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Tag Archives for " data "

Google gobbling Fitbit is a major privacy risk

The European Data Protection Board (EDPB) has intervened to raise concerns about Google’s plan to scoop up the health and activity data of millions of Fitbit users — at a time when the company is under intense scrutiny over how extensively it tracks people online and for antitrust concerns.

Google confirmed its plan to acquire Fitbit last November, saying it would pay $7.35 per share for the wearable maker in an all-cash deal that valued Fitbit, and therefore the activity, health, sleep and location data it can hold on its more than 28M active users, at ~$2.1 billion.

Regulators are in the process of considering whether to allow the tech giant to gobble up all this data.

Source: Google gobbling Fitbit is a major privacy risk, warns EU data protection advisor | TechCrunch

EU Police Push for Pan-European Facial Recognition Network

The proposal to link the EU’s facial recognition databases would likely connect them to the U.S. as well, in a massive consolidation of biometric data.

A report drawn up by the national police forces of 10 EU member states, led by Austria, calls for the introduction of EU legislation to introduce and interconnect such databases in every member state.

The report was produced as part of discussions on expanding the Prüm system, an EU-wide initiative connecting DNA, fingerprint, and vehicle registration databases for mutual searching.

Source: EU Police Push for Pan-European Facial Recognition Network

Facebook isn’t sharing all off-platform data with users

Facebook is now offering users a feature that lets them see what data it has collected about their activities beyond Facebook.

But Facebook “Download Your Information” feature only gives you part of the picture. Information about advertisers uploading lists with your personal information is limited in time and prevents users from exercising their rights

Source: No, Facebook’s is not telling you everything | PI

Firm Tracking Purchase, Transaction Histories of Millions Maybe Not Really Anonymizing Them

The nation’s largest financial data broker, Yodlee, holds extensive and supposedly anonymized banking and credit card transaction histories on millions of Americans.

Internal documents, however, appear to indicate that Yodlee clients could potentially de-anonymize those records by simply downloading a giant text file and poking around in it for a while. That includes a unique identifier associated with the bank or credit card holder, amounts of transactions, dates of sale, which business the transaction was processed at, and bits of metadata.

Source: Report: Firm Tracking Purchase, Transaction Histories of Millions Maybe Not Really Anonymizing Them

Big Telecom Say It Has First Amendment Right to Sell Your Private Data

ISPs say that a law requiring users to opt-in to having their location and financial data sold is a ‘burdensome restriction’ on their ‘protected speech.’

But telecom experts say the industry’s grasping at straws as it attempts to dodge accountability for a decade rife with telecom related privacy abuses.

The lawsuit is part of a much broader effort by the industry to eliminate all meaningful state and federal consumer protections. The telecom sector has fought tooth and nail against the passage of federal privacy rules of any kind.

Source: Big Telecom Say It Has First Amendment Right to Sell Your Private Data – VICE

Google tells facial recognition startup Clearview AI to stop scraping photos

Following Twitter, Google and YouTube have become the latest companies to send a cease-and-desist letter to Clearview AI, the startup behind a controversial facial recognition program that more than 600 police departments across North American use.

Google has demanded Clearview stop scraping YouTube videos for its database, as well as delete any photos it has already collected. “Clearview secretly collected image data of individuals without their consent, and in violation of rules explicitly forbidding them from doing so,” Google said.

Source: Google tells facial recognition startup Clearview AI to stop scraping photos | Engadget

Researchers Find ‘Anonymized’ Data Is Even Less Anonymous Than We Thought

Corporations love to pretend that ‘anonymization’ of the data they collect protects consumers. Studies keep showing that’s not really true.

When it was revealed that Avast is using its popular antivirus software to collect and sell user data, Avast CEO Ondrej Vlcek first downplayed the scandal, assuring the public the collected data had been “anonymized”—or stripped of any obvious identifiers like names or phone numbers.

But analysis from students at Harvard University shows that anonymization isn’t the magic bullet companies like to pretend it is. Previous studies have shown that even within independent individual anonymized datasets, identifying users isn’t all that difficult. But when data from different leaks are combined, identifying actual users isn’t all that difficult.

Source: Researchers Find ‘Anonymized’ Data Is Even Less Anonymous Than We Thought – VICE

Chicago police using controversial Clearview AI facial recognition tool that taps photos from Facebook, other sites

The Chicago Police Department is using a controversial facial recognition tool that allows investigators to search an image of unknown suspects to see if it matches a database of three billion photos lifted from websites like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter — a technology privacy advocates say is so ripe for abuse that cops should stop using it immediately.

Critics say Clearview AI’s software is an invasive overreach because it grabs the photos without the consent of those pictured or even the websites that post them. But Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said facial recognition software like Clearview adds “jet fuel” to the department’s ability to identify and locate suspects.

Source: Clearview AI facial recognition: Chicago police using controversial tool that taps photos from Facebook, other sites – Chicago Sun-Times

AFP and NSW Police used Australia’s encryption laws seven times in 2018-19

Seven Technical Assistance Requests made with no Technical Assistance Notices or Technical Capability Notices issued.

The Department of Home Affairs has revealed it used Australia’s contentious encryption laws seven times in the period between 1 July 2018 and 30 June 2019. Australian Federal Police (AFP) used the laws five times and NSW Police used the laws two times.

All seven instances were Technical Assistance Requests, which are voluntary requests for the designated communications providers to use their existing capabilities to access user communications.

Source: AFP and NSW Police used Australia’s encryption laws seven times in 2018-19 | ZDNet

Avast Is Going To Stop Selling Your Web Habits

Avast, one of the world’s biggest antivirus and security companies, announced plans to wind up its subsidiary Jumpshot after a privacy furor erupted over the last two months.

With 400 million users, the potential for privacy infringements was great. Data sold to companies like Google, Microsoft, Home Depot and many other companies included information about websites people visited, including porn sites and what specific videos they watched and more.

Source: Avast Is Going To Stop Selling Your Web Habits

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