Ireland Is Investigating Facebook, Apple, LinkedIn and Twitter

Ireland, where many U.S. tech firms have European headquarters, is investigating Facebook in seven separate cases. Ireland’s data protection commissioner Helen Dixon reported that these probes are among 16 cases looking into Apple, LinkedIn, Twitter, as well as Facebook’s WhatsApp and Instagram. She added that the Irish and EU investigations are “centered on the activities of very big Internet companies with tens and hundreds of millions of users,” which would be “a very large factor when looking at the scale of a fine.” Continue reading Ireland Is Investigating Facebook, Apple, LinkedIn and Twitter

Apple Agrees to Pay Large Amount in Back-Taxes to France

Apple revealed it has reached a deal with French authorities to pay back-dated taxes, reportedly in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Apple’s French division did not disclose the specific amount, but French media has reported it to be around 500 million euros, or $571 million U.S. “As a multinational company, Apple is regularly audited by fiscal authorities around the world,” explained Apple France in a statement. “The French tax administration recently concluded a multi-year audit on the company’s French accounts, and those details will be published in our public accounts.” Continue reading Apple Agrees to Pay Large Amount in Back-Taxes to France

CES Panel: Industry Execs Discuss Ethical Implications of AI

Industry leaders gathered at CES to discuss the ethics of artificial intelligence. Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics protect humans from physical harm by robots, moderator Kevin Kelly of BigBuzz Marketing Group started out, but how do we protect ourselves from other types of technology-driven harm? AI experts Anna Bethke from Intel, David Hanson from Hanson Robotics, and Mina Hanna from the IEEE had a wide-ranging discussion on how to identify, shape and possibly regulate aspects of AI development that can have ethical and moral ramifications. Continue reading CES Panel: Industry Execs Discuss Ethical Implications of AI

Facebook Faces First Fine for Cambridge Analytica Scandal

The British Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) levied the toughest fine possible — 500,000 pounds (or about $660,000) — against Facebook for allowing Cambridge Analytica to harvest the personal data of millions of people without their consent. The ICO, the agency that enforces the United Kingdom’s data protection laws, began investigating Facebook’s possible misuse of personal data in May 2017, but revelations of the Cambridge Analytica incident spurred it to complete its examination. Continue reading Facebook Faces First Fine for Cambridge Analytica Scandal

Facebook Lists its Privacy Principles as EU’s Data Laws Loom

Before the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes into effect on May 25, Facebook plans to debut a new privacy center that will be a hub for all its privacy settings. The company also published its “privacy principles” for the first time, with details of how it handles user information. Chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg says the result will be a “good foundation” for meeting GDPR’s requirements. The GDPR limits how technology companies collect, store and utilize users’ personal information. Continue reading Facebook Lists its Privacy Principles as EU’s Data Laws Loom

Europe to Employ Stricter Protection Rules for Personal Data

Since 1995, European businesses and organizations have operated under data protection rules specific to an era of much less digital data. To update the rules, the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will launch on May 25, 2018, and numerous GDPR experts are ready to profit off of their offer to help businesses get ready. U.K. information commissioner Elizabeth Denham dubs much of the activity as “scaremongering,” saying that companies that complied with the older rules won’t have to deal with major changes. Continue reading Europe to Employ Stricter Protection Rules for Personal Data

EU Considers Implementing New Rules for Big Web Platforms

The European Union’s executive body may establish new rules to give a fairer shake to small businesses using popular Web platforms. Currently, the EU deems that platforms such as Google, Amazon and TripAdvisor set unfair terms for the small businesses that sell or promote products there. These businesses have been complaining to the EU about unilateral contract changes, no access to sales and customer data, below-par transparency regarding their rankings in search results, and no means to resolve disputes. Continue reading EU Considers Implementing New Rules for Big Web Platforms

RSA Conference Reveals More Nuances in FBI-Apple Battle

By now, everyone knows the general outline of the argument between Apple and the FBI, over the latter’s request for a backdoor into the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone. Apple’s refusal to do so has sparked a war of words and legal actions between Apple and other proponents of data protection/digital privacy and the government, as well as others who believe national security trumps digital privacy. More recently, at the RSA Conference, an information security event, more nuances were revealed. Continue reading RSA Conference Reveals More Nuances in FBI-Apple Battle

European Commission Enacts Data Protection Regulations

The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm; the European Parliament and member states just approved stringent data protection regulations, considered there to be of equal importance to freedom of expression. The rules, slated to go into effect by early 2017, will give individuals more power over how their information is collected and managed, as well as make data protection regulations consistent across the EU. Officials have been meeting since summer 2015 to hammer out rules that all 28 members could agree to. Continue reading European Commission Enacts Data Protection Regulations

European Court Rules Data Transfer Pact with U.S. is Invalid

The European Union’s highest court, the European Court of Justice, dealt a blow to the American tech industry yesterday when it struck down the international Safe Harbor agreement that previously allowed companies to move digital information between the EU and the U.S. The pact allowed companies to transfer data such as social media updates and online search histories. However, the court ruled that Safe Harbor was flawed since the U.S. government used it to access the online information of Europeans, an issue that was raised by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Continue reading European Court Rules Data Transfer Pact with U.S. is Invalid

Transparency: Acxiom Shows Consumers What Data it Collects

The Acxiom Corporation, a marketing technology firm based in Little Rock, Arkansas, announced on Wednesday a new website that will offer consumers a chance to view some of the data that the company has collected about them. While the site is a step toward addressing the government’s push for increased transparency from the data brokerage industry, critics believe it actually presents a rather sanitized look at data mining and marketing. Continue reading Transparency: Acxiom Shows Consumers What Data it Collects

New FTC Chair Warns Companies About Consumer Data Privacy

The new chair of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, Edith Ramirez, says that the agency will pursue a more active role in policing companies that gather large amounts of data, and that the FTC will not hesitate to sue for privacy and security violations. Ramirez wants more transparency from companies that collect consumer data, as well as to keep this data anonymous. Ramirez did not provide specifics regarding how the FTC will enforce data protection guidelines. Continue reading New FTC Chair Warns Companies About Consumer Data Privacy

Google Creates Manager for Permanently Inactive Accounts

With Internet users posting an increasing amount of information online, the question has arisen regarding what happens to that data once an individual passes on. Google may now have an answer with its new Inactive Account Manager. With this technology, users of any Google service can set a time to delete their “digital life” or send selected elements to a person of their choosing, after the account or accounts become permanently inactive. Continue reading Google Creates Manager for Permanently Inactive Accounts