Brexit ad blitz data firm paid by Vote Leave broke privacy laws, watchdogs find

A joint investigation by watchdogs in Canada and British Columbia has found that Cambridge Analytica-linked data firm, Aggregate IQ, broke privacy laws in Facebook ad-targeting work it undertook for the official Vote Leave Brexit campaign in the UK’s 2016 EU referendum. A quick reminder: Vote Leave was the official leave campaign in the referendum on the […]

Legislators from ten parliaments put the squeeze on Facebook

The third meeting of the International Grand Committee on Disinformation and ‘Fake News’, a multi-nation body comprised of global legislators with concerns about the societal impacts of social media giants, has been taking place in Dublin this week — once again without any senior Facebook management in attendance. The committee was formed last year after […]

EU-US Privacy Shield passes third Commission ‘health check’ — but litigation looms

The third annual review of the EU-US Privacy Shield data transfer mechanism has once again been nodded through by Europe’s executive. This despite the EU parliament calling last year for the mechanism to be suspended. The European Commission also issued US counterparts with a compliance deadline last December — saying the US must appoint a […]

Mental health websites in Europe found sharing user data for ads

Research by a privacy rights advocacy group has found popular mental health websites in the EU are sharing users’ sensitive personal data with advertisers. Europeans going online to seek support with mental health issues are having sensitive health data tracked and passed to third parties, according to Privacy International’s findings — including depression websites passing […]

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 denies making contradictory claims on Cambridge Analytica and other ‘sketchy’ apps

Facebook has denied contradicting itself in evidence to the UK parliament and a US public prosecutor. Last month the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee wrote to the company to raise what it said were discrepancies in evidence Facebook has given to international parliamentarians vs evidence submitted in response to the Washington, DC […]

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 […]

The Great Hack tells us data corrupts 

This week professor David Carroll, whose dogged search for answers to how his personal data was misused plays a focal role in The Great Hack: Netflix’s documentary tackling the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal, quipped that perhaps a follow up would be more punitive for the company than the $5BN FTC fine released the same day. […]

Researchers spotlight the lie of ‘anonymous’ data

Researchers from two universities in Europe have published a method they say is able to correctly re-identify 99.98% of individuals in anonymized data sets with just 15 demographic attributes. Their model suggests complex data sets of personal information cannot be protected against re-identification by current methods of “anonymizing” data — such as releasing samples (subsets) […]

InCountry raises $15M for its cloud-based private data storage-as-a-service solution

The rise of data breaches, along with an expanding raft of regulations (now numbering 80 different regional regimes, and growing) have thrust data protection — having legal and compliant ways of handling personal user information — to the top of the list of things that an organization needs to consider when building and operating their […]