Dating and fertility apps among those snitching to ‘out of control’ ad tech, report finds

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California’s Privacy Act: What you need to know now

This week California’s attorney general, Xavier Becerra, published draft guidance for enforcing the state’s landmark privacy legislation. The draft text of the regulations under the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) will undergo a public consultation period, including a number of public hearings, with submissions open until December 6 this year. The CCPA itself will take […]

Get popcorn for iOS 13’s privacy pop-ups of creepy Facebook data grabs

Privacy-minded changes to smartphone operating systems which foreground the background activity of third party apps are helping to spotlight more of the surveillance infrastructure deployed by adtech giants to track and profile human eyeballs for profit. To wit: iOS 13, which will be generally released later this week, has already been spotted catching Facebook’s app […]

Apple still has work to do on privacy

There’s no doubt that Apple’s self-polished reputation for privacy and security has taken a bit of a battering recently. On the security front, Google researchers just disclosed a major flaw in the iPhone, finding a number of malicious websites that could hack into a victim’s device by exploiting a set of previously undisclosed software bugs. […]

Facebook succeeds in blocking German FCO’s privacy-minded order against combining user data

Facebook has succeeded in blocking a pioneering order by Germany’s Federal Cartel Office earlier this year that would have banned it from combining data on users across its own suite of social platforms — Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp — without their consent. Pioneering because the antitrust regulator had liaised with EU privacy authorities during a […]

Splunk acquires cloud monitoring service SignalFx for $1.05B

Splunk, the publicly traded data processing and analytics company, today announced that it has acquired SignalFx for a total price of about $1.05 billion. Approximately 60% of this will be in cash and 40% in Splunk common stock. The companies expect the acquisition to close in the second half of 2020. SignalFx, which emerged from […]

Facebook’s human-AI blend for audio transcription is now facing privacy scrutiny in Europe

Facebook’s lead privacy regulator in Europe is now asking the company for detailed information about the operation of a voice-to-text feature in Facebook’s Messenger app and how it complies with EU law. Yesterday Bloomberg reported that Facebook uses human contractors to transcribe app users’ audio messages — yet its privacy policy makes no clear mention […]

Most EU cookie ‘consent’ notices are meaningless or manipulative, study finds

New research into how European consumers interact with the cookie consent mechanisms which have proliferated since a major update to the bloc’s online privacy rules last year casts an unflattering light on widespread manipulation of a system that’s supposed to protect consumer rights. As Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force in May […]

UK watchdog eyeing PM Boris Johnson’s Facebook ads data grab

The online campaigning activities of the UK’s new prime minister, Boris Johnson, have already caught the eye of the country’s data protection watchdog. Responding to concerns about the scope of data processing set out in the Conservative Party’s Privacy Policy being flagged to it by a Twitter user, the Information Commissioner’s Office replied that: “This […]

Europe’s top court sharpens guidance for sites using leaky social plug-ins

Europe’s top court has made a ruling that could affect scores of websites that embed the Facebook ‘Like’ button and receive visitors from the region. The ruling by the Court of Justice of the EU states such sites are jointly responsible for the initial data processing — and must either obtain informed consent from site […]