Daily Digest (4/16)

EPIC Asks SCOTUS to Intervene in Scraping Lawsuit; Pew: Consumers Reluctant to Use Product Sites Out of Privacy Concerns; Australian PM Says New COVID-19 App Should Track Locations to Save Lives; US Business Leaders Call for Big Increase in Coronavirus Testing; CDC Chief: US Could See COVID-19 Next Winter. Click below to read.

EPIC Asks SCOTUS to Intervene in Scraping Lawsuit

The Electronic Privacy Information Center argued in a U.S. Supreme Court filing that LinkedIn and other companies should be able to block third parties from accessing users’ personal data, MediaPost reports.

The Washington-based nonprofit asked the justices Monday to grant LinkedIn’s request that it review a lower court ruling favoring hiQ Labs, an analytics firm in San Francisco that scraped publicly available user data from LinkedIn.

Third parties are “not obligated” to protect user data — and individuals may never know their data has been collected or used, EPIC said in its brief.

Source: Media Post (external link)

Pew: Consumers Reluctant to Use Product Sites Out of Privacy Concerns

Privacy concerns are discouraging many consumers in a Pew Research Center survey from signing up for new products and services.

The poll found that 52% of U.S. adults said they recently decided not to use a product or service, from social networks to news publications, because they worried about how much personal information would be collected.

In particular, 21% of the respondents said they decided not to use specific websites out of privacy concerns, while 11% said they decided against using certain electronics.

Others said they avoided social media or products like DNA ancestry kits, financial tools or healthcare goods.

In addition, 15% told Pew that said they felt forced to share personal information to get access to a particular product or service.

Source: Pew Research (external link)

Australian PM Says New COVID-19 App Should Track Locations to Save Lives

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Wednesday that tracking citizens’ locations through cellphones might be crucial to saving lives during the coronavirus pandemic.

He cautioned, however, that his government would carefully work through privacy issues before an opt-in app is launched, Yahoo News reports.

Australia’s TraceTogether app uses Bluetooth to record people who had spent 15 minutes or more in close proximity to someone with coronavirus and then shares the information with authorities when asked to be part of a tracing investigation.

Morrison said the location information might be critical to saving lives and livelihoods.

But Digital Rights Watch chair Lizzie O’Shea said citizens should be wary of a location-tracking app with no guarantees about how data would be used.

“No public trust means people will hesitate to install the app, and not-very-subtly coercing people by saying restrictions could ease if surveillance increases is an appalling way to start,” she said, Yahoo News reports.

Source: Yahoo Australia News (external link)

US Business Leaders Call for Big Increase in Coronavirus Testing 

Business executives told President Donald Trump Wednesday that the administration needed to dramatically increase the availability of coronavirus testing before the public was confident enough to return to work or engage in other public activities.

In an hourlong conference call between the president and as many as three-dozen participants, executives said current testing levels in the U.S. were inadequate to effectively reopen the economy, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Some leaders suggested that they were trying to secure their own virus testing for employees and possible customers as well, according to sources interviewed by the Journal.

The call was the first of four Trump was to have Wednesday with business leaders as part of his presidential task force of more than 200 business and political leaders.

Source: Wall Street Journal (external link)

CDC Chief: US Could See COVID-19 Next Winter

Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), warned Wednesday that Americans should be prepared for a new wave of coronavirus infections next winter.

“I think we have to assume this is like other respiratory viruses and there will be a seasonality to it,” Redfield told “Good Morning America” on ABC.

“Until we see it, we don’t know for certain,” he added. “But I think it’s critical that we plan that this virus is likely to follow a seasonality pattern similar to flu, and we’re going to have another battle with it upfront and aggressively next winter.”

Redfield also said that at least 20 state governors believed they could begin reopening their economies by May 1.

“There are a number of states — 19, 20 states — that really have had limited impact from it,” he said. “So, I think we will see some states that are — the governors feel that they’re ready — we’re poised to assist them with that reopening.”

Source: Good Morning America (external link)

— By DPN Staff