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Security & Privacy Daily News Alert

Security & Privacy Daily News Alert
April 8, 2015

By Byron Acohido, ThirdCertainty

Ringing their Bell: Canada’s Office of the Privacy Commissioner is not satisfied with Bell Canada’s commitment to seek customer consent before tracking cell phone use to deliver targeted online advertising. The company said it would accept the commissioner’s recommendation to get explicit consent or opt-in before using private viewing patterns and sensitive personal data to create profiles sold to advertisers. Bell said it would “abide by the privacy commission’s decision, including the opt-in approach.” Privacy commissioner spokeswoman Tobi Cohen said the commissioner could pursue the matter in court “if a solution cannot be reached to our satisfaction.” Source: The Financial Post

Get fit, pay less, but …: John Hancock introduced a life insurance program that matches the costs of premiums to fitness, but to get the discounts, participants must give up some privacy. New policyholders take an online evaluation of health habits and agree to disclose medical information, such as blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Consumers get personalized health goals and use online and automated tools to track their progress to healthier lives, the company said in a news release. Source: CBS News

Germany says nein to Google: A German privacy commissioner ordered Google to implement strict new controls on how it uses customers’ data. The Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information had ordered the changes last fall following an investigation. Google filed an appeal, but the commissioner overruled the objections and upheld the previous decision. “It’s now in Google’s hands to implement our stipulations, e.g. by a transparent mechanism for consent to process user data,” said Hamburg’s privacy commissioner Johannes Caspar. Source: Venture Beat

Unplugged: Researchers at Heimdal Security found that the Google Chrome plugin Webpage Screenshot, with more than 1.2 million downloads, collected users’ browsing habits behind the scenes starting about a week after the extension was installed. Data included IP addresses, operating systems, browser information, URLs visited, data from URLs loaded and pages viewed, search queries entered, social connections, profile properties, contact details, and usage data, along with other mobile device identifiers. The extension has been removed from the Google Store. Source: Ars Technica

Telecom called on to pay: AT&T will pay $25 million to resolve the Federal Communications Commission’s largest-ever enforcement action in a privacy and data security investigation into alleged consumer violations at call centers in Mexico, Colombia and the Philippines. Employees at a call center allegedly were paid to obtain customer information, accessing more than 68,000 accounts for names and at least the last four digits of customers’ Social Security numbers, the FCC said. AT&T also has agreed to notify all customers whose accounts were improperly accessed and to pay for credit-monitoring services for those affected by the breaches in Colombia and the Philippines. Source: The Wall Street Journal

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