Tag: News

Saskatchewan Law Against Domestic Violence Raises Privacy Concerns

By David Gargaro

Saskatchewan has the highest rates of domestic violence per capita of all the 10 Canadian provinces — 1,066 incidents reported to police per 100,000 people in 2018, for instance — and officials recently took steps to curb such actions.

In June, Saskatchewan was the first province to enact the Interpersonal Violence Disclosure Protocol Act, also known as Clare’s Law.

Municipal police can now disclose information about an individual’s history of violent or abusive behavior to help protect potential future victims of domestic abuse.

Continue reading “Saskatchewan Law Against Domestic Violence Raises Privacy Concerns”

What Happened? Capital One Breach

Tipster’s Email Begins Saga That Ultimately Brings $80M Fine

By Najmeh Tima

“What Happened?” is an occasional feature by Digital Privacy News that looks back on some of the tech industry’s biggest data breaches last year.

Capital One Bank last month agreed to pay an $80 million fine over a data breach last year that affected more than 100 million credit-card applications — and about 106 million people worldwide.

The Aug. 6 announcement by the U.S. Comptroller of the Currency nearly closes a grueling saga that began with a tipster’s email on July 17, 2019, that a hacker had stolen troves of customer data through an “improperly configured firewall” — eventually costing Capital One as much as $150 million.

The alleged hacker, Paige Adele Thompson, 33, of Seattle, has been charged with sharing files with online platforms that she had claimed to possess.

One file she allegedly shared was associated with Capital One.

Continue reading “What Happened? Capital One Breach”

UK Politicians Demand Privacy Regulator Enforce Law Against Government

By Robert Bateman

The U.K. government has shown “scant regard to both privacy concerns and data protection duties” — and the country’s privacy regulator has failed to protect the public’s personal information, according to a letter from 22 opposition politicians.

The Aug. 21 letter, signed by 22 members of Parliament from four political parties, was addressed to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) — the “data protection authority” responsible for enforcing privacy law in the U.K.

The office is headed by Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham.

The government has been accused of breaching privacy law on numerous occasions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including in July, when it admitted that it had not assessed the privacy risks involved in its “test and trace” program properly.

Continue reading “UK Politicians Demand Privacy Regulator Enforce Law Against Government”

Districts Implement Lessons from Spring Emergency Online Learning

By Samantha Cleaver

Last of a series.

School districts across the country spent the summer hedging bets on how the 2020-21 year would begin amid COVID-19.

Now, as students fill backpacks to return to school in-person or online, Digital Privacy News is examining how this year will impact students’ and teachers’ privacy.

“We are behind the eight-ball,” said Rick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute. “These are conversations we should have been facilitating in May and June.”

Today’s Digital Privacy News report examines what school districts have learned from the spring online learning season brought on by COVID.

When Loudoun County Public Schools in Virginia had to shift to emergency learning in the spring, Vincent Scheivert, assistant superintendent for digital innovation, found that the available applications often weren’t ready — particularly when it came to privacy.

Continue reading “Districts Implement Lessons from Spring Emergency Online Learning”

Recording, Sharing Lessons Spur Debate on How to Record Right

By Samantha Cleaver

Second of a series.

School districts across the country have spent the summer hedging bets on how the 2020-21 year would begin amid COVID-19.

Now, as students fill backpacks to return to school in-person or online, Digital Privacy News is examining how this year will impact students’ and teachers’ privacy.

“We are behind the eight-ball,” said Rick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute. “These are conversations we should have been facilitating in May and June.”

Today’s report discusses the privacy dilemmas involved in recording and sharing student lessons.

Monica Herman (name has been changed) teaches fourth grade in New Jersey. She is teaching completely online this fall.

In previous years, Herman used Screencastify to record lessons of her voice alongside a text or slide deck. Then, she posted the videos in Google Classroom to share with students.

However, thinking toward this year, Herman questioned the privacy implications of streaming live lessons from her classroom.

Continue reading “Recording, Sharing Lessons Spur Debate on How to Record Right”

Health-Data Rules Still Under Fire Months After HHS Decision

By David Tobenkin

Data stakeholders in the health care industry continue to express privacy concerns over two new U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) rules for sharing sensitive, private patient information by providers.

“We remain gravely concerned that patient privacy will still be at risk when health care information is transferred outside the protections of federal patient privacy laws,” said Matt Eyles, president and CEO of America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), after the rules were issued in March.

“Individually identifiable health care information can readily be bought and sold on the open market and combined with other personal health data by unknown and potentially bad actors.

Continue reading “Health-Data Rules Still Under Fire Months After HHS Decision”

Public PPP Loan Data Strips Anonymity From Private Firms

By Joanne Cleaver

Fuse Financial Partners received a $150,000 potentially forgivable loan through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), created by Congress as part of the federal CARES Act.

And the whole world knows about it.

David Worrell, the firm’s managing partner, used the money as Congress intended: to continuing paying his 10 employees.

Continue reading “Public PPP Loan Data Strips Anonymity From Private Firms”

UK Pays AI Firm to Trawl Voters’ Twitter Data

By Robert Bateman

The U.K. government paid the artificial intelligence firm Faculty $524,000 to trawl and analyze the Twitter activity of the nation’s voters, according to an investigation by the campaign group Big Brother Watch.

The probe, disclosed by The Guardian on Aug. 10, revealed that Faculty was contracted to provide “topic analysis of social media” and gauge public response to the government’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis.

Continue reading “UK Pays AI Firm to Trawl Voters’ Twitter Data”

Distrust From Beijing Law Extends to Free COVID Testing Program

Protesters mark up advertising signs in Hong Kong.

By Patrick McShane

Last of a series.

China imposed a sweeping “national security law” on Hong Kong in June — threatening the personal privacy of nearly 7.6 million citizens and sending shivers throughout the global business community, including over 1,500 U.S. companies.

Digital Privacy News has been examining the ramifications of Beijing’s decision. Today’s report discusses how Hong Kong residents remain wary of Beijing’s plan for free mass COVID-19 testing.

Free COVID-19 test?  No, thanks.

Mistrust in the Hong Kong government among citizens now is so strong that even the offer of a free COVID-19 test is getting precious few takers.

Continue reading “Distrust From Beijing Law Extends to Free COVID Testing Program”

GOP Using ‘Smart Badges’ at Convention, Raising Privacy Flags

By Joanne Cleaver 

Tagged so they can be bagged.

Participants in the Republican National Convention next week will wear electronic “smart badges” that document their movements to speed contact-tracing should anyone subsequently develop COVID-19.

Some elements of the scaled-down convention will be held in Charlotte, N.C., Monday through Thursday. Attendees will be assigned badges that communicate with one another to document where the badge-wearers are, and who they move close to, within the confines of the location. 

Continue reading “GOP Using ‘Smart Badges’ at Convention, Raising Privacy Flags”