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Category Archives for "Surveillance"

A key part of surveillance reform is now in jeopardy.

Seven years after the Snowden revelations, there’s a real chance for changes that will bolster oversight and provide some much-needed accountability.

The Senate version of the USA FREEDOM Reauthorization Act expands the role of amici curiae who can help protect the rights of those under surveillance.

Source: A key part of surveillance reform is now in jeopardy.

Latvia to be one of first to use Apple and Google software for coronavirus contact-tracing apps

Latvia will be one of the first countries to use the software tool developed by US tech companies Apple and Google enabling nations to release coronavirus contact-tracing apps, representatives of the companies informed LETA.

The software tool will enable the development of mobile apps using a decentralized approach, which involves saving and analyzing the data of close-distance contacts in the user’s mobile devise. Apple and Google have granted access to their new software to 22 countries, including Latvia where a group of IT companies are working on the app Apturi COVID (Stop COVID). Latvia will thus become one of the first countries to use the new tool for combating the spread of the new coronavirus.

Source: Latvia to be one of first to use Apple and Google software for coronavirus contact-tracing apps :: The Baltic Course | Baltic States news & analytics

Internet giants are fighting to protect your private browsing history

Earlier this month, the Senate passed the USA FREEDOM Reauthorization Act to reinstate the expired powers of the PATRIOT Act. Absent from the new bill is a crucial amendment that would require law enforcement to obtain a warrant before accessing private browsing data recorded by internet service providers. As it stands, the bill grants agencies like the FBI complete access to the internet history of all Americans.

Subsequently, several tech companies including Mozilla, Reddit, Twitter, and Patreon have co-signed a letter asking the House of Representatives to tidy up this mess. The House still needs to pass the bill for it to become law, and they can force the inclusion of the amendment. They vote this week.

Source: Internet giants are fighting to protect your private browsing history – TechSpot

Israel restricts COVID-19 phone tracking to ‘special cases’

Israel’s cabinet has limited COVID-19 phone tracking to ‘special cases’ where normal methods might not be enough.

Officials initially wanted to track the location of virtually every infected person with the technology, which was originally intended to fight terrorism. It theoretically helped Israel determine if people were isolating properly, and would help determine who might have been exposed. Privacy advocates quickly objected, though, and the Israeli parliament put a stop to it after determining that the drawbacks outweighed the benefits.

Source: Israel restricts COVID-19 phone tracking to ‘special cases’ | Engadget

French Court Bans the Use of Drone Surveillance to Enforce Covid-19 Lockdown

The Conseil d’État, France’s highest administrative court, issued a decision banning French authorities from using drone surveillance to track individuals violating social distancing rules.

The Court cited privacy issues with drone surveillance and stated that drone surveillance by police would be banned until technology is added to prevent the filming and identification of individuals or approval was given by France’s privacy regulator, the Commission nationale de l’informatique et des libertés (CNIL).

Source: French Court Bans the Use of Drone Surveillance to Enforce Covid-19 Lockdown

German Mass Surveillance Abroad is Ruled Unconstitutional

In a landmark decision, the German Constitutional Court has ruled that mass surveillance of telecommunications outside of Germany conducted on foreign nationals is unconstitutional.

In its press release about the decision, the court found that the privacy rights of the German constitution also protects foreigners in other countries and that the German intelligence agency, Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), had no authority to conduct telecommunications surveillance on them.

The court also decided that as currently structured, there was no way for the BND to restrict the type of data collected and who it was being collected from. Unrestricted mass surveillance posed a particular threat to the rights and safety of lawyers, journalists and their sources and clients.

Source: Victory! German Mass Surveillance Abroad is Ruled Unconstitutional

Big privacy and data security concerns as India forces coronavirus tracing app on millions

Privacy and legal experts raise red flags as many are forced to download an app one politician calls a “sophisticated surveillance system.”

India’s government is trying to address privacy concerns raised by hackers, activists and political opposition parties over its coronavirus contact tracing app called Aarogya Setu.

But while the government insists the app is an important tool in its fight against coronavirus, it has raised concerns over personal privacy and other issues.

Full article: Big privacy and data security concerns as India forces coronavirus tracing app on millions – CBS News

No need to mourn the death of the third-party cookie

Amid the whirlwinds of the industry’s response, it’s become abundantly clear that the demise of the cookie is probably a good thing for everyone involved – audience members, publishers and even marketers.

The cookie’s demise has been written on the wall for some time. Many trends have been gradually diminishing the efficacy of the cookie. And, people generally dislike the feeling of someone tracking their every online move. Why not replace that tension with a better model? It’s time to turn to newer, better tools.

Full article: No need to mourn the death of the third-party cookie

NHS contact-tracing app must not be released to public without privacy protections, MPs say

The NHS contact-tracing app must not be released in its current form without increased privacy and data protections, a parliamentary committee has said.

The Joint Committee on Human Rights said it had “significant concerns” that must be addressed before it is rolled out to the general public nationwide.

The app, which is currently being trialled on the Isle of Wight, records users’ movements and can be used to alert people if they have had contact with someone who has developed coronavirus symptoms.

Source: Coronavirus: NHS contact-tracing app must not be released to public without privacy protections, MPs say | The Independent

UK racing to improve contact-tracing app’s privacy safeguards

NHS officials are racing to introduce greater privacy safeguards for the contact-tracing app at the centre of the government’s lockdown exit strategy amid mounting concern from security experts, MPs and users.

It plans to complete the appointment of an ethics board to improve oversight and publish the software source code in the next month, and has not ruled out “a sunset clause”, agreeing to delete all data collected once the country returns to normal.

Source: UK racing to improve contact-tracing app’s privacy safeguards | Technology | The Guardian

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