“This judgment exposes the widespread and sinister nature of police surveillance of ordinary members of the public in this country. It also acts as a safeguard against the creeping criminalisation of peaceful protest. The Association of Police Officers and Metropolitan Police Commissioner have sanctioned this unlawful conduct for almost a decade and must be made accountable”. 1
Scientists say it is remarkably easy to identify a mobile phone user from just a few pieces of location information.
Whenever a phone is switched on, its connection to the network means its position and movement can be plotted.
This data is given anonymously to third parties, both to drive services for the user and to target advertisements.
But a study in Scientific Reports warns that human mobility patterns are so predictable it is possible to identify a user from only four data points.
The long-awaited release by Microsoft today of data about the number of law enforcement requests received and complied with by the company represents an important step forward in the ongoing challenge of understanding the scale of government access to communications information.
In November 2012 the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruled in M.M v. the United Kingdom that retention and disclosure of a job applicant’s police records to potential employers was incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights. The Court ruled that the practice cannot be regarded as being in accordance with the law. This judgment is a key step in establishing privacy rights over data held by the police, and comes at an important time when governments are rewriting the rules around data retention and disclosure practices in the criminal sphere.
The sale of surveillance technology is still largely unregulated, but Mr. Marquis-Boire and Mr. Marczak’s findings have prompted greater scrutiny. Responding to their findings last fall, Germany’s foreign minister Guido Westerwelle called for an Europe-wide ban on the export of surveillance technology to repressive regimes.
A report released today by Citizen Lab has uncovered further evidence that British company Gamma International has sold their surveillance technology FinFisher to repressive regimes abroad, despite having no export licence to do so.
It's not often that you get to witness the birth of a new philosophy. However, according to the UK Home Office, a new philosophy is at the heart of their new Surveillance Camera Code of Practice, published this month, and currently subject to a badly publicized consultation process. The name of this new philosophy? Surveillance by Consent.
In order to lawfully conduct communications surveillance (“lawful interception”) in the U.S. and Western Europe, a law enforcement agency must seek authorisation from a court and produce an order to a network operator or internet service provider, which is then obliged to intercept and then to deliver the requested information. In contrast, Russian Federal Security Service operatives (FSB) can conduct surveillance directly by utilising lawful interception equipment called SORM.
Nigel Waters attended the APEC DPS meeting in Jakarta as an invited guest. He has previously either formally represented Privacy International or been a part of the Australian delegation. He continues to bring a critical civil society perspective to bear on the APEC privacy work.
Harbour also submitted amendments that matched those suggested by lobbyists acting for Amazon, eBay and Digital Europe, another trade body that numbers DPA clients among its members.
Anna Fielder, from the Privacy International campaign group, said: “Malcolm Harbour chairs the committee responsible for consumer rights. He is supposed to be protecting the consumer, not big businesses.”
Sensitive personal information risks being left vulnerable to hoarding and misuse by banks, retailers and insurance companies due to three British MEPs accused of directly inserting major firms’ suggestions into EU laws, according to privacy campaigners warning of the most intense lobbying effort ever seen in the European Parliament.
Anna Fielder, a trustee of campaign group Privacy International, said that lobbying is legitimate but the amendments were”diluting existing rights, making it worse than what we have now”.
Just over a year ago, vitally important reforms to European privacy and data protection laws were proposed. Now these reforms, which will affect the rights of half a billion Europeans, are being watered down in their passage through various European parliamentary committees as MEPs succumb to an unprecedented industry lobbying onslaught.
An example of these tensions is percolating through the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Last week, the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights and Privacy International filed complaints with the OECD against two companies in the U.K. and Germany.
While there is no suggestion of wrongdoing or breaches of the parliament's rules, privacy campaigners fear that MEPs are listening to industry and not consumers.
"We would hope that MEPs are taking all sides of the argument into account when making law, not just the richest and most powerful corporate interests," said Anna Fielder, a trustee of Privacy International.
Also named and shamed by Privacy International were Sajjad Karim, Conservative MEP for the North West of England, who allegedly proposed amendments with over 23% identical content, and Giles Chichester, Conservative MEP for South West England and Gibraltar, with 22% of content allegedly taken from lobbyist documents.
Among the names cited by the London-based NGO, Privacy International, in a report out on Monday (11 February) is British Conservative deputy Malcolm Harbour, who chairs the parliament’s internal market committee and who acts as his group's shadow rapporteur on the data bill.
The advocacy group said that he "proposed amendments with over 25 percent of content copied directly from lobby papers."
Other names cited by Privacy International include British Conservative MEPs Sajjad Karim and Giles Chichester.
A European privacy group claimed today that dozens of amendments to the new Data Protection Regulation being proposed by Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) are being copied word-for-word from corporate lobby papers, with MEPs frequently failing to even remember their own amendments.
"The UK Data Protection Regulator seems to be rather out on a limb in comparison with his counterparts in Europe," Anna Fielder, trustee for Privacy International, told Wired.co.uk, commenting on Graham's position. "The data protection proposal currently under debate is a development of existing legislation, not a radical revolution. It is necessary because the existing legal framework is being widely abused and is becoming less and less relevant with the advent of new technologies. This is particularly true in the UK, which has some of the weakest data protection laws in Europe.
The complaints filed Feb. 1 seek probes of whether U.K.- based Gamma Group and Munich-based Trovicor GmbH violated guidelines for business conduct set out by the Paris-based OECD, according to Privacy International, one of five groups behind the effort.
On 1st February 2013 Privacy International, together with the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, Bahrain Watch and Reporters without Borders, filed complaints with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) against Gamma International, a company that exports “FinFisher” (or “FinSpy”) intrusive surveillance software, and Trovicor GmbH, a German company (formerly a business unit of Siemens) which a
The allegations raise concerns about the export of British technology to oppressive regimes. Tomorrow the campaigners Privacy International will join forces with human rights groups, including the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights and Bahrain Watch, to file a complaint with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development alleging that Gamma International UK is in breach of OECD guidelines for multinational enterprises. A separate complaint is being filed against a German company.
Privacy International, the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, Bahrain Watch and Reporters without Borders filed formal complaints with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in the UK and Germany against two surveillance companies on Friday 1st February. The British and German National Contact Points are being asked to investigate Gamma International and Trovicor respectively with regards to both companies’ potential complicity in serious human rights abuses in Bahrain.
Yesterday the Court of Appeal delivered its judgment in the case of R (on the application of T) v Chief Constable of Greater Manchester & Others concerning the operation of the criminal records check system.
Eric King of pressure group Privacy International, said: “Allowing mass surveillance, unwarranted and unaccountable, is terrifying.”
On International Data Privacy Day, it is important that we all ask ourselves: who has access to our personal information? Who can find out where we’ve been and who we’ve called, who can read our emails and our text messages? Who can find which websites we access and which files we download?
Today is Data Privacy Day, which commemorates the 1981 signing of the Coucil of Europe's Convention 108, the first legally binding international treaty dealing with privacy and data protection. It is celebrated all over Europe, as well as in Canada and the United States since 2008.
However, privacy campaigners have grave concerns about the proliferation of the technology and want an urgent review of regulations. "The increasing use of drones by private companies and government bodies poses a unique set of problems," said Eric King, head of research at campaign group Privacy International.
Eric King, head of research at campaign group Privacy International, told the Guardian the increasing use of drones by private and public organisations posed a 'unique' set of problems.
He said the CAA needed to consider more than just health and safety issues when deciding whether to grant a licence to operate drone technology.
'We need new regulation to ensure privacy and other civil liberties are also being taken into account during the decision-making process,' he said.
We are the raw material of the new economy. Data about all of us is being prospected for, mined, refined and traded...and most of us don’t even know about it.
Every time we go online, we add to a personal digital footprint that’s interconnected across multiple service providers, and enrich massive caches of personal data that identify us, whether we have explicitly authenticated or not.
That may make you feel somewhat uneasy. It's pretty hard to manage your digital footprint if you can't even see it.