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Judge lets Facebook privacy class action proceed

A federal judge on Monday ordered Facebook to face most of a nationwide lawsuit seeking damages for letting third parties such as Cambridge Analytica access users’ private data, calling the social media company’s views on privacy “so wrong.”

While dismissing some claims, U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria in San Francisco said users could try to hold Facebook liable under various federal and state laws for letting app developers and business partners harvest their personal data without their consent on a “widespread” basis.

Source: Judge lets Facebook privacy class action proceed, calls company’s views ‘so wrong’ – Reuters

Startup HiQ Labs may collect data from people’s LinkedIn profiles, court rules

Company called HiQ Labs wins court OK to scrape profiles on LinkedIn for data about people’s lives and connections.

LinkedIn invoked a federal anti-hacking law in telling HiQ to stop. It also installed technical blocks to prevent HiQ from accessing otherwise publicly available information on LinkedIn users. A 2017 ruling ordered LinkedIn to stop blocking the startup. LinkedIn appealed, but lost.

Source: Startup HiQ Labs may collect data from people’s LinkedIn profiles, court rules – CBS News

New Calculation Model for Data Protection Fines in Germany

In June, the conference of the German Data Protection Authorities (Datenschutzkonferenz) approved a concept for the calculation of GDPR fines.

“In a first step, the fine is calculated in daily rates derived from the worldwide company turnover of the previous year. The daily rate is multiplied by a factor which depends on the seriousness of the breach and is determined by the application of a scoring system. The sum is then reduced or increased depending on the degree of fault and on whether there have been any previous breaches. Three or more previous breaches can lead to a surcharge of 300 per cent. Mitigating factors will also be taken into account.”

Source: New Calculation Model for Data Protection Fines in Germany | Inside Privacy

Facebook confirms 419m phone numbers exposed in latest privacy lapse

Hundreds of millions of Facebook users’ phone numbers were exposed in an open online database, the company confirmed Wednesday.

More than 419m Facebook IDs and phone numbers were stored in an online server that was not password protected. The dataset included about 133m records for users in the US, 18m records for users in the UK and 50m records for users in Vietnam.

Source: Facebook confirms 419m phone numbers exposed in latest privacy lapse | Technology | The Guardian

UK Court Dismisses Challenge to Police Use of Facial Recognition Technology

On September 4, 2019, the High Court of England and Wales dismissed a challenge to South Wales Police’s use of Automated Facial Recognition technology. The Court determined that the police’s use of AFR had been necessary and proportionate to achieve their statutory obligations.

The police would subsequently match the images captured with wanted persons in their own databases using biometric data analysis. Where a match was not made with any of these watchlists, the images were immediately and automatically deleted.

Source: High Court Dismisses Challenge to Police Use of Facial Recognition Technology

Top European Court to Review National Data Retention Laws

The Court of Justice for the European Union will hear challenges to the data retention laws of the UK, Belgium, and France.

The Court previously invalidated European and national data retention laws that required companies to retain communications data for law enforcement purposes. The new challenges, brought by civil society organizations, contend that European national laws fail to comply with the earlier rulings.

Source: Top European Court to Review National Data Retention Laws

Bavarian DPA investigates Blood Donation Service for website tracking

The Bavarian Data Protection Authority (BayLDA) is currently scrutinising the website of the blood donation service of the Bavarian Red Cross as part of a focused data protection review.

The reason for this was the use of tracking tools on the website of the blood donation service. In particular, the BayLDA will look at whether sensitive data about the users’ health has been used by Facebook.

If tracking tools are used, quite a number of data protection requirements must be observed. This is not as simple as merely informing the user about the tracking tools in simple terms; the website operator must also ensure that they legally integrate the tracking tools, i.e. that a legal basis allows the integration or that the users have given their consent in advance.

Source: Blood Donation Service under high scrutiny

Amazon testing payment system that uses hands as ID

Forget the titanium Apple Card — Amazon’s latest payment method uses flesh and blood.

The e-tailing giant’s engineers are quietly testing scanners that can identify an individual human hand as a way to ring up a store purchase, with the goal of rolling them out at its Whole Foods supermarket chain in the coming months.

Source: Amazon testing payment system that uses hands as ID

Google is open-sourcing a tool for data scientists to help protect private information

Google is open-sourcing its so-called differential privacy library, an internal tool the company uses to securely draw insights from datasets that contain the private and sensitive personal information of its users.

Differential privacy is a cryptographic approach to data science, particularly with regard to analysis, that allows someone relying on software-aided analysis to draw insights from massive datasets while protecting user privacy.

Source: Google is open-sourcing a tool for data scientists to help protect private information – The Verge

Chinese shoppers adopt facial payments in cashless drive

China’s shoppers are increasingly purchasing goods with just a turn of their heads as the country embraces facial payment technology.

The software is already widely used, often to monitor citizens – it has been credited with nabbing jaywalkers and catching criminals. But authorities have come under fire for using it to crack down and monitor dissent, particularly in China’s surveillance-heavy region of Xinjiang.

Despite the concerns over data security and privacy, consumers seem unperturbed as facial recognition payment hits the high streets.

Source: Chinese shoppers adopt facial payments in cashless drive | Technology – Gulf News

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