Data privacy necessary for economic growth in China

(Mar 22, 2019) A recent analysis based on research from economics consulting firm AlphaBeta examined the current and potential contribution of digital trade to the Chinese economy, finding that without focusing on data privacy and intellectual property protection, China could miss out on a $5.5 trillion growth opportunity over the next 10 years, CNBC reports. “That estimate relies on free cross-border data flows for those opportunities,” AlphaBeta Engagement Manager Konstantin Matthies explained. “If you put i... Read More

Book examines privacy and the value of personal data in the digital age

(Mar 22, 2019) In an interview with New Hampshire Public Radio, University of New Hampshire Assistant Professor of Communication Nora Draper discusses her new book, "The Identity Trade: Selling Privacy and Reputation Online," in which she traces how privacy has changed over time and the value of personal data. Examining the relationship between online visibility and privacy, Draper looks at the politics of identity and self-presentation in the digital age.Full Story... Read More

Facebook employees found to have access to millions of plain-text user passwords

(Mar 22, 2019) KrebsOnSecurity reports Facebook employees built applications to log unencrypted user password data. The information was stored in plain text on internal company servers and contained information from as far back as 2012. A senior Facebook employee said more than 20,000 staff members had access to the passwords of 200 to 600 million users. “We have fixed these issues and as a precaution we will be notifying everyone whose passwords we have found were stored in this way,” Facebook Vice President ... Read More

Saskatchewan privacy commissioner advises ministry to manage backup tapes

(Mar 22, 2019) The Office of the Saskatchewan Information and Privacy Commissioner has advised the Ministry of Central Services to create a plan to manage the thousands of backup tapes government agencies have used to copy information, Saskatoon StarPhoenix reports. The privacy commissioner’s report centers on the “critical data” Central Services placed on the backup tapes, as well as an assessment of how the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act applies to the information. Saskatchewan Informat... Read More

Alberta launches portal for citizens to check health info

(Mar 22, 2019) Citizens in Alberta can sign up to check their health records and lab results online, CTV News reports. MyHealth Records allows users to see medications available at community pharmacies, results from 59 different lab tests, and data from health devices, with more features to be added in the future. Alberta Health conducted a privacy impact assessment on MyHealth Records and sent the results to the province’s Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner.Full Story... Read More

Dutch minister seeks easier method to share criminal information

(Mar 21, 2019) Dutch Minister of Justice and Security Ferdinand Grapperhaus wants to make it easier to share information about criminals, even with strict privacy laws in place, reports. Grapperhaus is expected to receive advice from the Council of State on the best ways to share suspects’ information and comply with privacy rules. The minister plans to present a proposal on the topic sometime this spring. “So much can still be gained with the exchange of information. It just can not infringe on pri... Read More

Google to promote choice of browser, search engine for Android users

(Mar 21, 2019) After a fine from EU competition authorities earlier this week, Google plans to allow European Android users to select an alternative web browser and search engine for their phones, Telecompaper reports. Google was previously pairing its search app and Chrome browser with the Android system, which was considered an abuse of the company's dominant position in the search market. Other browsers and search engines were already available to Android users, but Google said its new policy "demonstrate[s... Read More

How 'PIMs' may be part of a new era for individual privacy

(Mar 21, 2019) Advances in technology, such as the increase in data mining, the spread of smartphones and tablets, and improvements in internet connectivity, have created a data-rich world where the economic and social value of personal data has increased immensely. The increase in the value of data has spawned a new form of value creation dubbed "informational capitalism," or sometimes derisively, "surveillance capitalism." Enter "personal information management systems." These tools form part of an emerging ... Read More

FTC plans review of tech companies' data practices

(Mar 21, 2019) U.S. Federal Trade Commission Chairman Joe Simons told senators the agency will launch a review of companies’ data practices, Politico reports. In written responses to lawmakers, Simons said the agency plans to focus on large tech companies; however, Simons did not list any organizations by name. The FTC would have the authority to order companies to turn over information about their business practices for such a study. Simons spoke at an Association of National Advertisers conference, where he ... Read More

EU authorities fine Google $1.7B for online ad antitrust violations

(Mar 20, 2019) European authorities fined Google $1.7 billion for antitrust violations, The New York Times reports. Google required any website to feature ads from the tech company’s advertising services over those from its competitors as a condition for using its search bar. Google said it stopped the practice as of 2016. “Google has cemented its dominance in online search adverts and shielded itself from competitive pressure by imposing anti-competitive contractual restrictions on third-party websites. This ... Read More