messages with government malware by end of 2017

German police will be able to read encrypted messages using government malware by the end of 2017, according to leaked documents obtained by Netzpolitik. They are legally able to deploy this malware because of a new law. Last month, Germany passed a law that allows police to use “Staatstrojaner” or state trojans to hack into mobile … Continue reading “German police to be able to read encrypted messages with government malware by end of 2017”

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  • Jun 21, 2017
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy, Security,

Police use of trojans to hack into mobile phones will become routine under new German law

A new law allowing the German police to hack into mobile phones for even minor crimes, is expected to be passed by the German parliament this week [update: the law has now been passed]. Currently, the use of a “Staatstrojaner” – government trojan – is only permitted in order to prevent future terrorist attacks. Under … Continue reading “Police use of trojans to hack into mobile phones will become routine under new German law”

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