Daily Digest (4/22)

Justices to Weigh Scaling Back Reach of Anti-Hacking Law; France Says Apple’s Bluetooth Policy Blocks Virus Tracker; VA and DOD Venture to Share Data with Health Providers; Software Firm Flips After BuzzFeed Report: Now Won’t Sell Coronavirus Data. Click below to read more.

Justices to Weigh Scaling Back Reach of Anti-Hacking Law

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear an appeal that could limit the types of violations that fall under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

The appeal stems from a prior conviction of a former Georgia police officer who used his access to a law-enforcement database for an unauthorized search, Reuters reports.

The officer, Nathan Van Buren, is arguing that his lack of a motive for the search does not violate the law, which was enacted in 1986 and bars accessing a computer without authorization.

Van Buren was convicted in 2017 on two federal charges arising from an FBI sting operation two years earlier. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison, which he has yet to serve.

He was convicted of using the police database to get information for an acquaintance who gave him $6,000 while serving as a police sergeant in the city of Cumming, Reuters reports.

Reuters, U.S. Supreme Court to consider limiting reach of computer fraud law

France Says Apple’s Bluetooth Policy Blocks Virus Tracker 

The French government asked Apple Inc. to remove its Bluetooth limitations as it creates its own COVID-19 tracking app, which is set for launching next month.

According to Bloomberg, Apple’s operating system prevents apps using its Bluetooth technology from constantly running when information is moved off-device.

French Digital Minister Cedric O said the feature has hampered progress on the government’s contact-tracing app.

Apple responded by referring to its statement in the Google partnership announced this month. The company said it would allow Bluetooth-enabled apps for contact-tracing.

Bloomberg, France Says Apple Bluetooth Policy Is Blocking Virus Tracker

VA and DOD Venture to Share Data with Health Providers

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Defense Department joined the Federal Electronic Health Record Modernization program (FEHRM), allowing the agencies to share patient records with each other and health care providers.

The agreement was reached over the weekend, Nextgov.com reports, even though many of the agencies’ projects regarding electronic health records are being delayed because of COVID-19.

The DOD and VA Health Information Exchange, officially announced Monday, is backed by FEHRM and allows medical providers at the agencies to share data with private health-care organizations, including specialists and urgent-care clinics.

NextGov, VA and DOD Now Default to Sharing Patient Data with Private-Sector Providers

Software Firm Flips After BuzzFeed Report: Now Won’t Sell Coronavirus Data

Vital Software, an Atlanta-based emergency-room software company, adjusted its privacy policy and now won’t sell information collected by its COVID-19 symptom tracker to advertisers.

The company reversed after BuzzFeed News reported officials saying their privacy policy allowed the personal data from Vital’s tracker to be sold to advertisers.

The device is being used in three Oregon counties to help tell people whether they should go to an emergency room or self-quarantine.

But officials said Vital Software’s privacy policy allowed data sales to advertisers: “We may use a type of advertising commonly known as interest-based or online behavioral advertising.”

After the story was published, Vital adjusted its policy to state that it did not use its COVID-19 symptom checker to sell information to advertisers.

“We probably moved too fast on our privacy policy, our terms of service, and we made them broad because that’s the easiest thing to do,” Vital cofounder Aaron Patzer told BuzzFeed.

Buzz Feed, A Company Running An Online Coronavirus Symptom Tracker In Oregon Says It Can Sell Your Data To Advertisers

— By DPN Staff