While there is significantly more to be done to protect our data, consumers have never been better apprised of the imperiled state of their privacy. That said, it’s still an acute problem. The air travel equivalent would be when the cabin depressurizes and oxygen masks drop. In the dramatic destabilization that has occurred to our collective privacy over the past 15...Read More
Google employees and subcontractors are listening to recordings gleaned from Google Home smart speakers and the Google Assistant smartphone app.
A report from Belgian news outlet VRT NWS showed that Google regularly uses staff and subcontractors to transcribe audio recordings taken from its network of home devices for the stated purpose of improving its speech recognition technology. A whistleblower employed as a subcontractor for Google shared over a thousand recordings with VRT NWS...Read More
Last month marked the one-year anniversary of the European Union's General Data Privacy Regulation, or GDPR. Since then, California and New York State have created similar bills aimed at protecting the privacy of their citizens. Nevada has recently enacted a narrow privacy law. Meanwhile, privacy is dead.
Long Live Privacy!
While privacy legislation seems like common...Read More
Maine has passed a bill prohibiting ISPs from using and selling the data of internet users within the state.
The Act to Protect the Privacy of Online Consumer Information is closely modeled on an Obama era FCC rule that prohibits internet service providers from collecting information on their customers. The rule was revoked in 2017.
Facebook announced that it was preparing for a massive fine from the Federal Trade Commission for its mishandling of user privacy. The fine could be as much as $5 billion.
The social media giant revealed the fine as a one-time expense in its annual earnings statement, explaining a 51% decline in income, “in connection with the inquiry of the FTC into our platform and user data practices.”
“We estimate that the range of loss in this matter is $3.0bn to $5.0bn,” the company’s...Read More
The European Union’s parliament voted to create a biometric database of over 350 million people.
The Common Identity Repository, or CIR, will consolidate the data from the EU’s border, migration, and law enforcement agencies into one system to be quickly accessible and searchable by any or all of them. Information will include names, birthdates, passport numbers as well as fingerprints and face scans.
While the CIR’s purpose is to eliminate several...Read More
Facebook announced that it “unintentionally” harvested the email contacts of 1.5 million of its users without their consent.
The social media company automatically uploaded the information from users who had registered with the site after 2016 and provided their email addresses and passwords. Upon submitting a form to “confirm” their accounts, registrants saw a screen showing that their email contact lists were harvested without any means of providing consent, opting out, or...Read More
The Federal Emergency Management Agency failed to properly protect the personal information of 2.3 million survivors of natural disasters.
A partially redacted memo issued by the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security stated that FEMA released the personally identifiable information of 2.3 million survivors of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria as well as the...Read More
The National Security Agency has stopped a controversial domestic surveillance program, according to a senior congressional aide.
The program monitored the metadata of domestic calls in bulk (including dates, locations, times, and parties involved) in an effort to identify potential terrorist activity. While it was implemented by the Bush administration shortly after 9/11, the program continued collecting information over the next eight years, and was renewed by the Obama...Read More