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EU and U.S. officials finally unveiled the full text of the proposed EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework earlier this week. The agreement is the culmination of a five-month negotiation to address
Continue Reading The EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Agreement Is Unveiled, But Its Effects and Future Remain Uncertain

The French data protection authority (CNIL) is placing Facebook’s EU-U.S. data transfer practices under new scrutiny over its use of the defunct Safe Harbor framework.

The agency issued a two-part
Continue Reading Facebook Runs Afoul of French Data Protection Authority

According to a press release issued yesterday, November 29, 2011, by the Federal Trade Commission, Facebook settled charges that Facebook “deceived consumers by telling them they could keep their information on Facebook private, and then repeatedly allowing it to be shared and made public.”
Continue Reading FTC Settles With Facebook, Agrees to Whopping 20-Year Consent Order

We just wrote about the recent privacy SNAFU by Facebook and other mega-social media site that was reported on by the Wall Street Journal. If you want to hear some really smart people, plus me, talk about the issue, you should check out this brief podcast.
Continue Reading Don’t Want to Read About the Latest Facebook Privacy Problem? Then Listen to It

The Wall Street Journal wrote a series of articles on Monday about Facebook and other meda-social media sites passing User Identifications (UIDs) to its advertisers. The article has generated a huge amount of attention, begging the question whether the Wall Street Journal is exposing a significant privacy problem, or making something of nothing in the pursuit of web page impressions.
Continue Reading Facebook Again In the Spotlight for Privacy Blunders

As with NebuAd here in the United States, the Phorm service in Europe is under constant and increasing attack.  The business model for both is basically to team up with Internet service providers, track and collect Internet usage data, and then use that information to serve interest-based ads to the Internet user.  Take a trip to a popular gadget web site, and expect to be served advertisements that offer gadgets for sale.  Visit a travel interest web site, and expect to start noticing advertisements from travel sites in other web pages. 

Announcing that the European Union has "opened an infringement proceeding" to investigate Phorm’s activities, the European Union’s Commissioner for Information Society and Media, Viviane Reding, said in a video message that "European privacy rules are crystal clear: a person’s information can only be used with their prior consent. We cannot give up this basic principle, and have all our exchanges monitored, surveyed and stored in exchange for a promise of ‘more relevant’ advertising! I will not shy away from taking action where an EU country falls short of this duty."

The legal action commenced by the European Union basically consists of an inquiry and warning to Britain, inquiring into Britain’s interpretation of the privacy regulations and rules in place, and an explanation of how operations by Phorm comply with those privacy regulations and rules.  In other words, the European Union wants Britain to explain why it has not commenced any action against Phorm.  Britain has two months to respond, and additional inquiries and warnings may follow before the European Union forces Britain into court.


Continue Reading European Union Seeks Privacy Enforcement By Britain