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Democrats aren’t buying Big Tech’s latest privacy proposal

Discussions involving data privacy have heated up in Congress, and new federal legislation now seems inevitable. A leading technology policy think tank, supported by Google, Amazon, and Facebook, proposed a “grand bargain” with lawmakers, arguing that any new federal data privacy bill should preempt state privacy laws and repeal the sector-specific federal ones entirely.

All 50 states have their own laws when it comes to notifying users after a data breach, and The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation’s (ITIF) asks for a single breach standard in order to simplify compliance. It also calls to expand the Federal Trade Commission’s authority to fine companies that violate the data privacy law, something industry leaders have asked for in the past.

But the “bargain” would also means every sector- or issue-specific privacy law would be removed, and state and local lawmakers would be unable to draft stricter, more specific regulations in the future.

Full article: Democrats aren’t buying Big Tech’s latest privacy proposal – The Verge

Lawsuit against weather app sign of things to come?

Last week , the office of the Los Angeles City Attorney, Mike Feuer, filed a complaint against The Weather Channel Product and Technology, LLC (TWC) the company owned by IBM and behind the popular Weather Channel mobile application.

Feuer stated: “[W]e allege TWC elevates corporate profits over users’ privacy, misleading them into allowing their movements to be tracked, 24/7. We’re acting to stop this alleged deceit.”

Full article: Lawsuit against weather app sign of things to come?

Facebook Data Scandals Stoke Criticism That a Privacy Watchdog Too Rarely Bites

Lawmakers, consumer advocates and even former commission officials were clamoring for tough action against Facebook, arguing that it had violated an earlier F.T.C. consent decree barring it from misleading users about how their information was shared.

But the enforcement official, James A. Kohm, took a different view. In a previously undisclosed memo in March, Mr. Kohm — echoing Facebook’s own argument — cautioned that Facebook was not responsible for the consulting firm’s reported abuses.

Full article: Facebook Data Scandals Stoke Criticism That a Privacy Watchdog Too Rarely Bites – The New York Times

Court tosses lawsuit over Google Photos’ facial recognition

A Chicago judge has granted Google a motion dismissing a lawsuit accusing the company of violating Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act by gathering biometric data from photos without permission. The plaintiffs couldn’t demonstrate that they’d suffered “concrete injuries” from the facial recognition system, according to the judge.

Full article: Court tosses lawsuit over Google Photos’ facial recognition

Privacy Law Showdown Between Congress and Tech Looms in 2019

This summer, California’s state legislature passed a groundbreaking bill that would give residents unprecedented control over their data. The law is set to go into effect on January 1, 2020.

So tech giants are racing the clock to supersede California’s law with a more industry-friendly federal bill. Given the bipartisan backlash to Big Tech in 2018, it seems possible that a deal on regulation could be reached, even in a divided Congress.

Full article: Privacy Law Showdown Between Congress and Tech Looms in 2019 | WIRED

Airport Surveillance Takes Off in a New, Dangerous Direction

In 2018, we learned that expanded biometric surveillance is coming to an airport near you. This includes face recognition, iris scans, and fingerprints. And government agencies aren’t saying anything about how they will protect this highly sensitive information.

Full article: Year in Review: Airport Surveillance Takes Off in a New, Dangerous Direction | Electronic Frontier Foundation

New FPF Study Documents More Than 150 European Companies Participating in the EU-US Data Transfer Mechanism

Week ago the European Commission published its second annual review of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, finding that “the U.S. continues to ensure an adequate level of protection for personal data transferred under the Privacy Shield from the EU to participating companies in the U.S.” The decision preserves a key data transfer agreement, supporting transatlantic trade and ensuring meaningful privacy safeguards for consumers.

Full article: New FPF Study Documents More Than 150 European Companies Participating in the EU-US Data Transfer Mechanism

US told to appoint a damn Privacy Shield ombudsperson already or EU will take action

The European Commission’s second annual review of the Privacy Shield agreement made similar noises to last year’s, concluding the deal does the trick but could be better. It said the US ensures an adequate level of protection for personal data transferred under the deal, and has made some improvements, but progress is slow and there is more work to do.

The US has been told once again to appoint a permanent ombudsperson to oversee the deal governing transatlantic data flows, but this time has been given a deadline.

Full article: US told to appoint a damn Privacy Shield ombudsperson already or EU will take action • The Register

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