Tag Archives: Online Privacy

CFC Applauds FCC Move To Protect Broadband Privacy

“Today’s vote is a significant advance for privacy protection. Consumers should decide whether their online activities and other personal data are shared with third-party strangers,” CFC Executive Director Richard Holober said. “It is essential that any final FCC rule prohibits broadband carriers from charging extra for privacy. Privacy is a right that should not be available only to the wealthy.” Read More ›

Broadband Industry: It’s Unfair If Facebook Can Collect Your Data, But AT&T Can’t

by Kate Cox, Consumerist

Later this week, the Federal Communications Commission will be voting on a proposal intended to protect some of your personal data from being shared by your Internet service provider, by requiring that the ISP first get your permission. … ISPs are the conduit for everything you do online, meaning they have access to a lot of potentially sensitive information about you … data about what sites you visit. When. For how long … Read More ›

Employee Surveillance: Business Efficiency Vs. Worker Privacy

by Thomas Claburn, Information Week

walking smartphone aps illustration

“Now, with the advent of almost ubiquitous network records, browser history retention, phone apps, electronic sensors, wearable fitness trackers, thermal sensors, and facial recognition systems, there truly could be limitless worker surveillance,” [a forthcoming California Law Review paper] says. … The authors argue that workplace surveillance has moved beyond a legitimate interest in productivity to shaping individual behavior. As examples of this trend, they cite productivity apps and corporate wellness programs. Read More ›

What’s Our Health Data Worth?

by Jerry Beilinson, Consumer Reports

Runner apps

Medical records shared among doctors and hospitals are covered by HIPAA, the medical privacy law, but data shared among app developers, financial firms, and others is unregulated. … Americans are worried about how health data of all kinds is shared, according to Consumer Reports’ research conducted in 2015. Nearly everyone surveyed – 91 percent – agreed that their consent should be required whenever health information is shared. And 45 percent … found it “creepy” when an ad targeting their medical conditions popped up in a web browser. Read More ›

WhatsApp Encryption Said To Stymie Wiretap Order

by Matt Apuzzo, New York Times

If the Apple dispute is akin to whether the F.B.I. can unlock your front door and search your house, the issue with WhatsApp is whether it can listen to your phone calls. … Those who support digital privacy fear that if the Justice Department succeeds in forcing Apple to help break into the iPhone in the San Bernardino case, the government’s next move will be to force companies like WhatsApp to rewrite their software to remove encryption from the accounts of certain customers. “That would be like going to nuclear war with Silicon Valley,” said Chris Soghoian, a technology analyst with [the ACLU]. Read More ›

Proposed FCC Rules Would Limit How Internet Service Providers Can Use Your Data

by Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times

walking smartphone aps illustration

“Simply by using the Internet, you have no choice but to share large amounts of personal information with your broadband provider,” FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said in an article on the Huffington Post. “You have a right to know what information is being collected about you and how that information is being used. … If you have a mobile device, your provider can track your physical location throughout the day in real time. … The bottom line is that it’s your data,” he said. “How it’s used and shared should be your choice.” Read More ›

FCC Cracks Down On Verizon Wireless For Using ‘Supercookies’

by Andrea Peterson, Washington Post

The practice came to the public’s attention in late 2014, when it received criticism from privacy advocates who called the code a “supercookie” because it was almost impossible for users to avoid. … Last January, researcher Jonathan Mayer revealed evidence that others could hijack the supercookie for their own purposes: An online advertising company called Turn was using the codes to help follow people around online, he said. Turn used the supercookie to “respawn” its traditional cookies — even if users took steps to protect their privacy by removing the cookies. Read More ›

CFC, Other Groups Urge FCC To Protect Personal Privacy From Internet, Telecom and Cable Companies

A young mixed race woman types on her laptop computer while she is being watched by a giant eye on the laptop screen.

The letter to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler rejects the looser regulatory framework advocated by broadband Internet service providers (ISPs). The ISPs’ approach relies in large part on existing Federal Trade Commission rules that have done little to restrain ISPs’ aggressive mining of their subscribers’ data for marketing purposes, the consumer and privacy groups warn. ISPs such as Verizon, Comcast and Cox can exploit the personal data they amass on Web surfers, cable and streaming television viewers and smartphone users – not just marketing to their own customers but also selling the information to third parties. Read More ›

CNIL Gives Facebook Three Months To Comply With Privacy Order

by Jedidiah Bracy, International Association of Privacy Professionals

French data protection authority CNIL sent a formal notice to the social networking giant that it was violating the nation’s privacy law and now has three months to get into compliance. Read More ›

ID Theft Puts Privacy And Financial Security Of Medical Patients, Taxpayers – Even Children – At Risk

ID thief runs out of laptop screen

There were 12.7 million adult victims of identity theft nationwide in 2014, including over 1.5 million in California, according to the California Attorney General’s Office. “My educated guess is that nearly every adult in the U.S. has been affected by at least one breach involving their Social Security number and/or sensitive personal financial information. Most people have likely been affected by more than one breach,” said Beth Givens, Executive Director of the nonprofit Privacy Rights Clearinghouse. Givens predicts health care institution breaches will continue to be big stories in 2016. Other likely targets are educational institutions and government agencies. Read More ›

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