The press review catalogues press articles related to la Quadrature's issues, compiled by its volunteers.
See also our French press review.
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. [...]
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 Noyb.eu, 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. [...]
[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. [...]
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. [...]
Police in the UK want to predict serious violent crime using artificial intelligence, New Scientist can reveal. The idea is that individuals flagged by the system will be offered interventions, such as counselling, to avert potential criminal behaviour. [...]
The system, called the National Data Analytics Solution (NDAS), uses a combination of AI and statistics to try to assess the risk of someone committing or becoming a victim of gun or knife crime, as well as the likelihood of someone falling victim to modern slavery.
West Midlands Police is leading the project and has until the end of March 2019 to produce a prototype. Eight other police forces, including London’s Metropolitan Police and Greater Manchester Police, are also involved. NDAS is being designed so that every police force in the UK could eventually use it. [...]
[TheRegister] Microsoft menaced with GDPR mega-fines in Europe for 'large scale and covert' gathering of people's info via Office
Microsoft broke Euro privacy rules by carrying out the "large scale and covert" gathering of private data through its Office apps.
That's according to a report out this month [PDF] that was commissioned by the Dutch government into how information handled by 300,000 of its workers was processed by Microsoft's Office ProPlus suite. This software is installed on PCs and connects to Office 365 servers.
The dossier's authors found that the Windows goliath was collecting telemetry and other content from its Office applications, including email titles and sentences where translation or spellchecker was used, and secretly storing the data on systems in the United States. That's a no-no. [...]
Documents alleged to contain revelations on data and privacy controls that led to Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Parliament has used its legal powers to seize internal Facebook documents in an extraordinary attempt to hold the US social media giant to account after chief executive Mark Zuckerberg repeatedly refused to answer MPs’ questions.
The cache of documents is alleged to contain significant revelations about Facebook decisions on data and privacy controls that led to the Cambridge Analytica scandal. It is claimed they include confidential emails between senior executives, and correspondence with Zuckerberg. [...]
Surveillance capitalism and targeted advertising have become the norm on the internet, and it's hurting all of us.
In his testimony to the US Senate last spring, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg emphasized that his company doesn’t sell user data, as if to reassure policymakers and the public. But the reality—that Facebook, Google, Twitter, and other social media companies sell access to our attention—is just as concerning. Actual user information may not change hands, but the advertising business model drives company decision making in ways that are ultimately toxic to society. As sociologist Zeynep Tufekci put it in her 2017 TED talk, “we’re building a dystopia just to make people click on ads.”
Social media companies are advertising companies. This has never been a secret, of course. Google pioneered the targeted advertising business model in the late 90s, and Sheryl Sandberg brought the practice to Facebook in 2008 when she joined the company as chief operating officer. The cash was flowing in, and companies around Silicon Valley and beyond adopted the same basic strategy: first, grow the user base as quickly as possible without worrying about revenue; second, collect as much data as possible about the users; third, monetize that information by performing big data analytics in order to show users advertising that is narrowly tailored to their demographics and revealed interests; fourth, profit. [...]
A new report from Stanford University shows that most commenters were knowledgeable about the issue and very much in favor of keeping the protections.
After removing all duplicate and fake comments filed with the Federal Communications Commission last year, a Stanford researcher has found that 99.7 percent of public comments—about 800,000 in all—were pro-net neutrality.
“ With the fog of fraud and spam lifted from the comment corpus, lawmakers and their staff, journalists, interested citizens and policymakers can use these reports to better understand what Americans actually said about the repeal of net neutrality protections and why 800,000 Americans went further than just signing a petition for a redress of grievances by actually putting their concerns in their own words, ” Ryan Singel, a media and strategy fellow at Stanford University, wrote in a blog post Monday. [...]
[TheIndependent] Facial recognition to be deployed by police across London, sparking human rights concerns
Millions of people face the prospect of being scanned by police facial recognition technology that has sparked human rights concerns.
The controversial software, which officers use to identify suspects, has been found to be “staggeringly inaccurate”, while campaigners have branded its use a violation of privacy. [...]
Hannah Couchman, an advocacy and policy officer at Liberty who monitored the trial in Stratford, described the technology as “lawless”.
“There’s no dedicated legislation, there’s no guidance, there’s no good practice,” she said. “It’s staggeringly inaccurate and this sort of technology has been shown in America has shown to be actively biased and misidentify women and black people”. [...]