Press review

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The press review catalogues press articles related to la Quadrature's issues, compiled by its volunteers.
See also our French press review.

[TheWashingtonPost] Emmanuel Macron Wants to Scan Your Face

It’s an interesting twist of fate that the European governments whose job it is to enforce sweeping new data-protection laws, rolled out to curb intrusive tech firms like Facebook Inc. and Google Inc., are increasingly finding their own digital ambitions tripped up by them. [...]

Neither this objection, nor a lawsuit filed by privacy advocacy group La Quadrature du Net, seem to have deterred the state, though. [...]

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[BloomBerg] France Set to Roll Out Nationwide Facial Recognition ID Program

France is poised to become the first European country to use facial recognition technology to give citizens a secure digital identity -- whether they want it or not. [...]

The government wants to funnel people to use Alicem and facial recognition,” said Martin Drago, a lawyer member of the privacy group La Quadrature du Net that filed the suit against the state. “We’re heading into mass usage of facial recognition. (There’s) little interest in the importance of consent and choice.” The case, filed in July, won’t suspend Alicem. [...]

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[SecurityWeek] Group Seeks Investigation of Deep Packet Inspection Use by ISPs

European Digital Rights (EDRi), together with 45 NGOs, academics and companies across 15 countries, has sent an open letter to European policymakers and regulators, warning about widespread and potentially growing use of deep packet inspection (DPI) by internet service providers (ISPs). [...]

EDRi wants this to change. Europe is now discussing new net neutrality rules. The discussions are not currently being made public, but a public consultation on proposals is expected in autumn 2019. The final rules are expected in March 2020. To a degree, this current open letter is an attempt to get the EDRi voice heard before the public consultation begins (by which time, the basic proposals will have been decided). EDRi's primary request is that the principles of personal privacy protection also be applied to net neutrality provisions. [...]

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[BoingBoing] European telcos want the right to perform “deep packet inspection” on our data

Today 45 NGOs, Academics and Companies from 15 countries released an open letter outlining the dangers of the wide-spread use of privacy invasive Deep Packet Inspection technology in the European Union. The letter is referencing the ongoing negotiations about Europes new net neutrality rules in which some telecom regulators are pushing for the legalization of DPI technology. [...]

Open Letter to the EU [EDRi].

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[TheAtlantic] Why Surveillance Is the Climate Change of the Internet

The Atlantic podcast Crazy/Genius returns to explain how privacy became the most important idea on the internet—and why it’s still so confusing. [...]

I think privacy is the wrong way to describe the issue we face in a world of pervasive unregulated data collection,” says Julia Angwin, a longtime investigative reporter. She prefers another term: data pollution.

I’ve long felt that the issue we call privacy is very similar to the issue we call environmentalism,” she says. “It’s pervasive. It’s invisible. Attribution is hard. Even if you get cancer, you don’t know if it’s from that chemical plant down the road. Living in a world where all of your data is collected and swept up in these dragnets all the time and will be used against you in a way that you will probably never be able to trace and you will never know about it feels like that same type of collective harm.” [...]

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[NBCNews] Millions of people uploaded photos to the Ever app. Then the company used them to develop facial recognition tools

What isn’t obvious on Ever’s website or app — except for a brief reference that was added to the privacy policy after NBC News reached out to the company in April — is that the photos people share are used to train the company’s facial recognition system, and that Ever then offers to sell that technology to private companies, law enforcement and the military.

In other words, what began in 2013 as another cloud storage app has pivoted toward a far more lucrative business known as Ever AI — without telling the app’s millions of users. [...]

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[ZDNet] EU votes to create gigantic biometrics database

EU Parliament green-lights the creation of the Common Identity Repository (CIR), a gigantic biometrics database. [...]

Ever since plans to create this shared biometrics database have been made public last year, privacy advocates have criticized the EU, calling CIR's creation as the "point of no return" in creating "a Big Brother centralised EU state database."

Once up and running, CIR will become one of the biggest people-tracking databases in the world, right behind the systems used by the Chinese government and India's Aadhar system. [...]

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[ArsTechnica] Google must pay €50 million for GDPR violations, France says

CNIL agrees with complaints brought by activists: user consent is insufficient.

Google has been fined €50 million (~$57 million) by French regulators, the first major penalty under a sweeping new European Union privacy law known as GDPR, which took effect last year. [...]

The two complaints were filed jointly on the day the law went into effect by the French digital advocacy group La Quadrature du Net and the group, a watchdog organization started by Max Schrems. The young Austrian privacy activist has been tangling with Silicon Valley giants—notably Google and Facebook—for years. [...]

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[PJMedia] Google Reveals Plans to Monitor Our Moods, Our Movements, and Our Children's Behavior at Home

Patents recently issued to Google provide a window into their development activities. While it’s no guarantee of a future product, it is a sure indication of what’s of interest to them. What we’ve given up in privacy to Google, Facebook, and others thus far is minuscule compared to what is coming if these companies get their way.

These patents tell us that Google is developing smart-home products that are capable of eavesdropping on us throughout our home in order to learn more about us and better target us with advertising. It goes much further than the current Google Home speaker that’s promoted to answer our questions and provide useful information, and the Google-owned Nest thermostat that measures environmental conditions in our home. What the patents describe are sensors and cameras mounted in every room to follow us and analyze what we’re doing throughout our home. [...]

[Politico] Technical impossibility at heart of EC’s plan to stop spread of online terrorist content

With its proposed legislation to proactively monitor customer data online, and so “prevent the dissemination of terrorist content”, the European Commission is targeting the wrong players and asking Europe’s cloud infrastructure companies to do something that is flatly impossible. [...]

The nature of that work means it’s not possible, in technical terms, for cloud infrastructure providers to proactively monitor, filter, access, disable and take down a specific piece of content, or otherwise play around with their customers’ data. That data is solely controlled by the customer: cloud infrastructure providers do not control what content is put up, how that content is made available to the public, or to whom it is made available by their customers. We are simply the enablers, the processors, with a business model founded on the customers’ trust that we will not access his or her data. This who we are and what we do.

After analyzing the proposals and consulting with representatives of member countries and from the various EU institutions, t’s become clear the regulation is wrongly scoped for and should therefore be targeted at social media platforms and online content sharing services. [...]

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