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Category Archives: EU Data Protection

The Economist – What if people were paid for their data?

Advocates of “data as labour” think users should be paid for using online services [paywall – you may read this free if you have not visited the site this month]: “DATA SLAVERY.” Jennifer Lyn Morone, an American artist, thinks this is the state in which most people now live. To get free online services, she laments, they hand over intimate information to technology firms. “Personal data are much more valuable than you think,” she says. To highlight this sorry state of affairs, Ms Morone has resorted to what she calls “extreme capitalism”: she registered herself as a company in Delaware in an effort to exploit her personal data for financial gain. She created dossiers containing different subsets of data, which she displayed in a London gallery in 2016 and offered for sale, starting at £100 ($135). The entire collection, including her health data and social-security number, can be had for £7,000. Only a few buyers have taken her up on this offer and she finds “the whole thing really absurd”. Yet if the job of the artist is to anticipate the Zeitgeist, Ms Morone was dead on: this year the world has discovered that something is rotten in the data economy. Since it emerged in March that Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy, had acquired data on 87m Facebook users in underhand ways, voices calling for a rethink of the handling of online personal data have only grown louder. Even Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, recently called for a price to be put on personal data, asking researchers to come up with solutions…”

15 default privacy settings you should change right now

Say no to defaults. A clickable guide to fixing the complicated privacy settings from Facebook, Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Apple. Geoffrey A. Fowler: “Give me 15 minutes, and I can help you join the 5 percent who are actually in control. I dug through the privacy settings for the five biggest consumer tech companies and… Continue Reading

Personal Data Protection and the EU GDPR

Library of Congress – Personal Data Protection and the EU GDPR May 25, 2018 by Jenny Gesley “Everyone is talking about the European Union‘s (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which takes effect today. Recent news reports about misuse of personal data suggest that rules to protect personal data are essential in today’s interconnected (online)… Continue Reading

Smart devices in your home have data that may be used by law enforcement

Your Home is Your…Snitch? When your appliances work as police informants – By Daniel Zwerdling – The Marshall Project Justice Lab column examines the science, social science and technology of criminal justice. “Police records in Bentonville, Arkansas show that James Bates called 911 on Sunday morning just before Thanksgiving 2015, and reported chilling news: he’d… Continue Reading

Germany Acts to Tame Facebook, Learning From Its Own History of Hate

The New York Times: A country taps its past as it leads the way on one of the most pressing issues facing modern democracies: how to regulate the world’s biggest social network. “Spread over five floors, hundreds of men and women sit in rows of six scanning their computer screens. All have signed nondisclosure agreements.… Continue Reading

Google loses landmark ‘right to be forgotten’ case in UK

The Guardian: “A businessman has won his legal action to remove search results about a criminal conviction in a landmark “right to be forgotten” case that could have wide-ranging repercussions. The ruling was made by Mr Justice Warby in London on Friday. The judge rejected a similar claim brought by a second businessman who was… Continue Reading

The Right to Communications Confidentiality in Europe: Protecting Trust, Privacy, and Freedom of Expression

Borgesius and Steenbruggen on The Right to Communications Confidentiality in Europe: Protecting Trust, Privacy, and Freedom of Expression “In the European Union, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) provides comprehensive rules for the processing of personal data. In addition, the EU lawmaker intends to adopt specific rules to protect confidentiality of communications, in a separate… Continue Reading

UK, Australia investigating Facebook amid Cambridge Analytica data scandal

ABC News: “Both the United Kingdom and Australia said Thursday that they have opened formal investigations into Facebook amid allegations that their citizens’ data was improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica. The Information Commissioner’s Office in the U.K. is “looking at how data was collected from a third party app on Facebook and shared with Cambridge… Continue Reading

Practical Approaches to Big Data Privacy Over Time

“The Berkman Klein Center is pleased to announce a new publication from the Privacy Tools project, authored by a multidisciplinary group of project collaborators from the Berkman Klein Center and the Program on Information Science at MIT Libraries. This article, titled “Practical approaches to big data privacy over time,” analyzes how privacy risks multiply as… Continue Reading

FB says – It’s Time to Make Our Privacy Tools Easier to Find – ya think!

Facebook News: “Last week showed how much more work we need to do to enforce our policies and help people understand how Facebook works and the choices they have over their data. We’ve heard loud and clear that privacy settings and other important tools are too hard to find and that we must do more… Continue Reading

The Economist identifies critical steps for Facebook to move forward

The Economist – Editorial – “Facebook faces a reputational meltdown: This is how it, and the wider industry, should respond.” “Facebook is not about to be banned or put out of business, but the chances of a regulatory backlash are growing. Europe is inflicting punishment by a thousand cuts, from digital taxes to antitrust cases.… Continue Reading

Implications of Cambridge Analytica scandal widen in scope as do responses – updated

Numerous follow-ups to my posting yesterday – NYT, Guardian – How Trump Consultants Exploited the Facebook Data of Millions – UK Channel Four Television has a report on the widening depth and breath of this scandal – An undercover investigation by Channel 4 News reveals how Cambridge Analytica secretly campaigns in elections across the world.… Continue Reading