gdpr

New app helps you identify IoT devices around you, tells you what data they collect

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon have come up with this new IoT Assistant app (available for both iOS and Android) that will supposedly inform you about what Internet-connected smart devices are around you at any point in time, and what kind of information they might be collecting.

“Because of new laws like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), people need to be informed about what data is collected about them and they need to be given some choices over these processes,” says Professor Norman Sadeh, a CyLab faculty member in Carnegie Mellon’s Institute for Software Research and the principal investigator on the project. “We have built an infrastructure that enables owners of IoT technologies to comply with these laws, and an app that takes advantage of this infrastructure to empower people to find out about and control data collected by these technologies.”

I've downloaded the app myself, and I plan on adding my own smart home devices to their database, just to see what I can find. I don't know how well it will actually work, but I'm certainly intrigued by the idea.

New infrastructure will enhance privacy in today’s Internet of Things [Daniel Tkacik / CyLab, the Carnegie Mellon University Security and Privacy Institute] Read the rest

Google users in UK will soon lose EU data protection: Report

Post-Brexit, Google plans to move UK user accounts out of the control of European Union privacy regulators, and will place them under U.S. jurisdiction instead, where privacy protections are weaker, reports Joseph Menn at Reuters. Read the rest

Tiktok took less than a day to settle parents' lawsuit over spying on their kids

Yesterday Bytedance, the company that acquired the tween-centric app Musica.ly and relaunched it as Tiktok, was been sued by a parents' group for violating the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act by gathering, storing, and selling private information about their children. Today, they settled the case on terms that have not been disclosed. Read the rest

Save over 90% on 5TB of cloud storage with this Black Friday deal

Many of us rely on a single hard drive to store precious files. This strategy is risky, but many alternative backup solutions are pretty expensive. Polar Cloud Backup breaks the mold, providing secure storage at a price that anyone can afford. The service runs on reliable Amazon architecture and gives users total control over their data.

Available to download on PC and Mac, Polar Backup allows users to choose which files and folders to upload. All file types are supported, including videos, images, audio, documents, and more. The apps also have a scheduling feature, which ensures that the backup won’t disrupt your Netflix movie.

Polar Backup provides enough space for thousands of files, and the storage is both secure and private. The data is protected by military-grade AES-256 encryption, while the servers meet with GDPR regulations.

Along with files on your PC or Mac, Polar Backup covers any connected external drives. Even if you delete files locally, they won’t be removed from cloud storage.

Ahead of Black Friday, the Polar Backup lifetime 5TB plan is just $69.99. You will struggle to find a cloud storage provider that offers more for this price.

Don't wait for Black Friday—you can get these top-sellers at deep discounts today! Read the rest

Donotpay adds tool to automatically analyze lengthy, terrible terms of service

Do Not Pay, the "robot lawyer" that can help you do everything from beat a traffic ticket to getting access to services for poor and homeless people, has rolled out a new service: "Do Not Sign," a tool to analyze terms of service agreements. Read the rest

The Youtubers' union just wants Google to give them the rulebook

Google has blinked in the ongoing attempt to organize Youtube creators in a new organization called Fairtube, under the umbrella of the powerful German trade union IG Metall. Read the rest

Save 89% on up to 5 TB of storage with this secure cloud service

Need data storage? Join the club. It may still seem like the wild west out there, and for many companies, it's a tough choice between security and accessibility. Luckily, there's a platform that gives you a lot of both: Polar Backup Cloud Storage.

Whether you're a busy private citizen or managing valuable company data, Polar has all the bases covered. On the front end, it offers a smooth interface with plenty of sorting options and instant previews for all your files.

Behind the scenes, there's AWS technology at work to deliver consistent storage with deduplication and block uploads. 256-Bit AES encryption keeps every file safe on local, external or network drives, and you can access them from PC, Mac or laptop.

Polar Backup Cloud Storage is fully compliant with the EU's GDPR rules, and lifetime subscriptions are available now in a variety of packages: 1 TB storage for 89% off2 TB storage for 89% off, and 5 TB storage for 89% off. Read the rest

Gamers propose punishing Blizzard for its anti-Hong Kong partisanship by flooding it with GDPR requests

Being a global multinational sure is hard! Yesterday, World of Warcraft maker Blizzard faced global criticism after it disqualified a high-stakes tournament winner over his statement of solidarity with the Hong Kong protests -- Blizzard depends on mainland China for a massive share of its revenue and it can't afford to offend the Chinese state. Read the rest

Majority of period-tracking app share incredibly sensitive data with Facebook and bottom-feeding analytics companies

It has been 0 days since Facebook's last privacy scandal. Read the rest

Academic used GDPR request to reveal they'd been secretly blacklisted

In The Independent, Dora B writes about experiencing a growing and disturbing awareness that they were being shunned and excluded from their field of specialism. Dora eventually used the GDPR—Europe's recent law providing access to the data held on you by companies and institutions—to expose what was going on. Dora was not only professionally blacklisted, the emails revealed, but privately the subject of insults, scorn and abuse from peers that Dora trusted and depended upon for references and appointments.

Firstly, my eminent and influential PhD supervisor had let it be widely known that they thought I was an unpleasant person, impossible to work with, fundamentally stupid, and that I definitely shouldn’t be doing a doctorate.

They complained vigorously about having such an awful student, but never mentioned the two hour-long interviews they conducted with me before agreeing to take me on. After that, one of my PhD examiners had been asked about me off the record, and had advised against me. They repeatedly used insults and demeaning adjectives to block me from several employment positions and speaking engagements.

I approached the individuals and the institutions concerned about the content of my Subject Access Request. They all refused to discuss the matter with me, so I can only speculate as to what was going on. If my conduct had been that awful, I would have received a warning or been subject to some kind of disciplinary procedure, but I wasn’t, so where my supervisor thought I was difficult, it is equally possible that, as a mature student, I merely had clear boundaries.

Read the rest

A generalized method for re-identifying people in "anonymized" data-sets

"Anonymized data" is one of those holy grails, like "healthy ice-cream" or "selectively breakable crypto" -- if "anonymized data" is a thing, then companies can monetize their surveillance dossiers on us by selling them to all comers, without putting us at risk or putting themselves in legal jeopardy (to say nothing of the benefits to science and research of being able to do large-scale data analyses and then publish them along with the underlying data for peer review without posing a risk to the people in the data-set, AKA "release and forget"). Read the rest

Germany says nein danke to Microsoft

Microsoft has a history of attempting to give Microsoft das boot (yes, I know boots in German is stiefel, but work with me here...) Read the rest

Like Amazon, Google sends voice assistant recordings to contractors for transcription, including recordings made inadvertently

After Bloomberg revealed that Amazon secretly sent recordings from Alexa to subcontractors all over the world in order to improve its speech-recognition systems, a whistleblower leaked recordings from Google Home to investigative reporters from VRT, revealing that Google, too, was sending audio clips from its voice assistant technology to pieceworkers through the Crowdsource app. Read the rest

Snap employees used the company's internal 'SnapLion' tool to access Snapchat user data

Abuse happened at Snapchat a "few times," staff tells Motherboard

Facebook hands hundreds of contractors in India access to its users' private messages and private Instagram posts in order to help train an AI

Facebook gave "as many as" 260 contractors at Wipro, Ltd in Hyderabad, India access to users' private messages and private Instagram posts so that the contractors could label them prior to their inclusion in an AI training-data set. Read the rest

Ireland sits idly by as GDPR goes unenforced

Politico shares an investigation into why the GDPR's lead regulator Ireland has failed to bring a single enforcement action against the big tech companies it is supposed to watchdog.

Politico:

Last May, Europe imposed new data privacy guidelines that carry the hopes of hundreds of millions of people around the world — including in the United States — to rein in abuses by big tech companies.

Almost a year later, it’s apparent that the new rules have a significant loophole: The designated lead regulator — the tiny nation of Ireland — has yet to bring an enforcement action against a big tech firm.

That’s not entirely surprising. Despite its vows to beef up its threadbare regulatory apparatus, Ireland has a long history of catering to the very companies it is supposed to oversee, having wooed top Silicon Valley firms to the Emerald Isle with promises of low taxes, open access to top officials, and help securing funds to build glittering new headquarters.

Now, data-privacy experts and regulators in other countries alike are questioning Ireland’s commitment to policing imminent privacy concerns like Facebook’s reintroduction of facial recognition software and data sharing with its recently purchased subsidiary WhatsApp, and Google’s sharing of information across its burgeoning number of platforms.

(Thanks, Antoin!) Read the rest

EU’s Parliament signs off on disastrous internet law: what happens next?

In a stunning rejection of the will five million online petitioners, and over 100,000 protestors this weekend, the European Parliament has abandoned common-sense and the advice of academics, technologists, and UN human rights experts, and approved the Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive in its entirety. Read the rest

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