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Tag Archives for " coronavirus "

Why facial recognition thermometers are raising privacy concerns during the pandemic?

Thermal imaging thermometers with facial recognition are popping up during the pandemic. But, privacy concerns have been raised.

The new technology looks like a tablet connected to a stand that scans a person’s temperature from the shoulders up. But, some devices—like ones that were used in schools, according to Wired—also come with facial recognition technology. The facial recognition feature in the temperature checkers are also being used by employers.

Given the privacy concerns that have been raised with facial recognition technology as a whole, experts have raised alarms about its use during the coronavirus pandemic.

Full article: What are Facial Recognition Thermometers and Who’s Using Them?

The Covid App Ecosystem Has Become a Privacy Minefield

An analysis of nearly 500 Covid-related apps worldwide shows major differences in how much data they expect you to give up.

The results show that only 47 of that subset of 359 apps – that handle contact tracing, exposure notification, screening, reporting, workplace monitoring, and Covid information from public health authorities around the globe- use Google and Apple’s more privacy-friendly exposure-notification system, which restricts apps to only Bluetooth data collection.

More than six out of seven Covid-focused iOS apps worldwide are free to request whatever privacy permissions they want, with 59 percent asking for a user’s location when in use and 43 percent tracking location at all times. Albright found that 44 percent of Covid apps on iOS asked for access to the phone’s camera, 22 percent of apps asked for access to the user’s microphone, 32 percent asked for access to their photos, and 11 percent asked for access to their contacts.

Source: The iOS Covid App Ecosystem Has Become a Privacy Minefield | WIRED

Intrusive, omnipresent surveillance growing during COVID-19 pandemic, UN expert warns

Widespread use of contact tracing technology to fight the COVID-19 pandemic has led to almost incessant and omnipresent surveillance in some parts of the world, a UN expert on privacy told the General Assembly today.

“This is a very disturbing trend; all-pervasive surveillance is no panacea for COVID-19,” Joseph Cannataci, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy, said as he delivered his annual report, which examines the privacy impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Source: OHCHR | Intrusive, omnipresent surveillance growing during COVID-19 pandemic, UN expert warns

European Parliament’s COVID website overrun with US web trackers

The European Parliament’s coronavirus test management website is overrun with user tracking requests, some of which are attempting to siphon data to US-based firms at a time in which the future of transatlantic data flows is far from clear.

The website, which is run by EcoCare, a subsidiary of the United Arab Emirates firm Ecolog, requests permission to transfer the personal data of those using the platform – European Parliament staff members – to third party companies.

Those include Google and the US financial services platform Stripe, backed by Silicon Valley investor Peter Thiel, chairman of data analytics firm Palantir. 

Source: EP’s COVID website overrun with US web trackers, MEP raises data concerns – EURACTIV.com

ICO probes complaints following allegations Wagamama used Covid-19 track and trace data to survey customers

Wagamama customers in the UK have allegedly been sent a survey after sharing contact details for Covid-19 contact tracing, The Times reports. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is now making enquiries after receiving a number of complaints about the restaurant chain.

UK regulations state that hospitality venues including restaurants must ask at least one member of every party of customers to provide their name and contact details or use a QR code. Some customers reportedly received a survey after sharing contact details with Wagamama, despite not granting permission.

Source: ICO probes complaints following allegations Wagamama used Covid-19 track and trace data to survey customers

UK police get access to people told to self-isolate

People who have been told to self-isolate through NHS test and trace could have their contact details passed to police, a move some fear could deter people from being tested for coronavirus.

Police forces will be able to access information about people “on a case-by-case” basis, so they can learn whether an individual has been told to self-isolate, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHCS) said.

Source: Police get access to people told to self-isolate by NHS test and trace

Human error reveals personal data of 18,000 Welsh Covid-19 sufferers

Public Health Wales yesterday announced a data breach involving the personally identifiable data of 18,105 people resident in Wales who had received a positive test for Covid-19.

In a statement, the health body attributed the incident to “individual human error”, whereby the data was mistakenly uploaded to a public server on 30 August, remaining searchable for 20 hours before its removal on the morning of 31 August.

Source: Human error reveals personal data of 18,000 Welsh Covid-19 sufferers

Google and Apple to roll out phase two of contact-tracing system

Apple and Google are preparing to roll out phase two of their Covid-19 contact-tracing system, allowing users to receive notifications about their exposure to infectious people without needing to install a specific app.

Operating system update will allow opt-in to coronavirus exposure notifications without need of an app.

Source: Google and Apple to roll out phase two of contact-tracing system | Technology | The Guardian

Canada Admits COVID-19 Contact Tracing App Does Not Guarantee 100% Anonymity

Canada’s privacy regulator is admitting the government’s contract tracing app can’t provide a 100% guarantee of anonymity.

“True anonymity, technically speaking, would require the complete and permanent impossibility of reversing the data processes at play, which could reveal sources of personal information and so re-identify individuals,” says Vito Pilieci, spokesman for Canada Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien.

“Our understanding of the situation is that while the identification of users would be highly improbable, it would not be impossible.”

Source: Canada Admits COVID-19 Contact Tracing App Does Not Guarantee 100% Anonymity

COVID-19 contact tracing apps create privacy pitfalls around the world

Contact tracing apps have the power to amass personal data that reveals your movements, activities and relationships.

The potential harm from contact tracing apps came into focus at Defcon, an annual gathering of hackers that’s taking place online this week. Two presentations focused on the privacy failings of contact tracing apps. The verdict is clear: The apps have a tendency to collect information they don’t need.

Source: COVID-19 contact tracing apps create privacy pitfalls around the world – CNET

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