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Blog
Emma Draper's picture

PI spent the first half of February in Asia, visiting our regional partners and speaking at events. Our trip began in Delhi, where the Centre for Internet and Society (in collaboration with the Society in Action Group) had organized two consecutive privacy conferences – an invite-only conclave on Friday 3rd February and a free symposium open to the public on Saturday 4th February. The conclave consisted of two panels, the first focusing on the relationship between national security and privacy, the second on privacy and the Internet. We were seriously impressed with the calibre of the speakers CIS and SAG had gathered – the panels included a Supreme Court Advocate, a Member of Parliament and the Former Chief of the Research and Analysis Wing (the Indian equivalent of MI-6 and the CIA) – but Gus and Eric held their own!

Blog
Dr Gus Hosein's picture

Earlier this week it was announced that UK-based Datasift would start offering their customers the ability to mine Twitter’s past two years of tweets for market research purposes. The licensing fees will add another revenue stream to Twitter's portfolio - but at what cost to the company's reputation? Twitter, once the darling of the privacy world, seems to have lost its way.

Blog
Dr Gus Hosein's picture

Last month, within thirty seconds of the BBC publishing a quotation from me on the latest round of the nymwars and Google+, my phone rang. Caller ID indicated that it was someone I know who works at Google. "Had I said something wrong?" was my first thought. I quickly retraced in my mind what it was that I had said to the journalist; I had responded in the article that Google's recent announcement could be seen as positive but really it was a sidestepping of the larger challenge of identity management. Yes, I'm surprised that the BBC printed the quotation too. Must have been a slow news day.

Blog
Eric King's picture

An astonishing 13-page investigation by Osman Kibar at Dagens Næringsliv has revealed that Norway has invested over $2 billion in 15 companies that manufacture and sell surveillance technologies - and that the government has no plans to divest investments in companies that are complicit in human rights abuses abroad.

Blog
Dr Gus Hosein's picture

Inspired by the Europe v Facebook campaign and further motivated by revelations that individuals associated with WikiLeaks and the Occupy movements in Boston and New York have had their Twitter data disclosed to American law enforcement authorities, Privacy International is launching a campaign to encourage European data subjects to get access to the personal information that Twitter holds on them.

Blog
Vickram Crishna's picture

Last evening (in India, that is) we got some very good news. Earlier, an online news item in a major newsmagazine described a forthcoming report from the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance, a cross-party body created to study Bills being presented for consideration in Parliament, as having expressed its reservations about the NIAI Bill, that they would recommend recasting it. The NIAI Bill seeks to set up a National Information Authority, whose job is to take over the functioning of the ordinated Unique Identity Authority of India, a branch of the Planning Commission.

Blog
Dr Gus Hosein's picture

A widely-leaked version of the first legislative proposal for a General Data Protection Regulation is making its way through Brussels and beyond.  The purpose of this 'Regulation' is to provide a new tool for harmonising the protection of personal data across the European Union, and one that takes into consideration the current legislative and technological environment.  The key point is that Europe's rules on privacy are often taken as an example to the world -- and provide a rare opportunity to scale-up protections.  Many countries across the world have data protection laws only because they wanted to satisfy European standards for data protection, and modelled their own legislation on the previous/current 1995 Directive.

Blog
Dr Gus Hosein's picture

At the moment there is much anger about a UK Border Official who, according to the BBC, relaxed "identity checks on non-EU nationals" over the summer.  This 'relaxation' then was claimed to have placed the UK at risk because names of visitors were not checked against 'watchlists'. This news is unsurprising in some respects, and quite shocking in others. 

The controversy centres on the call to temporarily suspend checking the e-passports of individuals from outside of the EU.  

Blog
Simon Davies's picture

Facebook's new "Download your Information" feature reveals a radically different interpretation of transparency to one that the rest of us in Europe might hold. The feature may be a promising start, but the company still clearly has difficulty understanding the requirements of European Data Protection law. The feature provides only a fraction of the personal information held by Facebook and is thus still in violation of law.

The company may escape a prosecution under the UK Trades Description act for misleading advertising, but only just. The download feature does carry a caveat. It says the feature will give you:

- Any photos or videos you've shared on Facebook
- Your Wall posts, messages and chat conversations
- Your friends' names and some of their email addresses

but that's a far cry from the masses of other data held by the company. To avoid a claim of misleading advertising the feature should be called something like "Download a Sliver of Your Information".

Blog
Emma Draper's picture

Prime Minister David Cameron may not be quite the “pitiless blank-eyed hell wraith” Charlie Brooker portrayed in yesterday’s Guardian, but he does have some pretty frightening ideas about the Internet. This morning the Prime Minister announced, at a meeting with the Christian charity Mother’s Union, that four of the UK’s biggest ISPs will henceforth require users to opt in if they want to view pornographic material – thereby creating a commercially-owned and controlled database of porn-watching British households.

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