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April 3, 2023

On the web

Italy Bans ChatGPT Over Personal Data Risk

Silicon UK

"Italy’s data regulator has blocked ChatGPT in the country and launched an investigation into the Microsoft-backed chatbot’s use of personal data. The Garante regulator said there was concern about the massive amounts of data collected by ChatGPT from its users. It said there was no legal basis to justify “the mass collection and storage of personal data for the purpose of ‘training’ the algorithms underlying the operation of the platform”. Italy is the first Western country to ban OpenAI’s ChatGPT, which is blocked in countries including China, North Korea, Iran and Russia.  The regulator noted a 20 March software bug in the chatbot that exposed portions of users’ conversations and payment information to other users for about nine hours."

February 20, 2020

On the web

Leaked Document Shows How Big Companies Buy Credit Card Data on Millions of Americans


“Yodlee, the largest financial data broker in the U.S., sells data pulled from the bank and credit card transactions of tens of millions of Americans to investment and research firms, detailing where and when people shopped and how much they spent. The company claims that the data is anonymous, but a confidential Yodlee document obtained by Motherboard indicates individual users could be unmasked. The findings come as multiple Senators have urged the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate Envestnet , which owns Yodlee, for selling Americans’ transaction information without their knowledge or consent, potentially violating the law.”

December 30, 2019

On the web

California Is Rewriting the Rules of the Internet. Businesses Are Scrambling to Keep up

Los Angeles Times

“Most businesses with a website and customers in California — which is to say most large businesses in the nation — must follow the new rules, which are supposed to make online life more transparent and less creepy for users. The only problem: Nobody’s sure how the new rules work. The California Consumer Privacy Act started from a simple premise: People should be able to know if companies sell their personal information, see what information companies have already collected on them, and have the option of quitting the whole system.”

August 15, 2019

On the web

WhatsApp Compliance Under India Review Before Payments Approval


“India is reviewing an audit report on data practices of WhatsApp Inc. to ensure compliance with local rules before permitting a nationwide debut of the Facebook Inc. -owned company’s long-delayed payments service.  “We have received the data localization compliance system audit report from WhatsApp, which shall be reviewed in the next few weeks,” a Mumbai-based representative for National Payments Corp. of India said without providing any further details.”

March 12, 2019

On the web

Companies Weigh Data-Privacy Risks Ahead of Brexit

Wall Street Journal (paywall)

“The prospect of a no-deal Brexit is creating new risks for companies that are required to comply with European data-protection rules. If the U.K. separates from the European Union on March 29 without a withdrawal agreement, data transfers from the bloc to the U.K. won’t automatically comply with the EU’s strict privacy laws.

That leaves executives with a choice: make last-minute changes to legal contracts or risk incurring steep fines.

February 7, 2019

On the web

Cisco, like Apple and other tech giants, now wants new federal privacy law

Ars Technica

“In a blog post, Cisco’s top lawyer, Mark Chandler, called the current legal framework “not adequate.” Cisco hasn’t put forward specific bill language just yet; it is speaking for now in generalities. Particularly in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, along with the recent passage of the GDPR in the European Union and California’s own new privacy law, companies have been pushingCongress to regulate their industry like never before. Some lawmakers have taken notice and have introduced their own bills, but none have gotten far in the process just yet. Other states, like Washington and Massachusetts, are proposing their own privacy bills, too.”

January 18, 2019

On the web

It’s Time for Action on Privacy, Says Apple’s CEO Tim Cook

TIME / Tim Cook

“We all deserve control over our digital lives. That’s why we must rein in the data brokers. In 2019, it’s time to stand up for the right to privacy—yours, mine, all of ours. Consumers shouldn’t have to tolerate another year of companies irresponsibly amassing huge user profiles, data breaches that seem out of control and the vanishing ability to control our own digital lives.”

December 19, 2018

On the web

Royal Bank of Canada defends access to Facebook data as needed for P2P transfer

Mobile Payments Today

“Royal Bank of Canada defended itself against claims that it was one of a number of major firms provided access to private data in the Messenger app by Facebook Inc., despite earlier assertions by the social media platform that private data was protected. The New York Times reported late Tuesday that the social media platform granted access to private user data, allowing companies like Spotify, Netflix and Royal Bank to read, write and delete private messages from Messenger users.”

December 13, 2018

On the web

Democratic senators have introduced a big new data privacy plan

The Verge

“Under the act, data collectors would be required to “reasonably secure” identifying information, to not use that information in a harmful way, and to give notice to consumers about breaches of sensitive information. The requirement extends to third parties, if the data collectors share or sell that data with another entity, and the plan would also give the FTC new authority to fine companies that act deceptively with users’ data.”

December 10, 2018

On the web

Your Apps Know Where You Were Last Night, and They’re Not Keeping It Secret

New York Times (paywall)

“At least 75 companies receive anonymous, precise location data from apps whose users enable location services to get local news and weather or other information, The Times found. Several of those businesses claim to track up to 200 million mobile devices in the United States — about half those in use last year. The database reviewed by The Times — a sample of information gathered in 2017 and held by one company — reveals people’s travels in startling detail, accurate to within a few yards and in some cases updated more than 14,000 times a day.”

October 31, 2018

On the web

It’s Time for Payment Processors Like Stripe and Paypal to Start Publishing Transparency Reports

Electronic Frontier Foundation

“Modern payment processors are making hard choices every day about how and when they’ll stand up for users. Whether they comply with or reject a government request for user data and whether they shut down an account or leave it up can have enormous ramifications for what types of speech can thrive online. These choices shouldn’t be made in a bubble, shielded from public oversight.”

October 25, 2018

On the web

October 3, 2018

On the web

Europe is drawing fresh battle lines around the ethics of big data


“This is the calm before the storm, according to the European Union’s  data protection supervisor, Giovanni Buttarelli, who says the law is being systematically flouted on a number of fronts right now — and that enforcement is coming. “I’m expecting, before the end of the year, concrete results,” he tells TechCrunch, sounding angry on every consumer’s behalf.””

August 10, 2018

On the web

May 2, 2018

On the web

April 30, 2018

On the web

Security Trade-Offs in the New EU Privacy Law

Krebs on Security

“On two occasions this past year I’ve published stories here warning about the prospect that new European privacy regulations could result in more spams and scams ending up in your inbox. This post explains in a question and answer format some of the reasoning that went into that prediction, and responds to many of the criticisms leveled against it.”

April 26, 2018

On the web

April 13, 2018

Top Post

Banks grapple with data-sharing concerns after Facebook, Equifax breaches


“As consumers’ confidence in Facebook to safeguard personal data tumbles — a poll released Wednesday found that 81 percent of respondents had “little or no confidence” that the platform would safeguard their personal data — 62 percent of U.S. customers trust banks with their data. But financial companies in North America realize that customers will soon demand more control over their information, in part because of the influence of European data privacy regulations coming into force this year.”

On the web

Chinese man caught by facial recognition at pop concert


“This is not the first time Chinese police have used facial recognition systems to catch suspects. In August last year, police in Shandong province arrested 25 suspects using a facial recognition system that was set up at the Qingdao International Beer Festival. China is a world leader in facial recognition technology and regularly reminds its citizens that such equipment will make it almost impossible to evade the authorities.”

April 10, 2018

On the web

Alipay Is Stepping Up Data Protection After PBOC Fine

Yicai Global

“The Hangzhou-based firm has begun a step-by-step improvement plan and has already rolled out some measures with approval from the regulator, it said yesterday. The central Hangzhou branch of the People’s Bank of China decided on March 22 to fine the firm CNY180,000 (USD28,568) for a data protection breach and improper promotions, but didn’t announce it until yesterday.”

April 9, 2018

On the web

Facebook urged to make GDPR its “baseline standard” globally


Facebook  is facing calls from consumer groups to make the European Union’s incoming GDPR data protection framework the “baseline standard for all Facebook services”. The update to the bloc’s data protection  framework is intended to strengthen consumers’ control over how their personal data is used by bolstering transparency and consent requirements, and beefing up penalties for data breaches and privacy violations.”

April 4, 2018

Top Post

Facebook says Cambridge Analytica may have gained 37m more users’ data

The Guardian

“The Facebook data of up to 87 million people – 37 million more than previously reported – may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica, the company has revealed. This larger figure was buried in the penultimate paragraph of a blogpost by the company’s chief technology officer, Mike Schroepfer, published on Wednesday, which also provided updates on the changes Facebook was making to better protect user information.”

On the web

March 23, 2018

Top Post

March 20, 2018

On the web



“On May 25, however, the power balance will shift towards consumers, thanks to a European privacy law that restricts how personal data is collected and handled. The rule, called General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR, focuses on ensuring that users know, understand, and consent to the data collected about them. Under GDPR, pages of fine print won’t suffice. Neither will forcing users to click yes in order to sign up.”

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