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Tag Archives for " coronavirus "

Israel introduces new contact-tracing bill

Throughout the COVID-19 global outbreak, Israel has taken a unique approach for fighting the pandemic.

While other countries have developed and implemented new technologies for contact tracing, Israel preferred using a covert technology, operated by the General Secret Service for anti-terror purposes.

Source: Israel introduces new contact-tracing bill

Coronavirus opens door to company surveillance of workers

Privacy advocates warn of a slippery slope toward “normalizing” new levels of employer surveillance.

Employers are rushing to use digital tracking technology to reduce virus transmission in the workplace. But privacy experts worry that businesses will start using their newfound surveillance capabilities for purposes far beyond public health. The data could be used to evaluate workers’ productivity, see which colleagues are holding meetings or even flag an employee who unexpectedly ducks out of the office during work hours.

Full article: Coronavirus opens door to company surveillance of workers – POLITICO

Pub ‘check-in’ apps provoke fresh privacy concerns

With pubs and restaurants required to collect customer data for contact tracing when they reopen, data privacy risks will be heightened.

The potential for pubs to mismanage, mishandle or lose that data in breaches or leaks has the potential to put the pub-going public at massive risk, says privacy experts.

Full article: Pub ‘check-in’ apps provoke fresh privacy concerns

Attorney General pens letters to Apple, Google urging them to protect consumer privacy on COVID-19 tracing apps

Attorney General Letitia James is calling on two major tech companies to protect consumer information and privacy as New Yorkers and Americans across the country continue to battle COVID-19.

In letters penned to Apple and Google, AG James is urging both companies to make sure that existing and future third-party contact tracing apps published through Apple’s App Store and Android’s Play Store do not inappropriately collect and retain users’ sensitive information. The letter also asks that the companies make it clear to consumers the difference between apps launched by governmental public health agencies, meant to notify individuals they may have been exposed to the virus, and third-party contact tracing apps, which could possibly take advantage of consumers for financial gain.

Source: Attorney General pens letters to Apple, Google urging them to protect consumer privacy on COVID-19 tracing apps – amNewYork

Norway pulls its coronavirus contacts-tracing app after privacy watchdog’s warning

One of the first national coronavirus contacts-tracing apps to be launched in Europe is being suspended in Norway after the country’s data protection authority raised concerns that the software, called “Smittestopp,” poses a disproportionate threat to user privacy — including by continuously uploading people’s location.

Following a warning from the watchdog Friday, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI) said today it will stop uploading data from tomorrow — ahead of a June 23 deadline when the DPA had asked for use of the app to be suspended so that changes could be made. It added that it disagrees with the watchdog’s assessment but will nonetheless delete user data “as soon as possible.”

Source: Norway pulls its coronavirus contacts-tracing app after privacy watchdog’s warning | TechCrunch

Israel Steps Back From Law Involving Secret Service in COVID-19 Tracing

Following widespread protest by the Israeli privacy community and the population at large, a decision by the Israeli Supreme Court and a statement from the head of the Israeli Secret Service that its involvement is not necessary given the current state of the pandemic—the Israeli cabinet has decided to withdraw a controversial law allowing monitoring of COVID-19 spread through invasive cellphone tracking by the Israeli Secret Service.

Source: Israel Steps Back From Law Involving Secret Service in COVID-19 Tracing

UK contracts grant Amazon, Microsoft, Google and AI firms access to COVID-19 health data

UK government has published the contracts it holds with private tech firms and the NHS for the creation of a COVID-19 data store, just days after campaigners fired legal shots over a lack of transparency.

The contracts describe how the arrangements between the NHS and Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and AI firms Faculty and Palantir (which subcontracts to AWS) will operate. The documents show the tech firms were set to build data models for commercial purposes from NHS training data before being challenged.

Source: UK govt publishes contracts granting Amazon, Microsoft, Google and AI firms access to COVID-19 health data • The Register

UK’s COVID-19 tracing app launched before DPIA completion

It has emerged that the UK’s Coronavirus Test and Trace programme failed to complete a data protection impact assessment (DPIA) prior to its launch.

Rolled out on May 28, the NHS Test and Trace Service is said to help the UK return back to normal life after the pandemic by tracking down and isolating those who have been in contact with anybody who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Source: #Privacy: UK’s COVID-19 tracing app launched before DPIA completion

Lawmakers to unveil bipartisan privacy bill to regulate contact-tracing apps

Senate lawmakers plan to unveil a bipartisan bill on Monday that would regulate contact-tracing and exposure-notification apps, seeking to ensure new digital tools meant to combat the coronavirus don’t come at the expense of users’ privacy.

The proposal, called the “Exposure Notification Privacy Act,” would erect federal guardrails around Silicon Valley’s nascent efforts to track people’s movements and alert them whenever they come in close contact with someone who has tested positive for covid-19. Democrats and Republicans led by Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) say the legislation is necessary to ensure tracking isn’t forced on those who don’t want it — and to ensure any data that’s collected isn’t put to commercial use.

Source: Lawmakers to unveil bipartisan privacy bill to regulate contact-tracing apps – The Washington Post

AI firm that worked with Vote Leave given new coronavirus contract

An artificial intelligence firm hired to work on the Vote Leave campaign may analyse social media data, utility bills and credit rating scores as part of a £400,000 contract to help the government deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

The company, Faculty, was awarded the contract by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government last month. However the full details of its work for the government are unknown because the published version of the contract was partly redacted.

Source: AI firm that worked with Vote Leave given new coronavirus contract | Technology | The Guardian

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