Updates

Privacy and data protection

2016

A discussion of fundamental rights and consumer protection, and how to protect citizens' personal data is presented by EurActiv.com, as it comments that EU and US divisions over data protection threaten agreement. The article describes areas of disagreement in approach and priorities, as well as how this affects the future of the negotiation of Safe Harbour 2, a current priority of European authorities.

During 2015, Venezuela installed approximately 20,000 fingerprint scanners to control purchases of basic necessities at supermarkets, in an effort , according to the government, to reduce food hoarding and panic buying, a move many see as both an introduction of rationing, and, according to Techdirt's Fingerprints For Food: Venezuela Shows How Not To Use Biometrics a misuse of biometric techonologies. Digital Rights LAC's Marianne Díaz notes similar concerns, 'In Venezuela, where in order to buy food supplies you must  slide both thumbs through a fingerprint scanner and give a big spectrum of personal information, is an issue of survival.'

Data Protection Report explains different ramifications of the US Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015 (CISA), signed into law by US President Barack Obama on 18 December 2015, as part of the 2016 omnibus spending bill. The article, Federal Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act signed into law, explains main points in the areas of information sharing, sharing of cybersecurity best practices, immunity, sharing of cyber threat information, and privacy protections and how CISA addresses privacy and rights concerns. 

2015

Microsoft has announced that if would notify its users if it believes that their Microsoft Accounts (including Outlook.com email and OneDrive) have been targeted or compromised by an individual or group working on behalf of a national state. The company says that it is taking this step because "it is likely that a state-sponsored attack could be more sophisticated or more sustained than attacks from cybercriminals and others". 

Anonymous, joined by hackers from other groups, has hacked the official website of the Asia Pacific Telecommunity in its protest against the growing Internet censorship in many Asian countries. Apart from leaving messages on the website and on youtube, Anonymous leaked emails, usernames and passwords of the organisation.

Yahoo has announced that it would notify its users if it "strongly suspects" that  their accounts may have been targeted by a state-sponsored actor. The company notes that the aim of such notifications is to allow its users "to take appropriate measures to protect their accounts and devices in light of these sophisticated attacks". Yahoo also advises its users of actions to be taken in case they receive such notifications.

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