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Tag Archives for " coronavirus "

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

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

Australia will install home surveillance hardware to ensure virus isolation

The State of Western Australia has given itself the power to install surveillance devices in homes, or compel people to wear them, to ensure that those required to isolate during the coronavirus crisis don’t interact with the community.

Not all people will be required to use the devices. State Premier Mark McGowan said they’ll only be used if: “Someone who is directed to self-isolate and fails to comply.”

Source: Australian state will install home surveillance hardware to make sure if you’re in virus isolation, you stay there • The Register

Body temperature cameras fuse security with virus screening technology

Cybersecurity and visuals tech company, Platinum CCTV, has unveiled a new thermoptic cybersecurity camera designed to help screen individuals before they enter a facility, to guard against cyber threats and the spread of infectious diseases.

The PT-BF5421-T Thermal/Visible Hybrid IP Security Camera is the next generation in business cybersecurity, providing accurate body temperature readings of plus/minus 0.3 degrees Celsius, while alerting staff to institute facility protocols when needed. Each thermal image is clearly seen and read up to three meters away, with both visible and audible signals sent whenever a high body temperature is detected.

Source: #Privacy: Body temperature cameras fuse security with virus screening technology – PrivSec Report

Zoom is under privacy scrutiny from the NY Attorney General

The NY attorney general’s office sent a letter to Zoom asking what security measures the company has put in place to handle its huge surge in usage.

It’s also become popular as a tool for socializing. That’s forced the company to address data privacy and security concerns that weren’t as in-focus before, when it was primarily used in the workplace.

“Zoom takes its users’ privacy, security, and trust extremely seriously. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are working around-the-clock to ensure that hospitals, universities, schools, and other businesses across the world can stay connected and operational. We appreciate the New York Attorney General’s engagement on these issues and are happy to provide her with the requested information,” the company said in a statement.

Source: Zoom is under privacy scrutiny from the NY Attorney General – Business Insider

Attack on Home Routers Sends Users to Spoofed Sites That Push Malware

Researchers are warning that a hack of Linksys and D-Link routers is redirecting users to malicious sites posing as COVID-19 informational resources.

The hacks redirect users to malicious sites that install malware or attempt to phish passwords.

Source: Attack on Home Routers Sends Users to Spoofed Sites That Push Malware | News | Communications of the ACM

Amendments to the German Infection Protection Act interfere with privacy

On 23 March 2020 the Federal Cabinet adopted the Amendments to the Infection Protection Act, as proposed by the Federal Ministry of Health (BMG) which include measures that aim to slow down the infection rate of COVID-19 (‘Coronavirus’) and have an impact on the right to privacy.

The Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (‘BfDI’), Ulrich Kelber, criticised some of the Amendments as potentially excessive and not proven to be effective. In particular, the BfDI highlights that the Amendments contain extensive record obligations for the transport sector, and also lack the obligation to delete personal data recorded during the health crisis afterwards.

Source: Germany: Amendments to the Infection Protection Act interfere with “right to privacy quite significantly” | DataGuidance

UK to pass Emergency bill: what’s in it?

The new bill giving ministers unprecedented powers is set to become law after clearing the House of Lords.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock told MPs the emergency legislation will allow “extraordinary measures” never seen in peace time in the UK. Mr Hancock has stressed that the powers in the bill would only be used “when strictly necessary” and would remain in force only for as long as required to respond to the crisis.

Read full article: Coronavirus: What’s in the emergency legislation? – BBC News

Coronavirus Could Infect Privacy And Civil Liberties Forever

Not only are governments adopting new economic and public health measures to fight the coronavirus and its impact, but they’re harnessing big data in ways that, while potentially saving lives, will also reduce our privacy and civil liberties.

It’s a testbed for new, much more large-scale forms of surveillance. Already, governments in Italy, Germany, Austria, China, South Korea and Taiwan have begun analysing smartphone data so as to determine to what extent populations are really locking themselves down at home. Surveillance measures now being imposed on national populations risk permanently altering how much privacy and freedom we have as individuals.

Full article: Coronavirus Could Infect Privacy And Civil Liberties Forever

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