Month: June 2020

In Nashville, Sharing COVID Data With Police Raises Fears Among Blacks, Immigrants

By Mary Pieper

Critics of sharing information about those who are COVID-positive with police and other first responders say it’s a privacy breach that disproportionally affects African Americans and other people of color.

“It’s a perfect storm,” Craig Klugman, professor of bioethics and health humanities at DePaul University in Chicago, told Digital Privacy News. “There’s a lot of distrust out there.”

Klugman and Nashville Metro Council member Colby Sledge in Tennessee said that even before the COVID-19 pandemic, black and immigrant communities were suspicious about how the government used their personal information.

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Q&A: Kenyan Technology Expert Malcolm Kijirah

Contact-Tracing in Africa Faces Unusual Challenges

By Maureen Nkatha

Are contact-tracing apps the answer to reducing the spread of COVID-19 infections in Kenya?

Continued concerns among citizens and digital privacy advocates have raised questions on whether Kenyans are ready to risk their privacy to curb the spread of coronavirus in the East African nation.

Among the laws in place to combat cybercrime in Kenya include last year’s Data Protection Act and the 2014 policies developed from the African Union’s Malabo Convention.

But Malcolm Kijirah told Digital Privacy News that implementing these laws remained a challenge in Kenya. A lawyer in private practice, he also is a research fellow at the Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Technology Law at Strathmore University in Nairobi.

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Wearable Devices Bring Many Privacy Issues

By Sheryl Nance-Nash

You have your Fitbit, Apple Watch or whatever wearable serves as a personal trainer of sorts. Kudos for your quest for fitness.

You have good intentions, but others see opportunity in that band on your wrist: It’s loaded with data. 

“Don’t be naïve and think that a simple fitness application isn’t harmless, or at least, doesn’t pose any risks,” Paul Howard, investigative coordinator with the Smith Investigation Agency, told Digital Privacy News. The Ontario-based company specializes in internet scams.

“We live in a greedy world,” Howard added. “People make a lot of money gathering information.”

Truth is, the line is blurred when it comes to privacy.

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A Company’s Biggest Privacy Threat? Insiders

By Patrick W. Dunne

Earlier this year, Tesla Inc. sued an alleged malicious user who “conducted quite extensive and damaging sabotage” on the company.

The lawsuit contended that the accused made several destructive changes to Tesla’s source code and exported gigabytes of data to sell to a third party. 

However, the disturbance did not come from a hacker group. It came from inside the company, based in Palo Alto, Calif.

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In Uganda, the President and a Dissident Square Off Over a Twitter Block

By Jeff Benson

Last year, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni had a thorn in his side.

A Harvard student, Hillary Innocent Taylor Seguya, had been calling him a dictator and criticizing his posts on Twitter.

So, Museveni, who’s been in power since 1986, did what any irritated private citizen would do: He blocked Seguya, effectively preventing him from seeing or commenting on his posts.

But according to Seguya, Museveni wasn’t using his platform as a private citizen — and, thus, shouldn’t be allowed to use the platform’s privacy features.

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