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2 in 3 US Consumers Don’t Care Whether Or Not Their Devices are Recording All the Time

While most major smart home devices and smartphones explicitly state they are not always listening, many consumers express a lack of concern. The Safety.com research team conducted a survey of 1,091 U.S. residents, asking them if they cared whether their smart home devices were always listening.

Study found that:

  • 66.7% of people responded that they don’t care whether their home devices are always listening.
  • Women are more concerned about their smart devices listening than men by a margin of over 7%.
  • Millennials and Gen Z age brackets are far less concerned about smart devices listening to them all the time than people in the Baby Boomer age bracket. Gen X is evenly spread.
  • Regionality played a small part in respondents’ beliefs. People located in more tech-dominant cities and areas are less concerned about smart devices listening than people in less tech-dominant cities and areas by approximately 6-10% depending on the location.

Source: 66.7% of U.S. Consumers Don’t Care Whether Or Not Their Smart Home Devices are Recording All the Time | Safety.com

Menstruation apps store excessive information

Menstruation apps are unnecessarily storing personal data such as what medication women are on, their birth control habits and how hard women find it to reach orgasm, privacy campaigners have said.

A study of five leading apps by Privacy International, a UK-based charity, found that companies held intimate information on users including answers to questions about when they have yeast infections and how often they have sex or see a gynaecologist.

Full article: Menstruation apps store excessive information, privacy charity says | Menstruation | The Guardian

Researchers Explore Privacy Techniques to Protect Against Re-Identification of Genomic Information

It’s the stuff of science fiction: adversaries extract DNA information from a cup of coffee or postage stamp and use it infer one’s most private traits.

However, a recently released study entitled, “Data Sanitization to Reduce Private Information Leakage from Functional Genomics” discusses how this can be achieved, along with privacy measures that the life sciences and research community can use to help limit the risks to identifiable health information.

Source: Researchers Explore Privacy Techniques to Protect Against Re-Identification of Genomic Information

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

GDPR Subverted by Cookie Consent Tools

New study suggests that many websites are navigating around GDPR by tailoring the design of their cookie consent tools and using dark patterns to provide a misleading veneer of a consent agreement.

According to the researchers, the study illustrates “the extent to which illegal practices prevail, with vendors of CMPs turning a blind eye to — or worse, incentivising — clearly illegal configurations of their systems.”

Source: GDPR Subverted by Cookie Consent Tools, Study Reveals – CPO Magazine

Privacy investments get positive ROI

Cisco’s 2020 data privacy benchmark study provide strong evidence that privacy has become an attractive investment even beyond any compliance requirements. Organizations that get privacy right improve their customer relationships, operational efficiency, and bottom-line results.

The data in this report is derived from the Cisco Annual Cybersecurity Benchmark Study, a double-blind survey of 2800 security professionals in 13 countries. Survey respondents represent all major industries and a mix of company sizes.

Source: From Privacy to Profit: Achieving Positive Returns on Privacy Investments

Consumers want personalisation and expect a cost benefit for their data

A study by Dassault Systèmes has revealed that younger consumers are leading the push for personalization that improves products and services, quality of life and personal safety, and are more willing to pay and share their data to get it.

Study confirmed that nearly all consumers already value the importance of personalization, in particular for health and personal safety, and share concerns about how data is collected and managed to achieve it.

Source: #Privacy: Consumers want personalisation and expect a cost benefit for their data

Study Finds Rampant Lapses in Securing Access to Sensitive Information

Sila Solutions Group, a North American technology and management consulting firm, in partnership with the Ponemon Institute, a leading research organization on data protection and emerging information technologies, today released the results of The 2019 Study on Privileged Access Security.

70 percent think it likely that privileged users within their organizations are accessing sensitive or confidential data for no discernible business need and more than half expect privilege user abuse to increase in next 12-24 months.

According to respondents, privileged access rights also regularly remain active even after a role change (30 percent). 62 percent of participants felt it likely that their organization assigns privileged access rights that go beyond an individual’s role or responsibilities. This proliferation of access is emphasized with more than 75 percent of respondents having privileged access to three or more IT resources.

Source: Sila and Ponemon Institute Study Finds Rampant Lapses in Securing Access to Sensitive Information

Non-disclosure of Data Breaches Negatively Affects Acquisitions and Mergers

A recent study has shown that a company’s cybersecurity program, and how it has handled any history of data breaches, has a significant impact on its monetary sales value.

The report, by (ISC)2, asked 250 US-based mergers and acquisitions experts looking at the importance of a company’s cybersecurity program, and how much of an impact its breach history has on its valuation ahead of a potential acquisition.

Their findings revealed that 49% of those experts have seen deals completely derailed after due diligence brought an undisclosed breach to light. Furthermore, 86% of respondents said that if a company publicly reported a breach of customer or other critical data in its past, it would detract from the allocated acquisition price.

Source: #SECURITY: Non-disclosure of Data Breaches Negatively Affects Acquisitions and Mergers

EU Parliament publishes study on Blockchain and GDPR

In recent times, there has been much discussion in policy circles, academia and the private sector regarding the tension between blockchains and the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (‘GDPR’).

Whereas, the GDPR is based on an underlying assumption that in relation to each personal data point there is at least one the data controller, blockchains make the allocation of responsibility and accountability burdensome.

Further, although the GDPR is based on the assumption that data can be modified or erased where necessary to comply with legal requirements, blockchains, however, render the unilateral modification of data purposefully onerous in order to ensure data integrity and to increase trust in the network.

Source: Blockchain and the General Data Protection Regulation – Think Tank

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