Daily Digest (11/19)

Trump Fires Election Security Director Christopher Krebs; Canada Proposes Stricter Privacy Law;LAPD Bans Facial Recognition Technology; Judge Hopes to Set Schedule in Google’s Antitrust Lawsuit.

Click “Continue reading” below.

Trump Fires Election Security Director Christopher Krebs

President Donald Trump said late Tuesday that Christopher Krebs, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), had been fired.

The president, who made the announcement on Twitter, said Krebs’ termination was “effective immediately,” NPR reports.

His dismissal came after CISA released a statement last week calling the 2020 election “the most secure in American history,” according to the report.

“The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history,” the CISA statement said. “Right now, across the country, election officials are reviewing and double-checking the entire election process prior to finalizing the result.”

In his Twitter post, Trump said, in part: “The recent statement by Chris Krebs on the security of the 2020 election was highly inaccurate, in that there were massive improprieties and fraud.”

In response, Krebs tweeted: “Honored to serve. We did it right. Defend Today, Secure Tomorrow.”

Sources (all links external):

Canada Proposes Stricter Privacy Law

A new privacy law introduced Tuesday in Canada would update regulations that were 20 years old and would fine companies up to 5% of their global revenue if they failed to protect the personal information of citizens.

The proposed Digital Charter Implementation Act was needed as COVID-19 was increasing Canadians’ reliance on digital technology, said Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains, Reuters reports.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation, which is changing how Canadians work, access information, access services and connect with their loved ones,” Bains said.

“This transformation is making concerns about privacy, and how companies handle Canadians’ data, more important than ever.”

Under the proposal, which would need to be approved by the Canadian Parliament, citizens who believed their data had been improperly gathered or shared could demand the information be deleted by reporting it to the country’s privacy commissioner.

The commissioner also could order that a business halt the collection and use of an individual’s information.

Companies that do not comply could be fined up to 5% of their global revenue for serious offenses, Bain said.

“We’re talking about potentially billions of dollars,” he told a news conference, Reuters reports.

LAPD Bans Facial-Recognition Technology

The Los Angeles Police Department has banned the use of commercial facial-recognition systems after inquiries into its use of Clearview AI’s system.

The department, the third-largest police force in the country, issued a moratorium last Friday, BuzzFeed News reports.

LAPD banned commercial use after documents showed that more than 25 department employees had performed nearly 475 searches using Clearview AI as of this year.

“It has come to the department’s attention that a limited number of personnel have accessed commercial facial-recognition systems (such as Clearview or other services) for department business,” Deputy Police Chief John McMahon wrote in a statement to all branches of the department, BuzzFeed reports.

“Department personnel shall not use third-party commercial facial-recognition services or conduct facial-recognition searches on behalf of outside agencies,” he said.

Judge Hopes to Set Schedule in Google Antitrust Lawsuit

The federal judge overseeing the Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit against Google said Wednesday that he hoped to set an initial schedule for the case next month.

U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta said he wanted a schedule that would allow both sides to begin the “discovery” process, which is the gathering and exchanging of documents, The Wall Street Journal reports.

In addition, John Schmidtlein, a Google lawyer, pressed for a faster release of the documents used by Justice officials to write the complaint against the company.

“We need to get access to that material,” Schmidtlein said in a telephone conference call. “We need to know more about the contours of that material.”

In addition, Mehta asked Justice Department counsel to give Google a list of companies that provided information to the government, how much data each provided and copies of document requests, Reuters reported. 

Mehta also noted that the federal agency had more than 100 potential witnesses. The companies who provided information to the government will tell the court Friday how they want their information treated, according to Reuters.

— By DPN Staff