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Category Archives for "Technology"

Rights Activists Slam EU Plan for Access to Encrypted Chats

Digital rights campaigners on Monday criticized a proposal by European Union governments that calls for communications companies to provide authorities with access to encrypted messages.

“Anyone who finds an open back door into my house can enter it, the same is true for back doors in software,” German Left party lawmaker Domscheit-Berg said. “The proposed EU regulation is an attack on the integrity of digital infrastructure and therefore very dangerous.”

Source: Rights Activists Slam EU Plan for Access to Encrypted Chats | SecurityWeek.Com

EU inches closer to ban on end-to-end encryption

The Council of the European Union appears to have a near-completed resolution that would propose a ban on the use of end-to-end encryption on off-the-shelf apps such as WhatsApp and Signal, according to a leaked document.

The memo, dated 6 November and addressed to representatives from EU member states, reveals that strong encryption remains a priority for lawmakers but that the availability of end-to-end encryption has made it overly difficult for law enforcement to conduct investigations.

Source: EU inches closer to ban on end-to-end encryption | IT PRO

Industry groups urge Europe to reject privacy proposal

Industry associations GSMA and ETNO called on European Union member states to reject a proposal for tightening rules on communication services metadata processing, warning the approach would impede innovation and development of Europe’s data economy.

The two organisations issued a joint statement after Germany proposed a change in EU’s ePrivacy Regulation to restrict the use of pseudonymised metadata in communication services.

Source: Industry groups urge Europe to reject privacy proposal – Mobile World Live

Leaks and lawsuits blight Russia facial recognition

The rise of cloud computing and AI technologies have popularised the technology globally, with supporters saying it promises greater security and efficiency.

With more than 105,000 cameras, Moscow boasts one of the world’s most comprehensive surveillance systems. It became fully operational this year and authorities say it has cut crime and helped the city enforce coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

But the backlash is growing, too, as critics say benefits come at the cost of lost privacy and increased surveillance. The rights activists say cameras have been used to monitor political rallies and a lack of clear rules allows for abuse.

Full article: Leaks and lawsuits blight Russia facial recognition

EU criticised over surveillance aid in nations where privacy at risk

European Union aid has been used to pay for surveillance equipment and training in countries with inadequate safeguards against excessive state snooping, rights groups said on Wednesday, calling for an end to the “unacceptable” practice.

From training Algerian police on social media monitoring to equipping Niger with phone-tracking tools, the EU has helped numerous nations boost their surveillance capacity in recent years, a report by London-based Privacy International (PI) said.

Source: EU criticised over surveillance aid in nations where privacy at risk | Reuters

Police Are Tapping Into Ring Cameras to Expand Surveillance Network In Mississippi

The police department in Jackson, Mississippi is partnering with two companies to stream surveillance footage from Ring cameras in a 45-day pilot program.

This may come as a surprise to those who remember that just a few months ago, Jackson was the first city in the South to ban police from using facial recognition technology. Amazon’s Ring subsidiary has made numerous successful inroads with police across the U.S., however, and police are continuing to warm up to the technology.

Source: Police Are Tapping Into Ring Cameras to Expand Surveillance Network In Mississippi

Canada crawling toward AI regulatory regime, but experts say reform is urgent

Alberta and B.C. privacy commissioners has no authority to levy fines against the any companies that violate Canadians’ personal information, an “incredible shortcoming of Canadian law that should really change,” B.C. information and privacy commissioner Michael McEvoy said in an email.

The revelation shines a light on the legal void around algorithmic technology. Despite its status as an artificial-intelligence hub, Canada has yet to develop a regulatory regime to deal with problems of privacy, discrimination and accountability to which AI systems are prone, prompting renewed calls for regulation from experts and businesses.

Source: Canada crawling toward AI regulatory regime, but experts say reform is urgent | The Star

Apple will require privacy “nutrition labels” from developers starting

Apple announced that developers will be required to provide the information for privacy “nutrition label” starting December 8th.

Like a normal nutrition label that lists ingredients and caloric content, these privacy “labels” should give you a better idea of what’s going on inside an app before you download it from the iOS App Store or Mac App Store. The labels will list what information an app collects, and present that visually on the app page, much like looking at the backs of labels in a grocery store.

Source: Apple will require privacy “nutrition labels” from developers starting December 8th – The Verge

ICO Publishes Report on Compliance in Direct Marketing Data Broking Sector

On October 27, 2020, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) published a report following its investigation into data protection compliance in the direct marketing data broking sector, alongside its enforcement action against Experian.

During the investigation, the ICO conducted audits of the direct marketing data broking businesses of the UK’s three largest credit reference agencies  – Experian, Equifax and TransUnion – and found “significant data  protection failures at each” that were “deeply embedded” within the businesses.

Source: ICO Publishes Report on Compliance in Direct Marketing Data Broking Sector

Portland, Maine Votes to Add Teeth to Ban on Facial Recognition

Voters in Portland, Maine passed a ballot initiative that strengthens the city’s ban on the use of facial recognition by law enforcement and city agencies.

The City Council previously passed an order banning face surveillance, but the initiative strengthens the ban with a private right of action and penalties for violations of the law.

A growing list of cities have banned facial recognition technology, including Boston, Oakland, San Francisco, and Portland, Oregon.

Source: EPIC – Portland, Maine Votes to Add Teeth to Ban on Facial Recognition

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