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Privacy International, in partnership with 30+ national human rights organisations, has today written to national intelligence oversight bodies in over 40 countries seeking information on the intelligence sharing activities of their governments.
Financial services are collecting and exploiting increasing amounts of data about our behaviour, interests, networks, and personalities to make financial judgements about us, like our creditworthiness.
Increasingly, financial services such as insurers, lenders, banks, and financial mobile app startups, are collecting and exploiting a broad breadth of data to make decisions about people. This is particularly affecting the poorest and most excluded in societies.
For example, the decisions surrounding whether to grant someone a loan can now be dependent upon:
Gig economy jobs that depend on mobile applications allow workers’ movements to be monitored, evaluated, and exploited by their employers.
Police and security services are increasingly outsourcing intelligence collection to third-party companies which are assigning threat scores and making predictions about who we are.
Invisible and insecure infrastructure is facilitating data exploitation
Many technologies, including those that are critical to our day-to-day lives do not protect our privacy or security. One reason for this is that the standards which govern our modern internet infrastructure do not prioritise security which is imperative to protect privacy.
Cities around the world are deploying collecting increasing amounts of data and the public is not part of deciding if and how such systems are deployed.
Our connected devices carry and communicate vast amounts of personal information, both visible and invisible.
As society heads toward an ever more connected world, the ability for individuals to protect and manage the invisible data that companies and third parties hold about them, becomes increasingly difficult. This is further complicated by events like data breaches, hacks, and covert information gathering techniques, which are hard, if not impossible, to consent to. One area where this most pressing is in transportation, and by extension the so-called ‘connected car’.
Political campaigns around the world have turned into sophisticated data operations. In the US, Evangelical Christians candidates reach out to unregistered Christians and use a scoring system to predict how seriously millions these of voters take their faith. As early as 2008, the Obama campaign conducted a data operation which assigned every voter in the US a pair of scores that predicted how likely they would cast a ballot, and whether or not they supported him.
The Supreme Court has ruled that there is a fundamental right to privacy under the Indian constitution, establishing that “The right to privacy is protected as an intrinsic part of the right to life and personal liberty”.
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We work to collect the minimum amount of data that we need from you to do our jobs within the resources we have, and to protect and use that data in an ethical manner. We are expanding the ways we engage with our supporters, by rebuilding our technical services to ensure that we continue to live up to that commitment.
What do Honduras, Pakistan, and Switzerland have in common? They are all bound to respect and protect the right to privacy under Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. And in July 2017, they all also happened to be under the scrutiny of the UN Human Rights Committee, which found the countries’ human rights record wanting in many respects, including the scope of their surveillance legislation.
Following the alarming evidence that EU-made electronic surveillance equipment is still being exported to authoritarian countries around the world, we strongly urge all EU member states and institutions to respect their human rights obligations and call on them to prioritise long overdue EU reforms.
Photo Credit: MoD UK
War profiteers are finding the data business easy going. The have wielded their unwarranted influence and applied their business model of causing and then profiting from insecurity and applied it to the digital age; the results have been more profit for them and less liberty for you.
Privacy International has filed a federal lawsuit seeking to compel disclosure of records relating to a 1946 surveillance agreement between the US, UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, known as the “Five Eyes alliance”.* We are represented by Yale Law School’s Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic (MFIA). The most recent publicly available version of the Five Eyes surveillance agreement dates from 1955. Our complaint was filed before the U.S.
Al Jazeera recently published an investigation into the shadowy trade of communications surveillance technologies. Their undercover reporter revealed four companies offering to illegally sell highly intrusive surveillance technologies to the governments of South Sudan and Iran, both of which are subject to extensive international sanctions.