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Category Archives for "Technology"

Monitoring of Employees Faces under Scrutiny in Europe

European privacy regulators are scrutinizing how employers collect workers’ personal data and dishing out multimillion-dollar fines for violations.

German electronics retailer notebooksbilliger.de is the latest company to be targeted. The seller of laptops, phones and other electronics online and in bricks-and-mortar shops was fined 10.4 million euros ($12.6 million), for using video surveillance cameras to monitor employees, the data protection regulator in the German state of Lower Saxony said this month.

The case reflects European authorities’ growing interest in employers’ use of technology to monitor employees.

Source: Monitoring of Employees Faces Scrutiny in Europe

ICO resumes adtech investigation

In May 2020, UK’s information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) paused investigation into real time bidding (RTB) and the adtech industry, as they prioritised activities responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now ICO have resumed the investigation.

Work will continue with a series of audits focusing on digital market platforms and we will be issuing assessment notices to specific companies in the coming months. The investigation is vast and complex and, because of the sensitivity of the work, said ICO.

Source: Adtech investigation resumes | ICO

A Home Security Tech Hacked Into Cameras To Watch People Undressing And Having Sex

A home security technician admitted Thursday that he secretly accessed the cameras of more than 200 customers, particularly attractive women, to spy on while they undressed, slept, or had sex, federal prosecutors said.

Telesforo Aviles, a 35-year-old former employee for the security company ADT, admitted he secretly accessed the customers’ accounts more than 9,600 times over more than four years, according to a guilty plea submitted in court.

Source: A Home Security Tech Hacked Into Cameras To Watch People Undressing And Having Sex, Prosecutors Say

Portland Becomes First Jurisdiction to Ban Certain Uses of Facial Recognition by Private Businesses

The ordinance, which went into effect on January 1, 2021, is the first in the country to prohibit certain uses of these technologies by private businesses. Another ordinance banning the use and acquisition of face recognition technologies by all City of Portland bureaus and offices went into effect last September.

The ban prohibits private entities from using facial recognition technologies in places of “public accommodation” within the city of Portland. Although the ban is broad, there are notable exceptions, even for use in places of public accommodation.

Source: Portland Becomes First Jurisdiction to Ban Certain Uses of Facial Recognition by Private Businesses | Privacy & Security Law Blog | Davis Wright Tremaine

Evaluating the Privacy of Covid-19 At-Home Tests

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently authorized the first few at-home rapid Covid-19 tests, which can process results in 30 minutes or less without the need to send a specimen to a lab.

Federal law does play a role through the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). While this law provides some privacy protections for identifiable health information, there may be gaps in its applicability to at-home test kit providers.

Full article: Evaluating the Privacy of Covid-19 At-Home Tests | Brennan Center for Justice

Here’s What Google Didn’t Say in Its Promises About Our Privacy

Roughly a month after being hit with a pretty damning antitrust suit led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, Google issued its response on Sunday via a public blog post tackling some of the more “misleading” allegations.

Google’s core arguments on the privacy and power front are actually really similar in one specific way: They only ring true if you don’t actually question Google’s claims.

Full artile: Google’s Rebuttal Against Its Antitrust Probes Falls Flat

App Claims It Can Detect ‘Trustworthiness’

DeepScore, a Tokyo-based company, says its app can determine how trustworthy a person is in just one minute.

Here’s how it works: A person—seeking a business loan or coverage for health insurance, perhaps—looks into their phone camera and answers a short series of questions. Where do you live? How do you intend to use the money? Do you have a history of cancer? DeepScore analyzes the muscular twitches in their face and the changes in their voice and delivers a verdict to the lender or insurer. This person is trustworthy, this person is probably not.

Privacy and human rights advocates are alarmed by DeepScore’s premise—that the minute signals captured by facial and vocal recognition algorithms reliably correspond to something as subjective and varied as a person’s honesty.

Source: This App Claims It Can Detect ‘Trustworthiness.’ It Can’t

California WeChat Users Sue Tencent Over Fear of Chinese Censors

A group of California WeChat users sued Tencent Holdings Ltd., the Chinese owner of the messaging and payment app, for allegedly violating their right to privacy by surveilling and censoring their communications.

Citizen Power Initiatives for China, a group promoting transition to Democracy in China, and six anonymous WeChat users said comments made using WeChat that can be perceived as critical of the Chinese government have led to the users’ accounts being frozen, causing them to be cut of from friends and relatives in China as well as their business clients in the U.S.

Source: California WeChat Users Sue Tencent Over Fear of Chinese Censors – Bloomberg

Comscore To Intro Cookie-Less Targeting Solution

Comscore announced that it will launch a cookie-free audience targeting solution sometime during the first quarter.

Called Predictive Audiences, the solution uses “privacy-friendly” contextual signals to target audiences across digital, mobile and connected TV based on age and gender, TV viewership, OTT consumption, and consumer behaviors such as automotive purchase data, location data and non-Fair Credit Reporting Act financial data, according to the company.

Source: Comscore To Intro Cookie-Less Targeting Solution 01/12/2021

Job Screening Service Halts Facial Analysis of Applicants

HireVue, a leading provider of software for vetting job candidates based on an algorithmic assessment, said Tuesday it is killing off a controversial feature of its software: analyzing a person’s facial expressions in a video to discern certain characteristics.

Job seekers screened by HireVue sit in front of a webcam and answer questions. Their behavior, intonation, and speech is fed to an algorithm that assigns certain traits and qualities.

Source: Job Screening Service Halts Facial Analysis of Applicants | WIRED

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