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(Apr 24, 2015) The Wall Street Journal reports on an internal document prepared by senior officials for EU Digital Commissioner Günther Oettinger that proposes the creation of a “powerful new regulator to oversee a swath of mainly U.S.-based Internet companies.” The document is described as a “blueprint for the regulation of online networks in Europe that goes far beyond a general plan for the region’s digital sector that is due to be announced next month,” the WSJ report states. However, the plan would still ... Read More

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House Passes Second Cyber-threat Info Sharing Bill

(Apr 24, 2015) Just one day after passing the Protecting Cyber Networks Act, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed the complementary National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement Act. The Hill reports the bill will protect companies from legal liability for sharing cyber-threat information with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Together the bills aim to improve the communication flow between the private sector and the government on cyber attackers’ tactics. The report states the White House see... Read More

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Adobe Agrees To Settle Class-Action

(Apr 24, 2015) Adobe Systems Inc. has agreed to settle a consolidated proposed class-action lawsuit over a 2013 data breach that compromised payment cards and login data for millions of its customers. Law360 reports that in her order, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh also granted a request for a one-month extension, to the end of May, to finalize the details of the settlement. A JETLaw article notes that in this case, the court “seemingly lessened the standing burden for data breach victims,” adding, it may have p... Read More

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For IoT To Succeed, Engineers Must Build in Privacy

(Apr 24, 2015) In a post for EBN, Newark element14 Global Solutions Development Manager Cliff Ortmeyer discusses the future of the Internet of Things (IoT) and, for it to succeed, the need for engineers to build privacy protections into technology. He notes that “most engineers are still wrapped up in the basic infrastructure of IoT” and that, “As a result, more abstract ideas such as personal privacy can quickly fall by the wayside.” With data collection capabilities growing exponentially under the IoT regime... Read More

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Does Email Communication Site Cross the Creepy Line?

(Apr 24, 2015) Wired reports on a website called Crystal that uses an algorithm to scrape public information about a given individual to help deliver a personalized email. Using “proprietary personality detection technology,” Crystal delivers to a user the person’s preferred style of communicating, and according to the report, “It’s definitely creepy, perhaps useful, and almost certainly a look at how we’ll communicate in the future.” The site uses publicly written social media posts of an individual and analy... Read More

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In-Store Bluetooth Platform Raises $18 Million in Funding

(Apr 24, 2015) Swirl, a company that offers a marketing platform through in-store beacons for retailers and brands, announced it has raised $18 million in funding from several investors, The Washington Post reports. Swirl Chief Executive Hilmi Ozguc said, “There’s vast market potential out here. And it’s going to be a big source of new mobile advertising revenue for a lot of companies,” adding, “From Facebook and Twitter, to you name it … I think you’ll see a lot of these big guys start to make some moves and ... Read More

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Data Security Bill May Bring Increased Revenues

(Apr 24, 2015) According to a report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2015, if passed, would bring in $9 million over the next 10 years and cost $1 million to implement over the next five. FierceGovernmentIT reports that the estimate is based on the bill being enacted by the end of the fiscal year. Revenues would be a result of penalties paid by businesses that fail to comply with the bill’s data protection and breach notification requirements. Under the bill, the Federal Trade Commission would be responsible for enforcement, and so would need two more employees at $260,000. Read More

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Senators Prep for Battle Over PATRIOT Act Extensions

(Apr 24, 2015) Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AL) is building support for extending provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act that, without intervention, will expire on May 31, reports Politico. While many Democrats and the libertarian wing of the Republican party would like to see safeguards built in, Cotton, with the support of GOP leaders, is pushing for a clean extension and “serving as an emissary on the issue to GOP freshmen,” the report states. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) have introduced a bill to extend the three expiring provisions, including the controversial Section 215, for five and a half years. Cotton said he “would like to see a permanent reauthorization … so we don’t continue to have these debates,” but called the McConnell-Burr bill “appropriate.” Read More

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Will Systems Predict Which Users Will Become Online Trolls?

(Apr 24, 2015) Embedded in virtually every online forum and comment section lurk trolls: online users, often behind a veil of anonymity, who pollute conversations with uncivil discourse and petty bigotry. To limit such users, online platforms often resort to hiring individuals to sort out and filter trolls, but things could change. The Washington Post reports that researchers are working on a system to predict who will become a troll. Justin Cheng, Cristian Danescu-Niculescu-Mizil and Jure Leskovec trudged thr... Read More

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FTC Settles with Retail Tracking Firm

(Apr 23, 2015) Nomi Technologies has reached a settlement with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on charges that it misled consumers by promising it would provide an in-store mechanism to opt out of in-store tracking and that consumers would be notified in spaces that are using Nomi’s technology. The FTC alleges that in 2012, Nomi’s privacy policy stated it would provide a means for in-store notification and an opt-out mechanism, when it actually did not provide such solutions. FTC Bureau of Consumer Pro... Read More

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