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Latest privacy News


Facebook Suspends Analytics Firm As It Investigates Data Practices

Facebook confirmed it has suspended a Boston-based social media analytics firm while it investigates how it collects and shares public data. Crimson Hexagon touts itself as one of the world’s leading providers of insights, drawn from public online data. The firm analyzes public Facebook data for clients, which include a non-profit with ties to the Kremlin and U.S. government agencies including the Department of Homeland Security, the Wall Street Journal reports. After the… Read


California Enacts Nation’s Strictest Data Privacy Law

In a move that will have broad ramifications for any company that does business in the US, the California legislature has passed the nation’s strongest data privacy law. The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, which takes full effect in 2020, will limit how big companies like Google, Amazon and Facebook, among others, collect and use personal data. It mimics the effects of Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which took effect May 25 and resulted in a… Read


Apple Doubles Down On Privacy Protections With Latest Version of Mac OS, So Take That Facebook

UPDATED with added analysis Apple, which has used its commitment to consumer privacy to distance itself from its Silicon Valley rivals, doubled down on privacy and security with the latest version of its Mac desktop operating system, dubbed “Mojave.” Apple Senior Vice President Craig Federighi said new data protections in the macOS, which is due out this fall, will require apps to get a user’s permission before accessing the camera and microphone or peering at personal… Read


New European Privacy Law Set, Flooding Inboxes With Mailing List Updates

Companies that market themselves through email – practically every company in the world, that is – are scrambling to become compliant with a new European law that could cause major legal actions. The General Data Protection Regulation (known by the acronym GDPR) is a new European law that takes effect on Friday, May 25. Consumers have already noticed a flood of updated email requests from companies that have them on their mailing lists, and more such notices are to… Read


Mark Zuckerberg Says Millions Of Fake Facebook Accounts Have Been Removed To Combat Fake News

Mark Zuckerberg confronted a series of tough, pointed questions from members of the European Parliament today, as the Facebook chief executive was asked to provide answers about the social media platform’s data collection practices. The Silicon Valley executive once again apologized for not doing enough to protect user data — an apology he has offered repeatedly to government leaders and users since the Cambridge Analytical scandal broke. “We didn’t take a broad enough… Read


Lawmakers Raise Privacy Questions About Amazon Echo Dot For Kids

UPDATED with response from Amazon: When children talk to an Amazon Echo Dot for kids, who, exactly, is listening? Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) and Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) posed that question in a letter sent to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos asking how the online retail giant protects the privacy of children who use the smart speaker. The voice-activated device, which retails for $80, is promoted on Amazon’s site as a benign digital nanny: “a kid-friendly DJ, comedian and storyteller.” It… Read


Susan Sarandon Joins #DeleteFacebook Campaign

Actress and activist Susan Sarandon has joined the growing list of celebrities and public figures abandoning Facebook in the wake of its privacy scandal. CEO Mark Zuckerberg told Congress this week that there has been no “dramatic fall-off” of users after the Cambridge Analytica revelations. But there certainly have been prominent defections, including Cher, Will Ferrell, Jim Carrey and Rosie O’Donnell. Sarandon tweeted her discontent today, which she attributed to… Read


Mark Zuckerberg Resumes Congressional Testimony, Legislators Say: “I Think It Is Time To Ask Whether Facebook Moved Too Fast”

After a marathon five hours of testimony yesterday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg returned to Congress today to address another round of questions about privacy and the Cambridge Analytica scandal. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden, R-Oregon, opened the hearing calling Facebook an American success story — a company that embodies the nation’s principles of freedom of speech and association. But reports that data about millions of users had been… Read


Mark Zuckerberg Hits Back At Tim Cook’s “Extremely Glib” Criticism Of Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg Tim Cook

Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg defended his company’s business model in an interview published today by Vox, saying criticisms from his counterpart at Apple were “extremely glib.” Apple CEO Tim Cook didn’t pull any punches when asked about Facebook’s privacy issues and what he would do in Zuckerberg’s position: “What would I do? I wouldn’t be in this situation.” Cook took the opportunity to emphasize Apple’s message about user privacy, noting the company sells… Read