Study brings clarity to children's definition of 'creepy' tech

(May 21, 2019) New research from the University of Washington has offered a better sense of what children mean when they deem certain technology as "creepy," GeekWire reports. The study was based on the responses of 11 children, ranging from ages 7 to 11, who were asked to rank various tech products as "creepy," "not creepy" or "don't know." Devices that evoked thoughts of pain and/or divisiveness were most associated as creepy. The research also yielded a list of common tech properties that created fear among... Read More

How will Sidewalk Toronto deal with children's data?

(May 17, 2019) The Conversation reports on the privacy concerns with the Sidewalk Toronto smart-city project, particularly around the collection of minors’ data. As it is one of the first notable smart-city projects in development, Sidewalk Toronto may set a precedent for how children’s privacy is considered for future endeavors. While there are legal protections for children in Canada, there has been no reference to data belonging to minors in any public document related to the project, as well as how it will... Read More

Norwegian Supervisory Authority fines municipality 170K euros for GDPR violations

(May 9, 2019) The Norwegian Supervisory Authority, Datatilsynet, fined the municipality of Bergen 170,000 euros for violations of the EU General Data Protection Regulation. An investigation found the usernames and passwords of 35,000 primary school students and employees were left unprotected and openly accessible. Datatilsynet determined the municipality did not have the proper security measures in place and had violated both Articles 5(1)f and 32 of the GDPR. Users’ names, dates of birth, passwords, school ... Read More

Advocacy groups allege kids' smart speaker violates COPPA

(May 9, 2019) A group of 19 privacy and consumer advocacy organizations alleges Amazon’s Echo Dot Kids Edition’s collection of voice recordings and identifying information violates the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, The Washington Post reports. The complaint states the online portal for the device does not have an effective system to obtain parental consent, adding that Amazon holds onto the voice recordings longer than necessary. Amazon Spokeswoman Kinley Pearsall said the device is compliant with... Read More

New book debates effects of tech on teens

(May 9, 2019) At last week's Global Privacy Summit, Data & Society Founder and President danah boyd joined Marc Groman, CIPP/US, and David Reitman's Their Own Devices podcast to talk about her new book, "It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens." After interviewing more than 150 teens across 18 states, boyd concluded that technology might not have as poor of an impact on teens as many perceive, and she is concerned that teen perspectives are being overlooked on the topics of tech, online poli... Read More

The Privacy Advisor Podcast: Did this US Senate hearing on federal privacy push the ball forward?

(May 7, 2019) On May 1, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation held its third hearing on how to craft a potential federal privacy bill. Witnesses included representatives from the American Civil Liberties Union, the Future of Privacy Forum, Common Sense Media and the Irish Office of the Data Protection Commissioner. In this episode of The Privacy Advisor Podcast, host Angelique Carson, CIPP/US, welcomes back frequent guest Joseph Jerome, CIPP/US, of the Center for Democracy and Tech... Read More

App stores drop apps after warnings of COPPA, FTC Act violations

(May 7, 2019) The U.S. Federal Trade Commission announced that Apple and Google app stores removed three dating apps that appeared to be violating the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act and the Federal Trade Commission Act. Ukraine-based Wildec, which operates Meet24, FastMeet and Meet4U, was informed that the apps were accessible to users age 12 and up, which violates COPPA's age provisions. The apps were also found to violate the COPPA Rule, which requires companies to post clear privacy policies whil... Read More

DHS to pilot DNA testing at southern border

(May 2, 2019) CNN reports that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will begin DNA testing at the U.S.-Mexico border in an effort to expose individuals posing as families and target human trafficking. The pilot program, which will run in two locations for two to three days, uses Rapid DNA testing involving cheek swabs that will provide results in 90 minutes. The information collected from these tests will not be stored or shared. "Rapid DNA is really the only way that we are going to positively be able to... Read More

Apple removes some parental control apps over privacy concerns

(Apr 29, 2019) In a company blog post, Apple explains why it removed several parental control apps from its App Store. Apple said, "we did it for a simple reason: they put users' privacy and security at risk." A number of the apps in question used Mobile Device Management technology, something Apple characterizes as highly invasive technology. "MDM gives a third party control and access over a device and its most sensitive information including user location, app use, email accounts, camera permissions, and br... Read More

FTC reaches settlements with two companies for data violations

(Apr 25, 2019) The U.S. Federal Trade Commission reached settlements with two companies over alleged data violations. The FTC said in a complaint against i-Dressup.com that the company did not abide by the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, as it failed to obtain parental consent before it gathered the data of kids under the age of 13. In a separate incident, the FTC alleged ClixSense.com did not have the proper security measures in place after hackers had compromised the company’s networks. Both compan... Read More