European parliament’s NationBuilder contract under investigation by data regulator

Europe’s lead data regulator has issued its first ever sanction of an EU institution — taking enforcement action against the European parliament over its use of US-based digital campaign company, NationBuilder, to process citizens’ voter data ahead of the spring elections. NationBuilder is a veteran of the digital campaign space — indeed, we first covered […]

Privacy policies are still too horrible to read in full

A year on from Europe’s flagship update to the pan-EU data protection framework the Commission has warned that too many privacy policies are still too hard to read and has urged tech companies to declutter and clarify their T&Cs. (So full marks to Twitter for the timing of this announcement.) Announcing the results of a […]

Alexa, does the Echo Dot Kids protect children’s privacy?

A coalition of child protection and privacy groups has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) urging it to investigate a kid-focused edition of Amazon’s Echo smart speaker. The complaint against Amazon Echo Dot Kids, which has been lodged with the FTC by groups including the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, the Center […]

GDPR has cut ad trackers in Europe but helped Google, study suggests

An analysis of the impact of Europe’s new data protection framework, GDPR, on the adtech industry suggests the regulation has reduced the numbers of ad trackers that websites are hooking into EU visitors. But it also implies that Google may have slightly increased its marketshare in the region — indicating the adtech giant could be winning […]

Europe is drawing fresh battle lines around the ethics of big data

It’s been just over four months since Europe’s tough new privacy framework came into force. You might believe that little of substance has changed for big tech’s data-hungry smooth operators since then — beyond firing out a wave of privacy policy update spam, and putting up a fresh cluster of consent pop-ups that are just […]

AI spots legal problems with tech T&Cs in GDPR research project

Technology is the proverbial double-edged sword. And an experimental European research project is ensuring this axiom cuts very close to the industry’s bone indeed by applying machine learning technology to critically sift big tech’s privacy policies — to see whether AI can automatically identify violations of data protection law. The still-in-training privacy policy and contract […]

FTC confirms probe into Facebook data misuse scandal

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has confirmed it’s investigating Facebook’s privacy practices in light of the data misuse scandal currently engulfing the company. In a statement regarding reported concerns about Facebook’s privacy practices today, Tom Pahl, acting director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said: The FTC is firmly and fully committed […]

German court finds fault with Facebook’s default privacy settings

A court in Germany has ruled that Facebook’s default privacy settings and some of its terms and conditions breached local laws. The Berlin court passed judgement late last month but the verdict was only made public this week. The legal challenge, which dates back to 2015, was filed by a local consumer rights association, the […]