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Facebook’s FTC fine will be $5 billion—or one month’s worth of revenue

The Federal Trade Commission and Facebook have reportedly agreed on a $5 billion fine that would settle the FTC’s privacy investigation into the social network.

Fine will settle privacy investigation triggered by Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Source: Facebook’s FTC fine will be $5 billion—or one month’s worth of revenue | Ars Technica

German schools ban Office 365 due to privacy concerns

The German state of Hesse has ruled it’s illegal for its schools to use Office 365 after years of debate over whether the country’s schools and institutions should use Microsoft tools at all.

The Hesse Office for Data Protection and Information Freedom says the standard configuration in Office 365 could potentially make students’ and teachers’ personal data available to US officials. In addition to the information that users provide when they’re working in Office 365, the platform sends telemetry data back to the US.

Source: German Schools Ban Office 365, Cite Privacy Concerns

Palantir Manual Shows How Law Enforcement Tracks Families

Palantir’s surveillance software has become a backbone of US law enforcement, particularly Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Palantir’s secret user manuals for law enforcement shows that with just the name of a person, law enforcement can use Palantir’s software to map that target’s family relationships, get their Social Security number, address, phone number, height, weight, and eye color. Add a license plate number, and Palantir’s system can often allow law enforcement to track where people have been during any period of time.

Source: Palantir Manual Shows How Law Enforcement Tracks Families | WIRED

Facebook tries to make ad targeting explanations more useful

Facebook has been adding new tools to provide more transparency about why users are seeing certain ads and content (and what they can do about it), but in a blog post, Product Manager Sreethu Thulasi wrote, “We heard feedback from people that they can still be hard to understand and difficult to navigate.”

To address that, the company said it’s making two changes. First, when you select the “Why am I seeing this ad?” option on an advertisement, you’ll get more info.

Source: Facebook tries to make ad targeting explanations more useful | TechCrunch

Facebook’s face recognition software should worry us.

Facebook holds “the largest facial dataset to date”—powered by DeepFace, Facebook’s deep-learning facial recognition system.

Policymakers and experts are now beginning to weigh how the government’s use of facial recognition should be regulated and constrained. A crackdown on how government agencies can use the technology needs to consider how companies do, too.

Full article: Facebook’s face recognition software should worry us.

Businesses more reliant on ICO as data breach reports explode

The UK data regulator has revealed its staff received four times as many reports of personal data breaches during an “unprecedented” 2018/19 against the previous financial year.

Similarly, the number of complaints received from the public rose from 21,019 in 2017/18 to 41,661, according to figures revealed in the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) annual report. Organisations were also twice as reliant on the ICO for advice or guidance during 2018/19.

Source: Businesses more reliant on ICO as data breach reports explode | IT PRO

House Lawmakers Target Autumn for Data Privacy Bill

As talks on a data privacy bill reportedly lose steam in the Senate, two Democratic House aides familiar with ongoing discussions said the House Energy and Commerce Committee is targeting the end of September or early October to introduce its own version of privacy legislation.

Both aides said discussions have started about what a bill could look like, with plans for the consumer protection subcommittee chaired by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) to head up the effort. The sources said their offices have yet to see a draft of the bill language.

Full article: House Lawmakers Target September, October for Data Privacy Bill, Aides Say

California Considers Amending New Privacy Law

The California senate judiciary committee is expected to consider amendments that could significantly water down the state’s landmark privacy law.

One of the amendments would revise the definition of “de-identified” data to include material that is not “reasonably linkable” to a particular consumer. That would make the law more friendly to online marketers by exempting IP addresses, device identifiers and other pseudonymous identifiers from the material covered by the measure.

Another proposed amendment would weaken a provision that prohibits companies from charging higher prices to consumers who opt out of data collection and selling.

Source: California Considers Amending New Privacy Law 07/09/2019

CJEU’s hearing on Schrems II has both sides worried ruling could be sweeping

On July 9 the Court of justice of European Union had its session in so called Schrems II case. The question is; whether U.S. law on the access of national security agencies to the personal data of non nationals, the Foreign Intelligence Service Act, breaks European data protection laws. And if so, does that invalidate currently legal data transfer mechanisms?

Court heard from the Irish Data Protection Commissioner, Facebook, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, DigitalEurope, the Business Software Alliance, the European Commission, the European Data Protection Board, the U.S. government as well as several EU countries and representatives of Max Schrems himself.

The EU court’s Advocate General Henrik Saugmandsgaard Øe said he will give his non-binding opinion in the case December 12 this year, with a full decision expected by early 2020.

Source: CJEU’s hearing on Schrems II has both sides worried ruling could be sweeping

European Commission Releases Factsheet on Artificial Intelligence

On July 4, 2019, the European Commission published a factsheet on artificial intelligence for Europe.

In the Factsheet, the European Commission underlines the importance of AI and its role in improving people’s lives and bringing major benefits to the society and economy.

Full article: European Commission Releases Factsheet on Artificial Intelligence

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