This early GDPR adtech strike puts the spotlight on consent

What does consent as a valid legal basis for processing personal data look like under Europe’s updated privacy rules? It may sound like an abstract concern but for online services that rely on things being done with user data in order to monetize free-to-access content this is a key question now the region’s General Data Protection […]

UK parliament seizes cache of internal Facebook documents to further privacy probe

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg may yet regret underestimating a UK parliamentary committee that’s been investigating the democracy-denting impact of online disinformation for the best part of this year — and whose repeat requests for facetime he’s just as repeatedly snubbed. In the latest high gear change, reported in yesterday’s Observer, the committee has used parliamentary powers […]

Facebook appeals UK data watchdog’s £500K Cambridge Analytica fine

Facebook has said it will appeal a £500,000 penalty issued by the U.K.’s data watchdog this summer following a lengthy investigation into the Cambridge Analytica data misuse scandal. Facebook told the regulator an estimated one million U.K. users were among the 87 million of its users whose private data was harvested by Dr. Aleksandr Kogan and his company […]

How a small French privacy ruling could remake adtech for good

A ruling in late October against a little-known French adtech firm that popped up on the national data watchdog’s website earlier this month is causing ripples of excitement to run through privacy watchers in Europe who believe it signals the beginning of the end for creepy online ads. The excitement is palpable. Impressively so, given […]

Now eight parliaments are demanding Zuckerberg answers for Facebook scandals

Facebook’s founder is facing pressure to accept an invite from eight international parliaments, with lawmakers wanting to question him about negative impacts his social network is having on democratic processes globally. Last week Facebook declined an invitation from five of these parliaments. The elected representatives of Facebook users want Mark Zuckerberg to answer questions in […]

Cognigo raises $8.5M for its AI-driven data protection platform

Cognigo, a startup that aims to use AI and machine learning to help enterprises protect their data and stay in compliance with regulations like GDPR, today announced that it has raised an $8.5 million Series A round. The round was led by Israel-based crowdfunding platform OurCrowd, with participation from privacy company Prosegur and State of […]

Children are being ‘datafied’ before we’ve understood the risks, report warns

A report by England’s children’s commissioner has raised concerns about how kids’ data is being collected and shared across the board, in both the private and public sectors. In the report, entitled Who knows what about me?, Anne Longfield urges society to “stop and think” about what big data means for children’s lives. Big data practices […]

Campaign tool supplied to UK’s governing party by Trump-Pence app dev quietly taken out of service — thanks to GDPR

An app that the UK’s governing party launched last year — for Conservative Party activists to gamify, ‘socialize’ and co-ordinate their campaigning activity — has been quietly pulled from app stores. Its vanishing was flagged to us earlier today, by Twitter user Sarah Parks, who noticed that, when loaded, the Campaigner app now displays a message informing users […]

Big tech must not reframe digital ethics in its image

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s visage loomed large over the European parliament this week, both literally and figuratively, as global privacy regulators gathered in Brussels to interrogate the human impacts of technologies that derive their power and persuasiveness from our data. The eponymous social network has been at the center of a privacy storm this year. And […]

Apple’s Tim Cook makes blistering attack on the ‘data industrial complex’

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has joined the chorus of voices warning that data itself is being weaponized against people and societies — arguing that the trade in digital data has exploded into a “data industrial complex”. Cook did not namecheck the adtech elephants in the room: Google, Facebook and other background data brokers that profit […]