Ireland DPC Fines Meta $275 Million for Data Privacy Breach

Meta Platforms has been fined $275 million for violating European Union privacy rules, the result of a 2021 data leak that led to the online publication of personal information belonging to 500 million Facebook users. The penalty is the latest imposed on Meta by Ireland’s Data Protection Commission, which in September imposed a $400 million penalty on Instagram for mishandling children’s data. In October 2021, the same regulator fined Meta $235 million for violations by its WhatsApp messaging service. In total, Irish authorities have imposed penalties of more than $900 million on Meta in the past two years. Continue reading Ireland DPC Fines Meta $275 Million for Data Privacy Breach

Big Tech to Face Increased EU Scrutiny as DMA Takes Effect

Next week, the EU’s Digital Markets Act takes effect, and U.S. tech giants are preparing for headaches. Among the DMA’s goals is making companies like Amazon, Google and Meta Platforms more open and interoperable in 2023. Last month, veteran EU official Gerard de Graaf, who helped create the DMA, was installed as director of a satellite office in San Francisco. There, he will help Big Tech prepare for breaking out their wallets and breaking open their walled gardens as the result of  “significant” changes to how they’ve been doing business in Europe. Meanwhile, telecoms in Europe are looking for tech firms to pay new fees based on bandwidth issues. Continue reading Big Tech to Face Increased EU Scrutiny as DMA Takes Effect

France Sanctions Clearview AI €20M for Violating GDPR Rules

Clearview AI, the New York-based facial recognition firm that is targeting 100 billion facial images in its database by the close of 2022, has been fined €20 million ($19.7 million) by France’s data protection authority, the CNIL, for what the agency says is the illegal collection and processing of personal biometric data belonging to French citizens. The fine comes after the CNIL last year ordered Clearview to cease data collection and delete its existing database, instructions the company reportedly ignored. This is Clearview’s third breach of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) pertaining to France. Continue reading France Sanctions Clearview AI €20M for Violating GDPR Rules

White House Updates Data Protection Framework with the EU

President Biden has signed an executive order designed to repair data sharing with the European Union. The arrangement has been in disarray since 2020, when the Court of Justice of the European Union nullified the Privacy Shield, jeopardizing what the White House calls a $7.1 trillion economic relationship, premised on companies doing business on both sides of the pond. Friday’s executive order stipulates new ways for the EU to challenge what it had previously identified as objectionable U.S. government surveillance practices. In March, the U.S. and European Union agreed “in principle” to a revamped framework for data transfers. Continue reading White House Updates Data Protection Framework with the EU

Innovative California Privacy Law Sets Stage for Entire Nation

As the first state to implement privacy laws protecting consumers from Big Tech, California is being closely watched as it puts together a governing body with the job of regulating how Amazon, Google, Meta and other companies collect and exploit data from millions of people. Former Federal Trade Commission chief technologist Ashkan Soltani was appointed executive director of the California Privacy Protection Agency (CPPA) in October. Starting with a $10 million annual budget that many say is not nearly enough to battle pushback from tech lobbyists, Soltani is inventing a new paradigm. Continue reading Innovative California Privacy Law Sets Stage for Entire Nation

EU Asserts Itself on Standards, Takes Position on Ad Consent

The European Commission is seeking a more prominent seat at the regulatory table in the hall where global technology standards are being crafted. Experts periodically confer, beyond public view, to establish rules for emerging technology, and the norms for everything from connectivity to artificial intelligence. Now, EU commissioners are concerned they’ll wind up sidelined as a market-dominant U.S. and emboldened China white-knuckle their way to the lectern when groups like the International Organization for Standardization and the UN’s International Telecommunication Union dictate how technology is to be deployed across the globe. Continue reading EU Asserts Itself on Standards, Takes Position on Ad Consent

CES: Panel Reveals Surprising Statistics on Perceptions of AI

CES 2022 featured a compelling session that focused on “Artificial Intelligence: Expectations, Rules and Achievement,” which began with introductory remarks by Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Iowa) who questioned whether the federal government had AI experts who understood the innovations. “These are disruptive technologies,” she said. “What will it do to our healthcare system? With autonomous vehicles, do we have the relevant policies in place for government and insurance companies?” She also worried about competition in the space. This jump-started a panel discussion on the numerous opinions involving AI. Continue reading CES: Panel Reveals Surprising Statistics on Perceptions of AI

CES: Government, Tech Firms Partner to Curtail Cyberattacks

During a panel at CES 2022, CTA specialist in government affairs Quentin Scholtz queried panelists from government and technology on their priorities and plans for stepping up effective enforcement against cyberattacks, especially those originating from nation states. Jamie Susskind, tech policy advisor for Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee); former U.S. representative Will Hurd (R-Texas); and Samsung Electronics senior manager and counsel of public policy Eric Tamarkin offered complementary priorities on how to act in 2022 and going forward. Continue reading CES: Government, Tech Firms Partner to Curtail Cyberattacks

EU’s Data Governance Act Targets Growth of Digital Economy

The European Parliament and EU Member States have reached an agreement on the Data Governance Act, clearing the way for final approval on legislation. The Data Governance Act is a framework designed to encourage sharing under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), consumer protection laws and competition rules. The goal is to develop common European data spaces in areas such as manufacturing, cultural heritage and health. The Data Governance Act is the first of two steps. The EU’s Data Act — which promotes data sharing among EU member states, businesses and government — will soon be formally proposed. Continue reading EU’s Data Governance Act Targets Growth of Digital Economy

European Union Supports New Restrictions on Targeted Ads

In what could be bad news for companies such as Facebook and Google, the European Parliament has voted to toughen limits on the use of consumer data for advertising. The Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) voted overwhelmingly under the Digital Markets Act (DMA) to support stricter consent requirements for how personal information is used to serve ads, expanding the draft legislation to include a ban on the commercial use of the personal data of minors. The proposed law blacklists some practices of Big Tech platforms and empowers the EU Commission to undertake investigations, adding sanctions for non-compliant behavior. Continue reading European Union Supports New Restrictions on Targeted Ads

FTC Is Considering the Need for Stricter Online Privacy Rules

The Federal Trade Commission is looking into establishing stronger online privacy protections that would hold businesses such as Facebook, Google and Twitter more responsible for how they handle consumer data. The early discussions, under the leadership of new chair and vocal Big Tech critic Lina Khan, are addressing the possibility of introducing FTC regulation due to what is perceived as gridlock in Congress in creating a federal law. Privacy and civil rights groups have advocated for a single federal law — similar to Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) — rather than state laws (or no regulation at all). Continue reading FTC Is Considering the Need for Stricter Online Privacy Rules

European Union Members Are Concerned Over GDPR Delays

European Union nations are voicing discontent over delays in enforcement of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) implemented in May 2018. Earlier this month Ireland announced a $266 million fine against WhatsApp, after haggling to boost the original sanction of up to $59 million by the Irish Data Protection Commission (WhatsApp parent Facebook has European headquarters in Ireland). The situation has prompted calls to revise how the 27 EU member countries participate in overlapping cases, with expanded pan-EU rules also under consideration. Continue reading European Union Members Are Concerned Over GDPR Delays

Pixalate Raises $18.1M to Combat Click Tricks and Ad Fraud

Analytics firm Pixalate has announced $18.1 million in growth capital for connected TV and mobile advertising initiatives. The new round brings total capital raised to $22.7 million for the 9-year-old firm, which specializes in fraud prevention, privacy protection and legal compliance via offices in Santa Monica, Palo Alto and London. The move comes as Pixalate rises to meet the challenges of enterprise clients fending off bot attacks, ad fraud and other malicious threats. Malware incursions by intruders like Puppeteer siphon tens of millions of dollars in annual ad revenue, according to Pixalate. Continue reading Pixalate Raises $18.1M to Combat Click Tricks and Ad Fraud

Ireland Slaps Facebook’s WhatsApp Service with GDPR Fine

In its first major ruling against social media giant Facebook, Irish authorities fined the company’s WhatsApp messaging service almost $270 million (225 million euros) under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Those authorities stated that WhatsApp was not transparent about how data collected by those using the app is shared with other Facebook properties, including Instagram. WhatsApp said it would appeal the decision. Since established three years ago, the GDPR has not resulted in any major fines or penalties for Facebook until now. Continue reading Ireland Slaps Facebook’s WhatsApp Service with GDPR Fine

Post-Brexit, UK Plans to Create Its Own Privacy Regulations

Since leaving the European Union, the UK government, which has inherited the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that went into effect in 2018, is now faced with creating its own privacy laws in order to enact data transfer agreements with other nations. The EU stated that the new UK regulations must feature those that are equivalent to the GDPR. So far, the UK government has said that its privacy rules will be “innovation-friendly” and permit easier data sharing but eliminate the EU’s “box-ticking” requirements. Continue reading Post-Brexit, UK Plans to Create Its Own Privacy Regulations