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 […]

America’s largest companies push for federal online privacy laws to circumvent state regulatory efforts

As California moves ahead with what would be the most restrictive online privacy laws in the nation, the chief executives of some of the nation’s largest companies are taking their case to the nation’s capitol to plead for federal regulation. Chief executives at Amazon, AT&T, Dell, Ford, IBM, Qualcomm, Walmart and other leading financial services, […]

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 […]

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 […]

WebKit’s new anti-tracking policy puts privacy on a par with security

WebKit, the open source engine that underpins Internet browsers including Apple’s Safari browser, has announced a new tracking prevention policy that takes the strictest line yet on the background and cross-site tracking practices and technologies which are used to creep on Internet users as they go about their business online. Trackers are technologies that are […]

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 […]

Facebook transcribed users’ audio messages without permission

“The future is private.” Clearly, Facebook still has a way to go. Facebook has become the latest tech giant to face scrutiny over its handling of users’ data, following a report that said the social media giant collected audio data and recordings from its users and transcribed it using third-party contractors. The report came from […]

Facebook could face billions in potential damages as court rules facial recognition lawsuit can proceed

Facebook is facing exposure to billions of dollars in potential damages as a federal appeals court on Thursday rejected Facebook’s arguments to halt a class action lawsuit claiming it illegally collected and stored the biometric data of millions of users. The class action lawsuit has been working its way through the courts since 2015, when […]

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 […]