September 14, 2021
SmartBrief on IT Privacy
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Top Story
Data silos kept the US government from acting to prevent 9/11, writes John Ackerly, CEO of Virtru and a former White House adviser on technology. Ackerly acknowledges the government actions taken after that day, including domestic wiretapping and mass surveillance, chipped away at public trust "while yielding marginal results in the fight against terrorism."
Full Story: TechCrunch (tiered subscription model) (9/11) 
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Privacy in the News
Using COVID-19 contact-tracing applications for law enforcement purposes is "a fundamental breach of trust," says a member of Parliament. "Personal information collected for contact-tracing purposes should not be used for other purposes such as law enforcement or even direct marketing," according to a spokesperson for the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.
Full Story: The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) (9/6) 
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Texas has a website that names companies that suffer data breaches involving 250 or more citizens. The data stays online for a year and goes away only if the company doesn't suffer another breach.
Full Story: KTVT-TV (Dallas-Fort Worth) (9/9) 
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Avast, a digital survey company, reports that more than 19,000 Android products in Google's Play Store contain database misconfigurations, putting customers' information at risk. The misconfigurations involve a wide-range of apps operating around the world, Avast says.
Full Story: LiveMint (India) (9/10) 
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So far this year, ransomware groups have released data from more than 1,200 US schools, reports analyst Brett Callow of Emsisoft. Some of the data stolen, such as birth dates and Social Security numbers, could lead to identity theft, observers say, noting that parents have little recourse.
Full Story: NBC News (9/10) 
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Best Practices
Being compliant with Europe's General Data Protection Regulation doesn't cover the new privacy law in China, write Zhenyu Ruan and Tingting Gao of the Shanghai office of law firm Baker McKenzie. The authors offer seven steps companies should take, starting with developing an in-house data compliance program within a governance structure.
Full Story: Global Compliance News (Germany) (9/13) 
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Policy, Trends and Research
Ireland is letting US tech giants circumvent EU privacy laws, per watchdogs at the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, who point out that 98% of significant complaints have not been resolved. Twitter, Microsoft, Facebook, Google and Apple all have their European headquarters in Ireland, leaving the country's Data Protection Commission to serve as the primary regulator in the EU.
Full Story: The Irish Times (Dublin) (9/13) 
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There is no absolute scale of size in nature, and the small may be as important, or more so than the great.
Oliver Heaviside,
mathematician, physicist
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