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A Microsoft Employee Literally Wrote Washington’s Facial Recognition Law

Washington state signed SB 6280 into law, making it the first state in the country to pass a facial recognition bill, which outlines how the government can and cannot use the technology.

But a closer look reveals the bill’s flaws. The law does little to curtail government use of facial recognition, instead setting up basic transparency and accountability mechanisms for when the state does decide to deploy dystopian real-time surveillance.

It’s no surprise then that the bill was championed by Microsoft in public and behind closed doors. In fact, the bill was literally sponsored by State Senator Joe Nguyen, who is currently employed as a program manager by Microsoft.

Source: A Microsoft Employee Literally Wrote Washington’s Facial Recognition Law

An EU coalition of techies is backing a ‘privacy-preserving’ standard for COVID-19

A European coalition of techies and scientists drawn from at least eight countries, and led by Germany’s Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute for telecoms (HHI), is working on contacts-tracing proximity technology for COVID-19 that’s designed to comply with the region’s strict privacy rules.

The core idea is to leverage smartphone technology to help disrupt the next wave of infections by notifying individuals who have come into close contact with an infected person — via the proxy of their smartphones having been near enough to carry out a Bluetooth handshake.

Source: An EU coalition of techies is backing a ‘privacy-preserving’ standard for COVID-19 contacts tracing | TechCrunch

Privately funded surveillance planes to begin patrolling Baltimore skies

Three privately funded surveillance planes were cleared to begin patrolling Baltimore from the sky Wednesday, despite opposition from multiple civil liberties groups who warned that such surveillance could violate protections in the U.S. Constitution.

It allows the planes to collect images of the city to help investigate murders, nonfatal shootings, armed robberies and carjackings.

Source: Privately funded surveillance planes to begin patrolling Baltimore skies – The Washington Post

UK Supreme Court says employer not liable for data breach by a disgruntled employee

The U.K.’s top court ruled that a British supermarket can’t be held responsible for a data breach by a disgruntled employee who leaked personal details of thousands of staff members online.

The Supreme Court concluded that the Court of Appeal had misunderstood the principles governing vicarious liability in their previous judgments in the case. This decision sets aside a significant liability risk which had arisen following the previous decisions in the case.

Source: Morrisons Wins U.K. Supreme Court Ruling Over 2014 Data Breach – Bloomberg

Key Ring data leak exposes millions of user details

Key Ring, an app that lets people upload and store card details, has left the information of millions of users exposed, according to researchers at vpnMentor.

Key Ring claims 14 million North Americas have used its app to upload scans and photos of cards to digital folders that they can access as needed.

Source: Key Ring data leak exposes millions of user details, say researcher…

Brazil Senate Approves Bill Delaying LGPD Enforcement

The Brazil Senate unanimously approved a bill today that would delay implementation of the Brazil General Law for Data Protection, or LGPD, until January 1, 2021 and enforcement of fines and penalties until August 1, 2021.

The LGPD is currently scheduled to take effect on August 15, 2020. Passed in August 2018, the LGPD is the first comprehensive general data protection law in Latin America to be modeled after the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”).

Source: Brazil Senate Approves Bill Delaying LGPD Enforcement

Experts warn of privacy risk as US uses GPS to fight coronavirus spread

Use location data to fight coronavirus risks highlights the lack of safeguards for Americans’ personal data, academics and data scientists have warned.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has turned to data provided by the mobile advertising industry to analyse population movements in the midst of the pandemic.

Owing to a lack of systematic privacy protections in the US, data collected by advertising companies is often extremely detailed: companies with access to GPS location data, such as weather apps or some e-commerce sites, have been known to sell that data on for ad targeting purposes.

Source: Experts warn of privacy risk as US uses GPS to fight coronavirus spread | Technology | The Guardian

EU Commission looks for feedback on GDPR

The European Commission will report on the application of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) later this year. In accordance with Article 97 of the GDPR Commission is obliged to provide the report two years after its entry into application.

Commission opened for feedback its roadmap on the report on the application of the GDPR. Feedback will be taken into account for further development and fine tuning of the initiative.

You can provide feedback until 29 April 2020.

Source: Report on the application of the General Data Protection Regulation

Armenia amends law to allow tracking of infected

The National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia on 31 March, 2020 passed amendments to the Law on Legal Regime of the State of Emergency and to the Law on Electronic Communication as a response to the current COVID-19 (‘Coronavirus’) pandemic.

Amendments in the Law on Electronic Communication will allow the tracking of individuals infected with the Coronavirus through smart phones and technical means.

Source: National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia | Official Web Site | parliament.am

China, coronavirus and surveillance: the messy reality

Although China has tools that many other governments would not be able to usually deploy to track potentially infected people, such as location data from individual phones and facial recognition technology, the state’s ability to access personal data is at times limited.

Co-ordination between different areas of the public sector is often sporadic and sometimes marred by bureaucratic rivalries — as the experience of the two Guangdong towns shows. Wary of alienating middle-class customers, whose lives now revolve around a series of apps on their smartphones, many private sector companies are reluctant to be seen handing over data.

Full article: China, coronavirus and surveillance: the messy reality – Getaka

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