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EU reached deal on improved law enforcement access to financial information to curb crime

New rules improving law enforcement authorities’ access to financial information to investigate serious crime were informally agreed with Council negotiators.

The agreed text now needs to be formally approved by the Civil Liberties Committee, Parliament as a whole and the Council before entering into force.

Source: Deal on improved law enforcement access to financial information to curb crime | News | European Parliament

California governor wants users to profit from online data

California Gov. Gavin Newsom says the state’s consumers should get a piece of the billions of dollars that technology companies make off the personal data they collect.

The new governor has asked aides to develop a proposal for a “data dividend” for California residents but provided no hints about whether he might be suggesting a tax on tech companies, an individual refund to their customers or something else.

Source: California governor wants users to profit from online data | The Sacramento Bee

New UN deal with data mining firm Palantir raises protection concerns

CIA-linked software firm Palantir will help the UN’s World Food Programme analyse its data in a new partnership. The UN’s food relief agency says it can become more efficient and save costs by tying up with the controversial US defense contractor. Though the deal draw immediate flak from privacy and data protection activists.

Source: IRIN | New UN deal with data mining firm Palantir raises protection concerns

Companies’ Right to Privacy

On January 3, 2019, the federal trial court in Manhattan issued a preliminary injunction, temporarily halting a new local law aimed at required disclosures by home-sharing platforms, such as Airbnb and HomeAway, to the city.

The court granted the preliminary injunction on the basis that the city’s broad requirement that the services turn over detailed customer information on a monthly basis likely violated the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution—infringing the privacy rights of the companies , rather than the users.

Source: Companies’ Right to Privacy

Google has quietly dropped ban on personally identifiable web tracking

When Google bought the advertising network DoubleClick in 2007, Google founder Sergey Brin said that privacy would be the company’s “number one priority when we contemplate new kinds of advertising products.”

But this summer, Google quietly erased that last privacy line in the sand – literally crossing out the lines in its privacy policy that promised to keep the two pots of data separate by default. In its place, Google substituted new language that says browsing habits “may be” combined with what the company learns from the use Gmail and other tools.

Source: Google has quietly dropped ban on personally identifiable web tracking

Austrian DPA takes “result-oriented perspective” in data erasure decision

The Austrian data protection authority (‘DSB’) published, on 30 January 2019, its decision, dated 5 December 2018, on the right to data erasure, further to an individual’s complaint.

In particular, the DSB highlighted that the complainant had alleged that an unnamed insurance company had infringed his right to data erasure by only deleting data stored for marketing purposes and anonymising the remainder.

Full article: Austria: DSB takes “result-oriented perspective” in data erasure decision

Oracle faces tough decisions regarding its data practices

Oracle has spent five years and billions of dollars getting really good at following people around the internet. However, its data business started to look a lot riskier.

Facing tough questions about its practices over the past year, Oracle’s advertising software division, known as Data Cloud, has implemented previously unreported dismissals.

Full article: Oracle Didn’t See the Data Reckoning Coming – Bloomberg

German Regulator Says Facebook Can’t Use Data From Instagram and WhatsApp

Facebook “was able to build a unique database for each individual user and thus to gain market power,” says Andreas Mundt of Germany’s Federal Cartel Office.

Germany’s antitrust agency is hitting Facebook with “far-reaching restrictions” on the social media network’s practice of merging its users’ data that was gleaned from WhatsApp, Instagram and millions of third-party websites and apps. The decision can be appealed; if it stands, it would force Facebook to add more ways for its users to protect their privacy.

Source: German Regulator Says Facebook Can’t Use Data From Instagram, WhatsApp : NPR

Many popular iPhone apps secretly record your screen without asking

Many major companies, like Air Canada, Hollister and Expedia, are recording every tap and swipe you make on their iPhone apps.

In most cases you won’t even realize it. And they don’t need to ask for permission. You can assume that most apps are collecting data on you. Some even monetize your data without your knowledge.

Source: Many popular iPhone apps secretly record your screen without asking | TechCrunch

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