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(Jul 6, 2015) Following The Privacy Advisor’s coverage last week of the United Nations' (UN) announcement of its first rapporteur on the right to privacy, The Guardian has reported on the reactions. While the consultative group that analyzed applicants for the position recommended Katrin Nyman-Metcalf of Estonia for the position, UN Human Rights Council President Joachim Ruecker proposed the second-ranked candidate, Joseph Cannataci of Malta, for the position. Nyman-Metcalf told The Privacy Advisor over the w... Read More

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CISO of the Year: Data Security Equals Brand Security, Littlefair Opines

(Jul 6, 2015) CISO of the Year Bryan Littlefair of Aviva touched on the importance of data protection to a brand’s credibility at last week’s Cyber Security Awards, Out-Law reports. "If you boil the jobs down of (IT security professionals) they are ultimately tasked with protecting the brand," Littlefair said. "A customer data breach erodes your trust model and that is the worst thing that can happen," he continued, noting research suggests 60 percent of customers will consider leaving a company after a breach and 30 percent will. "You have to be able to translate security into a language that people understand,” he said. Read More

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Roundup: The EU, Asia-Pacific, U.S. and More

(Jul 6, 2015) This week’s Privacy Tracker weekly legislative roundup includes a recent report on the Email Privacy Act in the U.S., which aims to update the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. Read about recent privacy law actions in the EU, including news from Bulgaria, Austria and France, and in the Asia-Pacific region, read about the Harmful Digital Communications Act in New Zealand and about a new inquiry from a parliamentary committee in New South Wales that is considering “the long-debated need for legal measures that would let Australians sue over serious breaches of their privacy.” Plus, catch up on reports on the “all-encompassing privacy policy” and on the winning papers from this year’s Privacy Law Scholars Conference. Read More

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OPM Implements New Employee Restrictions

(Jul 6, 2015) Late last week, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) implemented new online restrictions for its employees as part of a response to hacks that have rocked the agency, Federal Times reports. As part of the effort to bolster its cybersecurity framework, employees can no longer use personal email or social media sites. According to the report, the changes came abruptly, with no prior warning from the OPM. An agency spokesperson said, “Out of caution, and in light of the recent breaches, OPM has recently tightened restrictions on Internet access using web security technology,” adding, “As we move forward with security measures … OPM will continue to monitor and make adjustments to our web security policies.” Read More

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Web Conference: Mandatory Breach Notification and More

(Jul 6, 2015) Canada’s Digital Privacy Act, or Bill S-4, makes a number of amendments to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, most of which are now in force. In this web conference, hear from Fasken Martineau DuMoulin Partner Alex Cameron, who has written on the changes to the law, and from Peggy Byrne, managing counsel and privacy for CIBC Legal Department, about the key changes and their potential impacts for all organizations handling personal information about Canadians. Topics to be covered during the July 23 web conference include mandatory breach notification, mandatory record-keeping, new consent and disclosure requirements and penalties, enforcement and reputational considerations. Read More

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Are Surveys Asking the Wrong Questions?

(Jul 6, 2015) A recent crop of surveys, including ones conducted by University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication and by branding agency frog, present findings that indicate conflicting consumer attitudes and understandings regarding their data and how companies use it for marketing purposes. The problem, The Daily Beast reports, is because “neither research team asked consumers how well they understand the ‘benefits’ promised to them in the trade-off arrangement,” adding, “Neither survey examined the axiom that data science is in the service of consumers—in reality, the primary patron of data science is the business owner.” Ultimately, the report suggests frog’s survey is “less credible.” Read More

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Time To Consider the Privacy Pitfalls

(Jul 6, 2015) After “human error” resulted in every eighth-grade family in one school receiving all eighth-graders’ report cards, The Washington Post reports on “a larger problem: the rush in every sector of society to go online without first considering the potential pitfalls.” Breaches of corporate and government websites illustrate that “privacy isn’t certain anymore, anywhere,” the report states, citing recent legislative efforts to protect students’ data from third parties but not from their own schools. “It’s past time we think about the consequences of our digital lives—and schools should be part of that conversation,” the report states. Read More

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MasterCard Experimenting with Facial Recognition

(Jul 6, 2015) CNN reports on a new project by MasterCard that is testing various biometric identifiers—including fingerprints and facial recognition—for authorizing financial transactions. Users would download the MasterCard app, look into their phone screens and blink once to authorize transactions. “The new generation, which is into selfies … I think they’ll find it cool. They’ll embrace it,” said MasterCard’s Ajay Bhalla, noting data would be securely transmitted to company servers. “From a pri... Read More

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Surveillance Company Hacked

(Jul 6, 2015) Hacking Team (HT), a controversial surveillance technology developer, was itself hacked over the weekend, PCWorld reports. The company has been criticized by digital activists in the past for allegedly supplying repressive governments with powerful surveillance technology, potentially used to spy on political dissenters, human rights activists and journalists. On Sunday, the company’s Twitter handle was hacked and included several screen shots of stolen data, including the user names and passwords of company executives. According to the report, approximately 400 gigabytes of data was stolen from the firm. The ACLU’s Christopher Soghoian said the data “dump includes an .xls spreadsheet listing every government client, when they first bought HT and revenue to date.” Read More

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Work Group Reports on Big Data’s Potential Harms

(Jul 6, 2015) Following President Barack Obama’s request that the Department of Health and Human Services look at how to best protect individual privacy while capitalizing on big data, the Health IT Policy Committee’s Privacy and Security Workgroup has come up with preliminary recommendations, HealthData Management reports. The group’s co-chair, Stanley Crosley, CIPP/US, CIPM, presented the recommendations last week. “Patients should not be surprised or harmed by collections, uses or disclosures of their information,” Crosley said. “Nowhere is this more difficult than with big data.” The work group found that while some U.S. laws prohibit discriminatory uses of big data, some uses are actually expressly permitted. Read More

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