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€114 Million in Fines Imposed by EU Authorities Under GDPR

New findings from DLA Piper show that 160,000 data breach notifications reported across 28 European Union Member States and data protection authorities have imposed €114 million in monetary fines under the GDPR for a wide range of infringements. Not all fines were related to data breach infringements, however.

In terms of the total value of fines issued by geographical region, France (€51m), Germany (€24.5m) and Austria (€18m) topped the rankings, whilst the Netherlands (40,647), Germany (37,636) and the UK (22,181) had the highest number of data breaches notified to regulators.

Source: €114m in Fines Imposed by Euro Authorities Under GDPR – Infosecurity Magazine

Italy fines gas company EUR 11.5 million for unsolicited telemarketing

The Italian Supervisory Authority imposed two fines on Eni Gas and Luce (Egl), totalling EUR 11,5 million, concerning respectively illicit processing of personal data in the context of promotional activities and the activation of unsolicited contracts.

The first fine of EUR 8,5 million relates to unlawful processing in connection with telemarketing and teleselling activities – advertising calls made without the consent of the contacted person or despite that person’s refusal to receive promotional calls, or without triggering the specific procedures for verifying the public opt-out register; the absence of technical and organisational measures to take account of the indications provided by users; longer than permitted data retention periods; and the acquisition of the data on prospective customers from entities (list providers) that had not obtained any consent for the disclosure of such data.

The second fine of EUR 3 million concerns breaches due to the conclusion of unsolicited contracts for the supply of electricity and gas under ‘free market’ conditions – many individuals learned about the conclusion of a new contract only on receiving the letter of termination of the contract with the previous supplier or else the first Egl bills.

Source: THE ITALIAN SUPERVISORY AUTHORITY FINES ENI GAS E LUCE EUR 11.5 MILLION – On account of unsolicited telemarketing and contracts

Reflecting on APAC Data Protection and Cyber-security Highlights for 2019 (and what lies ahead!)

2019 saw continued growth and change in data protection and cyber-security across the Asia-Pacific. Following the implementation of the GDPR in May, 2018, many jurisdictions moved to review and strengthen existing data privacy and cyber-security laws.

In addition, 2019 saw regulators publishing findings in respect of some of the largest data incidents of 2018. We have set out below the key highlights of the year and what to look out for in 2020.

Full article: Reflecting on APAC Data Protection and Cyber-security Highlights for 2019 (and what lies ahead!)

Ubiquitous Surveillance Cameras Are Changing Our Understanding of Human Behavior

Surveillance footage is providing new insights into how humans interact in public. But should scientists be able to see it?

Watchdogs like Tony Porter, the U.K.’s surveillance camera commissioner, warn that governments’ increasing ability to watch everything all the time will lead to both predictable and unforeseen invasions of privacy.

Full article: Ubiquitous Surveillance Cameras Are Changing Our Understanding of Human Behavior – VICE

‘Prepare for ICO to utilise its wider powers’: UK regulator issues warning to adtech

The UK’s data regulator, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), has issued a warning to any adtech companies which have failed to “use the window of opportunity to engage and transform” their practices – it’s coming for them.

The ICO’s update on its investigation into the adtech sector reveals it focused on specific issues such as the treatment of “special category data” – like race, sexuality and health – as well as how secure data is as it’s passed through the supply chain and the thorny issue of Legitimate Interest.

Source: ‘Prepare for ICO to utilise its wider powers’: UK regulator issues warning to adtech | The Drum

EU to police digital assistants

European Union privacy watchdogs are gearing up to police digital assistants after revelations that Amazon.com Inc. workers listened in on people’s conversations with their Alexa digital assistants.

EU regulators are now working on a common approach on how to police the technology. But the move toward common guidelines for digital assistants means companies should avoid fines — for now.

Source: Amazon Alexa Eavesdropping Spurs EU-Wide Privacy Safeguards – Bloomberg

EU considers ban of facial recognition for up to five years

The European Commission has revealed it is considering a ban on the use of facial recognition in public areas for up to five years.

The European Commission wants time to work out how to prevent the technology being abused. Exceptions to the ban could be made for security projects as well as research and development.

 

Source: Facial recognition: EU considers ban of up to five years – BBC News

Facebook is ordered to hand over data about thousands of apps that may have violated user privacy

A Massachusetts judge rejected the tech giant’s earlier attempt to withhold the evidence from state officials investigating its privacy practices.

Massachusetts revealed it was probing Facebook over its data-collection practices in September, an investigation that stemmed from the company’s entanglement with Cambridge Analytica.

Source: Massachusetts court orders Facebook to hand over data on apps that may have violated users’ privacy – The Washington Post

Why your palm could be safer than fingerprints or facial recognition?

Amazon and Apple both have patents for palm scanners and Chinese startups have already started using the tech in locks and vending machines.

Palm recognition systems work by identifying vein patterns and lines and creases on the hand’s surface, ideally using cameras and infrared to avoid contact. Compared with a face, palmprint is not privacy sensitive.

Source: Why your palm could be safer than fingerprints or facial recognition – Amazon and Apple both have patents for palm scanners and Chinese startups have already started using the tech in locks and vending machines | Abacus

Carrefour’s fingerprint payments to be investigated by Belgian privacy agency

The Belgian Data Protection Authority has stated that there is “a good chance” it will investigate Carrefour’s fingerprint payment system.

The supermarket chain announced on Tuesday that it will organise a pilot project allowing clients to pay for their groceries with their fingerprints in a store in the centre of Brussels. The clients will be able to pay by scanning their finger at the cash register, after which the money will disappear from their bank account.

Source: Carrefour’s fingerprint payments to be investigated by Belgian privacy agency

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