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Consumers have few legal options for protecting privacy

There are no promises in the words, “We care about user privacy.” Yet, these words appear on privacy policy after privacy policy, serving as disingenuous banners to hide potentially invasive corporate practices, including clandestine data collection, sharing, and selling. This is no accident. It is a strategy. In the US, companies that break their own privacy policies can—and do—face … [Read more...]

Who is managing the security of medical management apps?

One truth that is consistent across every sector—be it technology or education—is that software is vulnerable, which means that any device running software applications is also at risk. While virtually any application-running device could be compromised by an attacker, vulnerabilities in medical management apps pose a unique and more dangerous set of problems. Now add to vulnerabilities the issue … [Read more...]

The global data privacy roadmap: a question of risk

For most American businesses, complying with US data privacy laws follows a somewhat linear, albeit lengthy, path. Set up a privacy policy, don’t lie to the consumer, and check the specific rules if you’re a health care provider, video streaming company, or kids’ app maker. For American businesses that want to expand to a new market, though, complying with global data privacy laws is more akin to … [Read more...]

US Congress proposes comprehensive federal data privacy legislation—finally

The United States might be the only country of its size—both in economy and population—to lack a comprehensive data privacy law protecting its citizens’ online lives. That could change this year. Never-ending cybersecurity breaches, recently-enacted international privacy laws, public outrage, and crisis after crisis from the world’s largest social media company have pushed US Senators and … [Read more...]

Google’s Nest fiasco harms user trust and invades their privacy

Technology companies, lawmakers, privacy advocates, and everyday consumers likely disagree about exactly how a company should go about collecting user data. But, following a trust-shattering move by Google last month regarding its Nest Secure product, consensus on one issue has emerged: Companies shouldn’t ship products that can surreptitiously spy on users. Failing to disclose that a product can … [Read more...]

The not-so-definitive guide to cybersecurity and data privacy laws

US cybersecurity and data privacy laws are, to put it lightly, a mess. Years of piecemeal legislation, Supreme Court decisions, and government surveillance crises, along with repeated corporate failures to protect user data, have created a legal landscape that is, for the American public and American businesses, confusing, complicated, and downright annoying. Businesses are expected to comply with … [Read more...]

Labs survey finds privacy concerns, distrust of social media rampant with all age groups

Before Cambridge Analytica made Facebook an unwilling accomplice to a scandal by appropriating and misusing more than 50 million users’ data, the public was already living in relative unease over the privacy of their information online. The Cambridge Analytica incident, along with other, seemingly day-to-day headlines about data breaches pouring private information into criminal hands, has eroded … [Read more...]

Houzz data breach: Why informing your customers is the right call

Houzz is an online platform dedicated to home renovation and design. Today (February 1, 2019), they notified their customers about a data breach that reportedly happened in December 2018. Data breaches unfortunately have become a common event. In fact, we dubbed 2018 the year of the data breach tsunami. Also Houzz is not a giant corporation with millions of customers. So why are we writing about … [Read more...]

GDPR-compliant organisations reaping the benefits, study finds

Organisations that meet the requirements of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) experience a wide variety of benefits, according to a new Cisco report. The 2019 Data Privacy Benchmark Study demonstrates that GDPR compliance makes organisations less susceptible to data breaches, as you’d expect, but it also streamlines business processes and helps win … [Read more...]

Apple pulls Facebook enterprise certificate

It’s been an astonishing few days for Facebook. They’ve seen both an app and their enterprise certificate removed and revoked with big consequences. What happened? Apple issue enterprise certificates to organizations with which they can create internal apps. Those apps don’t end up released on the Apple store, because the terms of service don’t allow it. Anything storefront-bound must go … [Read more...]