FTC to investigate travel site's business practices

(Nov 22, 2017) USA Today reports the Federal Trade Commission will investigate the business practices of TripAdvisor after several users claimed the site deleted online comments meant to warn other users of safety concerns at various travel destinations. In one case, a woman's comments warning of cameras in a restaurant bathroom were deleted because they did not meet the website's guidelines, the report states. Acting FTC Chairman Maureen Ohlhausen said, "The Commission has a strong interest in protecting cons... Read More

Judge sets strict rules for handling video evidence to protect patient privacy

(Nov 22, 2017) Judge Brian Telander has set in place strict rules for handling video evidence in an effort to strike a balance between ensuring patient privacy is protected while allowing for a fair trial, the Chicago Tribune reports.  The case involved a former nurse at the Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital, who accessed sexual images from a patient’s phone. Eight hours of surveillance footage, which included footage of unrelated patients, was subpoenaed. To ensure patient privacy, Telander said n... Read More

How to have the 'security talk' this holiday season

(Nov 22, 2017) As friends and families come together this Thanksgiving, Aaron Robinson explains how to give loved ones the “security talk,” in an article for CNet. With the news of data breaches and the importance of protections fresh on their minds, Robinson provides a guide to establishing some cybersecurity basics with those who may be unfamiliar with the practice. Advice includes the three main tips for identifying phishing, password management, how to identify secure websites and ransomware, and more. Rob... Read More

N&L privacy commissioner expresses concerns with Prescription Monitoring Act

(Nov 22, 2017) Newfoundland and Labrador Information and Privacy Commissioner Donovan Molloy voiced his concerns regarding a new bill the Liberal government hopes to pass in 2018, CBC News reports. The Prescription Monitoring Act will monitor “questionable prescribing” by identifying any individuals who have visited numerous health care organizations in pursuit of drugs. While Molloy supports fixing the opioid issue, the commissioner has issues with the way the bill could be enforced. "I take Minister Haggie a... Read More

ICO highlights consequences of illegally accessing personal data

(Nov 16, 2017) U.K. Information Commissioner's Office Enforcement Group Manager Mike Shaw highlights the consequences individuals face when illegally accessing personal data. Shaw cites the eight National Health Service employees who have been found to have illicitly accessed patient information as examples of actions that not only violate personal privacy, but damage the reputation of the organization as well. Shaw also goes over the personal consequences of the offender, including the loss of employment and ... Read More

Privacy commissioner warns businesses to avoid public shaming of customers

(Nov 16, 2017) A complaint was made to New Zealand’s privacy commissioner after a man discovered a business posted his personal information on Facebook in an attempt to shame him after he scammed the company out of $400. The incident prompted an investigation and response from the agency. The man requested more than $50,000 in compensation for the abuse he said he endured as a direct result of the post. The business said it relied on provisions with the Privacy Act in order to post the information. While the p... Read More

Google: Two RTBF cases in CJEU could alter privacy-public interest balance

(Nov 16, 2017) In a Google blog post, SVP and General Counsel Kent Walker points to two right-to-be-forgotten cases currently pending in the Court of Justice of the EU and company concerns they could threaten the tenuous balance between citizens' privacy rights and the public's right to know. Four individuals in one case argue that "all mentions of criminality or political affiliation should automatically be purged from search results, without any consideration of public interest." The second case would determ... Read More

Online retailers use 'session replay' to track customer behavior

(Nov 16, 2017) Princeton researchers have released a study that examines online retailers' use of "session replay" software to track the ways customers interact with their websites, Wired reports. The software monitors how customers use company websites, measuring everything from the amount of time people spend on a given page, to recording what an individual puts in a text box before hitting submit, then rewatch it to observe patterns. The researchers said the amount of information collected “far exceeds user... Read More

FCC vote could allow TVs to collect viewing habits for targeted ads

(Nov 15, 2017) The Federal Communications Commission is expected to vote Thursday on rules that would allow TV stations to start using user-tracking technology on a voluntary basis, The Washington Post reports. Next Gen TV allows broadcasters to collect data about users' viewing habits and develop tailored targeted advertising, similar to current practices with internet media companies such as Google and Facebook. In a statement, the FCC said Thursday’s vote would, "approv[e] a technical standard for one-way t... Read More

Justice hard to come by in cyber-harrassment cases

(Nov 14, 2017) Wired reports on the insidious world of online harassment, focusing on the experience of a Washington state couple and how difficult it was for them to prosecute their harasser. Ultimately, the couple filed a lawsuit, seeking damages and relief related to defamation, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, electronic impersonation, and invasion of privacy, but not everyone has the means or understanding of the online world to take such an action. A 2016 poll reports that cyber ... Read More