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(Sep 3, 2015) After businesses asked for the ability to utilize their collections of data, the House of Councilors passed an amendment to its privacy law permitting them to do so—but with more robust penalties for abuse, The Japan Times reports. “The amendment to Japan’s privacy protection law allows businesses to use personal data without the consent of relevant individuals as long as the data are processed to remove names and other details that can help identify someone,” the report states, noting “the amendment also includes penalties for private data leaks for profit and requires the government to set up a watchdog for the protection of private information that will be empowered to undertake searches.” Read More

Asia-Pacific Dashboard Digest

Hypponen: Breach Notification Should Happen Everywhere

(Sep 3, 2015) Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at Finnish security software maker F-Secure, told reporters that countries ensuring that affected individuals are being notified of a data breach are “doing the right thing.” Hypponen offered these comments at the opening of the Data Privacy Asia conference in Singapore. Straits Times reports that while Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Act came into force last year, it does not require businesses to notify customers of a breach. Meanwhile, Financial Rev... Read More

Asia-Pacific Dashboard Digest

PCPD Finds Benchmark for Prosecution Is High

(Sep 3, 2015) Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (PCPD) Stephen Wong said of the 40 cases involving the misuse of data in marketing referred to police in the last two years, “only three have made it to court,” The Standard reports. Wong said the “benchmark for prosecution of such cases is high,” the report states. According to a study by the PCPD’s office and the University of Hong Kong, only 30 percent of complaints can be investigated; while Hong Kong residents are keenly aware of privacy rights, they aren’t as aware of the limitations of privacy law, the report states. Wong said his office receives about 18,000 inquiries a year, and last year received 1,700 complaints. Read More

Asia-Pacific Dashboard Digest

Concerns About “Unforeseen Impacts” of Metadata Persist

(Sep 3, 2015) If the government can’t illustrate through “evidentiary leads” that metadata serves to uproot criminals and terrorists, its use will have unforeseen negative impacts, Quentin Dempster writes in an op-ed for The Sydney Morning Herald. “The terror alert for Australia has been declared to be high. But what has started as a good faith motivation to apply metadata retention for ‘public protection’ may degenerate into invasive abuse of power by agencies pressured by events into a—perhaps understandable—paranoid mindset,” Dempster writes. There’s also no legal precedent for metadata use, he notes, adding, “A person's digital footprint exposes almost everything about that person.” Read More

Asia-Pacific Dashboard Digest

The Constitutionality of Privacy

(Sep 3, 2015) The Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court of India will soon pronounce whether the right to privacy is fundamental, and while India’s constitution doesn’t explicitly guarantee its citizens a right to privacy, the court has noted that “many of the fundamental rights of citizens can be described as contributing to the right to privacy.” Sudhanshu Ranjan writes for The Asian Age, “In many subsequent cases, the right to dignity was held as a non-negotiable right. It is evident that the right to dignity is hollow without the right to privacy.” Though the court is still in this process, the government intends to introduce the DNA Profiling Bill soon, which includes “no safeguard against the misuse of data proposed to be collected under the bill,” Ranjan writes. Read More

Asia-Pacific Dashboard Digest

HKBN Faces Suit for Contacting User After Opt-Out

(Sep 3, 2015) The Hong Kong Broadband Network (HKBN) finds itself in legal hot water after it allegedly called a user for marketing purposes after the customer had already submitted an opt-out request, a move which violates the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance, The Standard reports. While HKBN has pleaded not guilty, arguing that the call was of the “after-sales service” variety “and not a direct marketing effort,” the prosecution is thus far not impressed. "It's not a must to notify (the plaintiff) with phone calls," said Magistrate Debbie Ng Chung-yee. "Letters would suffice." The case is expected to be decided 9 September. Read More

Asia-Pacific Dashboard Digest

JFC Wants National Privacy Commission

(Sep 3, 2015) The Joint Foreign Chamber (JFC) exhorted the government to create a National Privacy Commission that could both implement and enforce the Data Privacy Law, the Visayan Daily Star reports. “The laudable potential impact of the law on the country … has been nullified because the government has not created the National Privacy Commission, which would draft and issue the vital Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) needed for the law's implementation,” the JFC said. The JFC is noted the IRR is required “to provide the clear guidelines on dealing with data breaches, establishing data breach policies and response protocols and crafting safety standards, among others.” The commission would serve to “monitor the implementation of the Data Privacy Law,” the report states. Read More

Asia-Pacific Dashboard Digest

Will Guidelines Help Wearables Gain Consumer Trust?

(Sep 3, 2015) Wearables are in demand: Some estimates exceed more than $100 billion in annual sales by 2018. Fitness trackers and other wearable devices help chronicle daily steps, monitor sleep and track other useful data—providing obvious benefits for users looking to improve their health and productivity. Privacy and security experts worry, however, that this immense amount of extremely personal data could end up in the wrong hands. In this exclusive for The Privacy Advisor, Anura Fernando looks at what can be done. Read More

Asia-Pacific Dashboard Digest, Canada Dashboard Digest, Daily Dashboard, Europe Data Protection Digest

GPEN Finds Apps Collecting Kids’ Info

(Sep 3, 2015) After examining almost 1,500 apps and websites aimed at children, the Global Privacy Enforcement Network found 67 percent harvest personal information with only 31 percent employing controls, Tech Crunch reports. Adam Scott of the UK Information Commissioner’s Office said, “The attitude shown by a number of these websites and apps suggested little regard for how anyone’s personal information should be handled, let alone that of children.” Though Canadian Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien note... Read More

Asia-Pacific Dashboard Digest, Canada Dashboard Digest, Daily Dashboard, Europe Data Protection Digest

Senior Leadership and the Post-Hack Blame-Game

(Sep 3, 2015) In the wake of the Ashley Madison hack, corporate leadership must continue to grow wise to the gravity of data incidents and the reality that when breaches occur, the blame usually falls on them, V3 reports. “What was a PR nightmare for the company also turned into a PR nightmare for the CEO,” the report states, noting Ashley Madison’s former CEO “now finds his name on a growing list of people previously in high-profile positions ousted as a direct result of a hack.” The report includes a look at the fallout from a 2011 case, suggesting the “trend is that people in high-level positions in every sector are being held directly accountable for cyber breaches.” Read More

Asia-Pacific Dashboard Digest, Canada Dashboard Digest, Daily Dashboard, Europe Data Protection Digest