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(Mar 30, 2015) One of the great paradoxes of the Internet is how to ensure user anonymity online while also providing the personalized services many users want. One cryptographer, however, has proposed a solution to help solve this paradox. In this post for Privacy Tech, IBM Research’s Jan Camenisch, principal research staff member and leader of the Privacy & Cryptography Research Team, discusses the inspiration behind Identity Mixer and the ways in which it can protect users’ identities while connecting them with often-necessary personalized services. Read More

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Breach Notification Legislation Gaining Traction

(Mar 30, 2015) The Hogan Lovells Privacy Team writes for Privacy Tracker about the Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2015 (DSBN), which recently passed the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade. “The DSBN is intended to create a single national security and breach notification standard for most private-sector organizations that handle personal information in electronic form,” the authors write, providing an analysis of five key provisions that are “likely to be at issue as the legislation moves forward.” Read More

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Advising Tech Start-Ups in Practice, Not Theory

(Mar 30, 2015) "How, I regularly find myself asking, can I help my client side-step a privacy issue?" writes Matthew Lawless in this exclusive for The Privacy Advisor. "Time and again I return to two answers: avoid or outsource." In this feature, Lawless discusses the practical realities of advising a tech start-up on privacy. And, he explains, the real challenge in advising start-ups is not “the intricacy of the legal issues” or even the technology itself. Instead, Lawless writes, “it is the fact that start-ups, at least seed-stage start-ups, almost always have no budget for privacy” but face “serious privacy issues.” Read More

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Roundup: Australia, The Netherlands and the U.S.

(Mar 30, 2015) After months of contentious debate, Australia has passed its data retention law. Meanwhile, the Dutch justice minister to the Parliament has told communications providers that nation’s retention law no longer applies to them. Also in this week’s Privacy Tracker roundup, read about movement on U.S. bills including the Driver Privacy Act, Arkansas’ Personal Rights Protection Act, California’s CalECPA and Maine’s drone privacy bills. Also read about a surprising move by Virginia’s governor to change a legislature-approved license-plate reader bill and New Mexico’s failure to pass a breach notification bill. (IAPP member login required.) Read More

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Slack Hacked; G-20 Leaders Info Leaked; Uber Passwords For Sale

(Mar 30, 2015) Hackers breached enterprise chat platform Slack in February and accessed a database containing users’ contact information, Quartz reports. In response, Slack said it is now implementing two-factor authentication and enhanced controls for administrators as well as other security improvements. Slack Vice President of Policy and Compliance Strategy Anne Toth said, “We have no indication that the hackers were able to decrypt stored passwords, as Slack uses a one-way encryption technique called hashi... Read More

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After Germanwings Disaster, Medical Privacy Debates Begin

(Mar 30, 2015) A new debate rages on employer access to health records and whether stringent medical privacy rules prevented an airline from knowing the mental health of a copilot who allegedly intentionally crashed a plane, Bloomberg reports. “The medical secrecy rules are centuries old and touch the core of the medical profession,” said attorney René Steinhaeuser. Time reports that Germany’s strong data protection laws prevented the airline from knowing Germanwings Copilot Andreas Lubitz’s medical history, w... Read More

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Premera Faces Class-Action Lawsuits After Breach

(Mar 30, 2015) Premera Blue Cross is now facing a slew of class-action lawsuits for allegedly failing to adequately protect the personal information of users and notify those affected by its recent breach in a timely manner, Modern Healthcare reports. Earlier this month, Premera announced a cyberattack breached the personal data of approximately 11 million customers. According to one of the lawsuits, the organization “breached its duty to protect and safeguard its customers’ personal and health information and... Read More

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FBI Director, Europol Chief Call for Legal Tools To Access Encrypted Services

(Mar 30, 2015) U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey has warned that Congress may have to get involved to help law enforcement access user data on encrypted cell phones and messaging services. “We have a huge problem,” he said. “I think ultimately it’s going to require some kind of legislative fix,” adding he is concerned that encrypted services will “create spaces that are behind the reach of the law in the United States.” Similarly, the chief of European police intelligence agency Europol... Read More

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Researchers Find Vulnerability in Hotel Routers

(Mar 30, 2015) “Guests at hundreds of hotels around the world are susceptible to serious hacks because of routers many hotel chains depend on for their WiFi networks,” Wired reports. That’s according to researchers who’ve discovered a vulnerability in systems that “would allow an attacker to distribute malware to guests, monitor and record data sent over the network and even possibly gain access to the hotel’s reservation and keycard systems,” the report states. The vulnerability was found in the firmware of several models of InnGate routers made by Singapore firm ANTlabs, whose software is used in hotels in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere. Read More

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New Dating App Allows Users To Connect Within Proximity

(Mar 30, 2015) Fast Company reports on Happn, a new dating app from a French start-up that’s operational in major cities like Paris, London, Berlin, Barcelona and New York City and has now launched in San Francisco. Happn allows users to connect digitally with people they’ve encountered in the real world within a 275-yard radius. “Think of it like Tinder meets Craigslist missed connections,” the report states. But the “close physical proximity between users could raise concerns that things could inch toward stalker territory or at least result in harassment,” the report states, because, by default, Happn users are to list their job title and place of employment. However, it is possible to turn off geolocation. Read More

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