• Privacy Shield deserves chance after review, Belgian data watchdog says
    03 July 2018
    The EU-US Privacy Shield deal for commercial data transfers should be given a chance to prove its worth, once EU privacy watchdogs have assessed its compliance with new European laws, Belgium's chief privacy regulator has told MLex.

    Willem Debeuckelaere’s comments come just days before EU regulators are set to meet with the US’s interim dispute mediator for the Privacy Shield, and review whether the country is respecting the spirit of the agreement.

    "Personally, I think we should give it a chance," he said. "We have to assess if the Privacy Shield system is an adequate system," said Debeuckelaere, who is also a vice-chairman of the umbrella group of EU privacy regulators, the European Data Protection Board.

    By Vesela Gladicheva

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  • Irish privacy watchdog analyzing 20 complaints 'as expeditiously as possible'
    03 July 2018
    The entry into force of the EU's new strict data privacy rules in May has triggered some 20 complaints at Ireland's data-protection authority, which is responsible for how Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and other tech companies comply with the rules, the watchdog's deputy commissioner said today.

    Dale Sunderland said that Office of the Irish Data Protection Commissioner was going through the complaints — at the heart of which are well-known problems surrounding social media — "as expeditiously as possible."

    "We're already looking at those complex issues that have been talked about for a long period of time," Sunderland said at a conference* in Cambridge, UK.

    By Vesela Gladicheva

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  • Facebook dating app raises 'obvious' privacy questions, top Australian regulator says
    03 July 2018
    The implications of Facebook’s planned new dating app on consumer privacy and the gathering and use of data has attracted the attention of Australia’s top competition enforcer, Rod Sims, who today said he would look into it.

    Sims said his agency’s inquiry into digital platforms, announced in December, will examine companies like Google and Facebook through both a competition and consumer lens — meaning Facebook's as-yet-unnamed dating app, announced in May and due for launch later this year, was part of his remit.

    “The privacy and data-gathering implications for such an app are obvious. We would also have some concerns about the ability of such a feature to be misused,” Sims told a forum in Sydney hosted by the International Institute of Communications.

    By Jet Damazo-Santos

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  • California privacy bill could qualify for EU data-transfer deal, commission official says
    03 July 2018
    A new California privacy law that gives consumers sweeping new protections for their online data could succeed in securing EU approval on commercial data transfers, a European Commission official said today.

    “There are no obstacles to have adequacy,” Bruno Gencarelli told a conference* in Cambridge, UK. This is EU jargon for agreements the commission strikes with countries outside the bloc, recognizing that national laws provide adequate protection of European citizens’ information — such as photos and payslips — when shifted by companies across borders.

    The EU has issued “adequacy” decisions for over a dozen countries such as Argentina, Canada and Israel. The latest agreement was the EU-US Privacy Shield that came into force in 2016 to replace an older accord, which the EU’s highest court had struck down for failing to sufficiently protect citizens’ personal data in the context of access by US intelligence services.

    By Vesela Gladicheva

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  • Location information 'fertile ground' for challenges after US Supreme Court decision, ACLU attorney says
    02 July 2018
    Law enforcement’s acquisition of location information is now “fertile ground for Fourth Amendment challenges,” said the attorney who successfully challenged the government's use of cell phone location data in the US Supreme Court’s Carpenter v. United States case.

    The court ruled in Carpenter that law enforcement must obtain a warrant to collect cell site location information, or CSLI.

    Nathan Wessler, the American Civil Liberties Union attorney who represented Timothy Carpenter, told an audience at a Washington event* that courts now face the question of whether law enforcement must obtain warrants to collect location information unrelated to cell towers, and litigation on that topic is expected. He cited data collected from facial recognition technology, from cellphone apps and from such wearable devices as Fitbits and Apple Watches.

    By Maxwell Fillion

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