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Tag Archives for " UK "

Government puts Facebook under pressure to stop end-to-end encryption over child abuse risks

Home secretary Priti Patel uses a conference organised by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) to warn that end-to-end encryption will severely erode the ability of tech companies to police illegal content, including child abuse and terrorism.

The Home Office estimates that 12 million reports of potential child abuse could be lost if Facebook introduces end-to-end encryption on Facebook Messenger and Instagram, significantly increasing the risk of child exploitation or other serious harm.

End-to-end encryption is widely used by internet messaging services such as Signal, Telegram, email services including Protonmail and mailbox.org, and Facebook’s own WhatsApp messaging service, to protect the privacy of personal data and messages.

Source: Government puts Facebook under pressure to stop end-to-end encryption over child abuse risks

EDPB Gives the Green Light to the Commission’s Draft UK Adequacy Decisions

On 13 April 2021, the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) adopted two Opinions on the draft UK adequacy decisions: (i) Opinion 14/2021 for transfers of personal data under the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR); and (ii) Opinion 15/2021 for transfers of personal data under the Law Enforcement Directive (LED).

Whilst the Opinions have not yet been published, the EDPB has confirmed in a press release that it has identified “many aspects [of the UK data protection framework] to be essentially equivalent ” to the EU data protection framework.

Source: EDPB Gives the Green Light to the Commission’s Draft UK Adequacy Decisions

UK may force Facebook services to allow backdoor police access

UK Ministers are considering forcing Facebook to implement a backdoor to allow security agencies and police to read the contents of messages sent across its Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram chat services.

“End-to-end encryption poses an unacceptable risk to user safety and society. It would prevent any access to messaging content and severely erode tech companies’ ability to tackle the most serious illegal content on their own platforms, including child abuse and terrorism,” they said.

Source: UK may force Facebook services to allow backdoor police access | Technology | The Guardian

Legal challenge seeks to stop ministers sending disappearing messages

Ministers could be stopped from using self-destructing messages to conduct government business, following a legal challenge supported by an alliance of transparency campaigners and university archivists.

WhatsApp recently introduced the option for users to make messages permanently disappear for both the sender and the recipient after seven days. Its privacy-focussed rival, Signal, used by many Conservative MPs, has had a similar function for some time.

There are growing concerns that politicians and special advisers could be using such features to avoid accountability. Lawyers are now gearing up to bring a judicial review against the use of automatically disappearing messages, on the basis that using such functions makes it impossible to carry out the required legal checks about whether a message should be archived for posterity.

Source: Legal challenge seeks to stop ministers sending disappearing messages | Law | The Guardian

Uber under pressure over facial recognition checks for drivers

Uber’s use of facial recognition technology for a driver identity system is being challenged in the U.K., where the App Drivers & Couriers Union (ADCU) and Worker Info Exchange (WIE) have called for Microsoft to suspend the ride-hailing giant’s use of B2B facial recognition after finding multiple cases where drivers were mis-identified and went on to have their licence to operate revoked by Transport for London (TfL).

The union said it has identified seven cases of “failed facial recognition and other identity checks” leading to drivers losing their jobs and licence revocation action by TfL.

Labor activists are piling pressure on Uber from the other direction too — pointing out that no regulatory standard has been set around the workplace surveillance technology that the ADCU says TfL encouraged Uber to implement.

Source: Uber under pressure over facial recognition checks for drivers | TechCrunch

Commission ‘not naive’ about UK’s data ambitions, Reynders assures MEPs

The European Commission is ‘not naive’ to the UK’s future ambitions in the data space and will be ‘prepared’ to suspend transfers of personal data to the country should the UK in the future diverge from EU standards, Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders has said.

In February, the Commission issued draft adequacy approval on transfers of personal data between the EU and the UK, following the latter’s decision to withdraw from the European Union. However, EU lawmakers in Brussels doubt that the UK’s future data protection landscape will be fully aligned with EU data protection standards.

Source: Commission ‘not naive’ about UK’s data ambitions, Reynders assures MEPs – EURACTIV.com

UK Government and ICO Agree on Procedure for Future Adequacy Decisions

On March 19, 2021, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport signed a Memorandum of Understandingwith the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) with respect to new UK adequacy assessments following the UK’s departure from the European Union.

The Memorandum of Understanding sets out how DCMS and third countries will negotiate adequacy decisions, referred to under the MoU as “adequacy regulations”. These permit the free transfer of personal data collected in the UK to the relevant “adequate” jurisdiction.

Source: UK Government and ICO Agree on Procedure for Future Adequacy Decisions

UK to introduce new laws and a code of practice for police wanting to rifle through mobile phone messages

A new UK law will explicitly authorise the “voluntary” slurping of data from mobile phones of crime suspects and witnesses.

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which was introduced to Parliament this week, contains clauses that will allow police and others to extract data from mobile phones if the user “voluntarily” hands the device over.cA legally binding code of practice will also be introduced.

It appears that the proposed law is an effort to address campaigners by introducing some easy-to-meet procedural requirements.

Source: UK to introduce new laws and a code of practice for police wanting to rifle through mobile phone messages • The Register

Internet providers tracking sites we visit in secretive trial

Two internet providers are tracking and collecting the websites visited by their customers as part of a secretive Home Office trial, designed to work out if a national bulk surveillance system would be useful for national security and law enforcement.

Details about the data collection experiment are limited, emerging via an obscure regulatory disclosure and a report in Wired, prompting campaigners to warn of a lack of transparency over data being “hoovered up into a surveillance net”.

Under the two trials, the Home Office is working with the National Crime Agency to harvest “internet connection records (ICRs)” – information about which websites a customer visited, when they did so and how much data they downloaded.

Source: Internet providers tracking sites we visit in secretive trial | Surveillance | The Guardian

UK minister signals divergence: ‘EU doesn’t hold the monopoly on data protection’

Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport gave the strongest hint yet that the UK government will take advantage of Brexit to develop a distinct data protection regime. Dowden also said the next Information Commissioner will be asked to ensure people can use data to achieve economic and social goals.

Dowden said: “We do not need to copy and paste the EU’s rule book, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), word-for-word.” “Countries as diverse as Israel and Uruguay have successfully secured adequacy with Brussels despite having their own data regimes. Not all of those were identical to GDPR, but equal doesn’t have to mean the same.”

Source: UK minister signals divergence: ‘EU doesn’t hold the monopoly on data protection’ | News | GRC World Forums

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