Wong: 'Doxing' complaints increase 75-fold

(Jan 23, 2020) Hong Kong Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data Stephen Kai-yi Wong called a 75-fold year-on-year increase in "doxing" complaints "alarming" as he introduced measures to curb cyberbullying and data leaks in the new year, the South China Morning Post reports. Doxing complaints rose from 57 in 2018 to 4,370 by the end of 2019. As of 10 Jan., Wong referred 1,402 cases to police for further investigation and prosecution, and eight arrests have been made. The government has proposed independent inve... Read More

Google CEO vows to protect privacy with health AI

(Jan 23, 2020) Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai has promised the tech company will uphold privacy while it explores the use of artificial intelligence in the health care space, CNBC reports. After discussing his support of AI regulations earlier in the week, Pichai said Wednesday at the World Economic Forum, “When we work with hospitals, the data belongs to the hospitals.” Google's foray into health care innovation has come under fire in recent months following privacy concerns raised by "Project Nighting... Read More

Research: Data collected by period tracker apps raises concerns

(Jan 23, 2020) A recent Consumer Reports' Digital Lab examination of five period tracker apps found users can’t be sure their data won’t be shared with third parties for marketing or other purposes. Because information collected by health-focused apps is not covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, “health app makers are mostly free to do what they want with the data they collect,” the report states. Consumer Reports Senior Counsel on Privacy and Technology Policy Dena Mendelsohn sai... Read More

Advocacy group urges OCR, Minn. lawmakers to boost patient privacy

(Jan 22, 2020) HealthITSecurity reports Citizens Council for Health Freedom wants the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Civil Rights and Minnesota lawmakers to preserve patient privacy rights in the wake of big tech companies' health data deals. CCHF is asking OCR to reconsider patient consent policies under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act while urging state lawmakers to uphold the Minnesota Health Records Act's consent provisions. “What emerges from this mass col... Read More

Will NYT's facial-recognition story sway privacy debate?

(Jan 21, 2020) Over the weekend, The New York Times reported on a little-known company called Clearview AI. The startup has "devised a groundbreaking facial recognition app" that allows a user to "take a picture of a person, upload it and get to see public photos of that person, along with links to where those photos appeared." The app is now being used by more than 600 law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Homeland Security. Its system includes a databa... Read More

PCPD: 'Doxing' cases down 'a little bit'

(Jan 9, 2020) Hong Kong Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data Stephen Kai-yi Wong said new “doxing” cases have slowed down “a little bit” in recent months, the Hong Kong Free Press reports. Wong’s office has received approximately 4,700 reported doxing cases since June and requested the removal of personal data, primarily related to police officers, from 16 social media platforms. “We received fewer cases than before. But it doesn’t mean that we will stop our investigation efforts. We made great efforts in t... Read More

Study: Health tech hindered by privacy, infosecurity concerns

(Jan 9, 2020) A study conducted by consulting firm Kantar shows consumers are wary of adopting health technology because of potential privacy and security issues, HealthITSecurity reports. A poll of 1,000 Americans found only 38% of people trust health tech's ability to protect sensitive information. Additionally, 60% of respondents cited general privacy concerns when asked why they don't use fitness trackers or health tech platforms. Meanwhile, WTOC reports the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Geor... Read More

FTC, mortgage broker reach $120K settlement over data exposure

(Jan 8, 2020) The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has announced it has agreed to a $120,000 settlement with California-based Mortgage Solutions FCS, over personal-data-related violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The mortgage broker allegedly responded to negative customer reviews by revealing personal information belonging to those customers. The exposed information included credit histories, debt-to-income ratios, taxes, sources of income, family relationships and more.  FTC Bureau of Consumer Protect... Read More

Facebook unveils privacy tool update at CES

(Jan 7, 2020) Wired reports Facebook announced improvements to its Privacy Checkup tool at the Consumer Electronics Show Monday in Las Vegas. The updated tool now carries eight topics broken down into four sections related to customizing user privacy. The changes do not address Facebook's data collection and handling but are instead aimed at protecting user data from fellow Facebook users. (Registration may be required to access this story.) Full Story... Read More

CBP rolls out DNA collection for border detainees

(Jan 7, 2020) U.S. Customs and Border Protection has begun a new DNA-collection pilot program for individuals taken into custody at U.S. borders, Mashable reports. According to a Department of Homeland Security privacy impact assessment, CBP will collect fingerprints of detainees ages 14 and up to be added to a Federal Bureau of Investigation database. The PIA also indicated "there is a risk of over collection of information," particularly in the case of young children innocent of any crimes. The pilot will b... Read More