Nest forces users to update passwords

(Feb 19, 2019) Smart-home company Nest has begun proactively locking users out of accounts if it believes a password has been compromised, The Verge reports. The move follows reports of strangers hacking security cameras and forces users to follow the company’s recommendation of updating passwords in the wake of a breach. Until a user updates their password, the company will not send mobile notifications. Nest’s parent company, Google, said it plans to use the tactic on an ongoing basis.Full Story... Read More

Op-ed: Anonymized data sets need to consider privacy rights

(Feb 15, 2019) An op-ed for TechCrunch looks at the use of big data and its analysis by machine learning and artificial intelligence, particularly as it relates to anonymized medical data sets. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler notes there is an assumption that as long as data sets are anonymized, active consent of individuals is not needed to include their data. “To put it bluntly, anyone who releases a medical database today without obtaining individuals’ consent for the use of their health records, with the excuse ... Read More

Toronto police abandon gunshot detection system

(Feb 15, 2019) The Toronto Police Service announced it has abandoned its plan to adopt a gunshot detection system, The Globe and Mail reports. ShotSpotter incorporates a network of rooftop microphones to determine the exact location of a gunshot. Ontario’s Ministry of the Attorney General told the police department the “ShotSpotter technology could compromise Section 8 of the Charter rights, specifically unreasonable search and seizure.” Privacy advocates expressed concerns about the surveillance capabilities ... Read More

Ex-EE employee illegally accessed data of former partner

(Feb 14, 2019) A former EE employee was fired after it was discovered he accessed the personal data of an ex-partner without her consent, BBC News reports. Francesca Bonafede contacted EE after her phone stopped working. When she visited an EE shop, she found out someone requested a new SIM card and switched the account to a new device. Bonafede said the address of the person who changed the account belonged to her ex-partner. Bonafede cited EE for its failure to take the incident seriously. The man contacted ... Read More

Judge rules in favor of Tate Modern in privacy case

(Feb 14, 2019) A judge ruled in favor of London's Tate Modern art gallery in a privacy case, the Guardian reports. Tate Modern had been sued by the owners of four flats who alleged their privacy had been violated by gallery visitors who could see inside their homes from a top-floor terrace. The flat owners said they were under “near constant surveillance”; however, Justice Anthony Mann ruled the plaintiffs could have taken more measures to protect their privacy. Mann added the residents chose to purchase flats... Read More

Digital inheritance still a challenge for legal pros

(Feb 14, 2019) Reuters reports on the challenges legal professionals face with digital inheritances after an individual passes away. Aston University Senior Lecturer Edina Harbinja said the majority of countries around the world do not have rules on digital inheritance, and Protecture Senior Data Protection Lead Rowenna Fielding added the EU General Data Protection Regulation does not cover what happens to the data of a deceased individual. France, Germany and the U.S. all have rules that cover digital inherit... Read More

Bezos case could revitalize efforts for federal nonconsensual pornography law

(Feb 13, 2019) The Washington Post reports lawmakers could jump-start their efforts to pass laws on nonconsensual pornography following the incident with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and the National Enquirer. Cyber Civil Rights Initiative President Mary Anne Franks said the current patchwork of nonconsensual pornography laws varies between 42 states and Washington, D.C. Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., plans to reintroduce a bill to tackle those who distribute the graphic images. Speier's bill had been cosponsored by S... Read More

Bezos breach incident raises alarms among 'ultra-wealthy'

(Feb 11, 2019) Bloomberg reports that the personal data breach experienced by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has raised alarms among the "ultra-wealthy." Mark Johnson, CEO of risk analytics firm Sovereign Intelligence, said that the systems in place for the personal identifiable information of the most affluent people are often very weak and noted, in his experience protecting clients, "there was an absolute disconnect between that physical security and the digital protection."Full Story... Read More

Investigation finds apps employ 'session replay' technology without consent

(Feb 8, 2019) An investigation from TechCrunch found that several popular apps record users’ iPhone screens without their knowledge or consent by embedding third-party “session replay” technology into their apps. The report notes that several apps employ Glassbox, a customer experience analytics firm, to allow them to see a user’s screen, follow and track keyboard entries, and understand how that user interacted with the app. There are several other session replay services available that are often used to und... Read More

Bezos publishes alleged extortion details

(Feb 8, 2019) Replying to a potential extortion attempt, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos published the details of threats received from the National Enquirer’s parent company, American Media Inc. He writes, “If in my position I can’t stand up to this kind of extortion, how many people can?” AMI attempted to leverage personal photos to pressure Bezos into making what he called a “false public statement” related to his investigation into the company’s political ties. AMI's owner has denied the "extortion and blackmail" a... Read More