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Category Archives: EU Data Protection

15 default privacy settings you should change right now

Say no to defaults. A clickable guide to fixing the complicated privacy settings from Facebook, Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Apple. Geoffrey A. Fowler: “Give me 15 minutes, and I can help you join the 5 percent who are actually in control. I dug through the privacy settings for the five biggest consumer tech companies and picked a few of the most egregious defaults you should consider changing. These links will take you directly to what to tap, click and toggle for Facebook, Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Apple. Some of their defaults are just bonkers. Google has been saving a map of everywhere you go, if you turned on its Assistant when you set up an Android phone. Amazon makes your wish list public — and keeps recordings of all your conversations with Alexa. Facebook exposes to the public your friends list and all the pages you follow, and it lets marketers use your name in their Facebook ads. By default, Microsoft’s Cortana in Windows 10 gobbles up … pretty much your entire digital life. My inspiration for poring over the fine print was the European General Data Protection Act, or GDPR, that recently went into effect and prompted all those privacy policy emails. I asked the largest tech companies what they’d changed — other than their legalese — about default settings or the amount of data they collect on us. The shocking answer: almost nothing. (Facebook is also rolling out new privacy controls, but not actually changing your options … or even taking away many clicks.) My suggestions are small acts of resistance — there are further settings, privacy-minded apps and Web browser add-ons that could take you on a deeper dive. (I’d love to hear what else has worked well for you.) Changing the defaults I list here mean you’ll get less personalization from some services, and might see some repeated ads. But these changes can curtail some of the creepy advertising fueled by your data, and, in some cases, stop these giant companies from collecting so much data about you in the first place. And that’s a good place to start…”

Personal Data Protection and the EU GDPR

Library of Congress – Personal Data Protection and the EU GDPR May 25, 2018 by Jenny Gesley “Everyone is talking about the European Union‘s (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which takes effect today. Recent news reports about misuse of personal data suggest that rules to protect personal data are essential in today’s interconnected (online)… Continue Reading

Smart devices in your home have data that may be used by law enforcement

Your Home is Your…Snitch? When your appliances work as police informants – By Daniel Zwerdling – The Marshall Project Justice Lab column examines the science, social science and technology of criminal justice. “Police records in Bentonville, Arkansas show that James Bates called 911 on Sunday morning just before Thanksgiving 2015, and reported chilling news: he’d… Continue Reading

Germany Acts to Tame Facebook, Learning From Its Own History of Hate

The New York Times: A country taps its past as it leads the way on one of the most pressing issues facing modern democracies: how to regulate the world’s biggest social network. “Spread over five floors, hundreds of men and women sit in rows of six scanning their computer screens. All have signed nondisclosure agreements.… Continue Reading

Google loses landmark ‘right to be forgotten’ case in UK

The Guardian: “A businessman has won his legal action to remove search results about a criminal conviction in a landmark “right to be forgotten” case that could have wide-ranging repercussions. The ruling was made by Mr Justice Warby in London on Friday. The judge rejected a similar claim brought by a second businessman who was… Continue Reading

The Right to Communications Confidentiality in Europe: Protecting Trust, Privacy, and Freedom of Expression

Borgesius and Steenbruggen on The Right to Communications Confidentiality in Europe: Protecting Trust, Privacy, and Freedom of Expression “In the European Union, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) provides comprehensive rules for the processing of personal data. In addition, the EU lawmaker intends to adopt specific rules to protect confidentiality of communications, in a separate… Continue Reading

UK, Australia investigating Facebook amid Cambridge Analytica data scandal

ABC News: “Both the United Kingdom and Australia said Thursday that they have opened formal investigations into Facebook amid allegations that their citizens’ data was improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica. The Information Commissioner’s Office in the U.K. is “looking at how data was collected from a third party app on Facebook and shared with Cambridge… Continue Reading

Practical Approaches to Big Data Privacy Over Time

“The Berkman Klein Center is pleased to announce a new publication from the Privacy Tools project, authored by a multidisciplinary group of project collaborators from the Berkman Klein Center and the Program on Information Science at MIT Libraries. This article, titled “Practical approaches to big data privacy over time,” analyzes how privacy risks multiply as… Continue Reading

FB says – It’s Time to Make Our Privacy Tools Easier to Find – ya think!

Facebook News: “Last week showed how much more work we need to do to enforce our policies and help people understand how Facebook works and the choices they have over their data. We’ve heard loud and clear that privacy settings and other important tools are too hard to find and that we must do more… Continue Reading

The Economist identifies critical steps for Facebook to move forward

The Economist – Editorial – “Facebook faces a reputational meltdown: This is how it, and the wider industry, should respond.” “Facebook is not about to be banned or put out of business, but the chances of a regulatory backlash are growing. Europe is inflicting punishment by a thousand cuts, from digital taxes to antitrust cases.… Continue Reading

Implications of Cambridge Analytica scandal widen in scope as do responses – updated

Numerous follow-ups to my posting yesterday – NYT, Guardian – How Trump Consultants Exploited the Facebook Data of Millions – UK Channel Four Television has a report on the widening depth and breath of this scandal – An undercover investigation by Channel 4 News reveals how Cambridge Analytica secretly campaigns in elections across the world.… Continue Reading

NYT, Guardian – How Trump Consultants Exploited the Facebook Data of Millions

During the election cycle in 2016, my FB page was routinely slammed with hateful and biased ads. This made no sense at the time, as I was not affiliated with any groups online, I did not opine about the candidates, and I did not “like” or “share” posts, and I do not use apps. I… Continue Reading