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Mind the gap: Poll finds many Canadian businesses believe privacy is important but not taking basic steps to protect customer information

Ten years after Canada’s private sector privacy law came into full effect, our latest survey has found that many Canadian businesses are still not taking the basic steps necessary to protect the personal information of their customers and clients – despite believing that protecting privacy is “extremely important”. An overwhelming majority of businesses (82%) said [...]

60 Minutes: The Data Brokers Selling Your Personal Information

CBS’s “60 Minutes” had a segment on data brokers, companies that gather and sell personal information on individuals, and how they can affect an individual’s privacy: They’re called data brokers, and they are collecting, analyzing and packaging some of our most sensitive personal information and selling it as a commodity…to each other, to advertisers, even [...]

UK Information Commissioner’s Office Fines Pregnancy Advice Service Over Privacy Breach

The UK Information Commissioner’s Office announced that it has fined (pdf) the British Pregnancy Advice Service £200,000 “after a serious breach of the Data Protection Act revealed thousands of people’s details to a malicious hacker.” An ICO investigation found the charity didn’t realise its own website was storing the names, address, date of birth and [...]

New York Times: Big Data Means Big Questions on How That Information Is Used

The New York Times reports on yesterday’s MIT- and White House-sponsored workshop “Big Data Privacy” and what all that data gathering and use means for average individuals’ privacy rights. The event is part of the White House’s recently announced review of privacy and big data. The Times reports: CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — With the success of [...]

Fighting for East Timor’s right to free expression and information for everybody, not just journalists

La’o Hamutuk … submissions for free speech and the right to information for everybody in Timor-Leste. Photo: David Robie EARLIER this month Café Pacific published two commentaries on the draconian proposed media law for Timor-Leste and why journalists are up in arms about it. They were republished on Pacific Scoop. But it isn’t only journalists [...]

No warrant needed for cell location information in the Fifth US Circuit

ArsTechnica has a nice article on a recent ruling by the US Fifth Circuit court of appeals. In this 2-1 decision, the court ruled that cellular location information is not covered by the fourth amendment, and does not require a warrant. The logic behind this ruling is that the information is part of business records [...]

Toronto Sun (Canada): Patients sue Ottawa hospital for $40M for lost information

The Toronto Sun reports on a medical data privacy issue in Ottawa: OTTAWA — A group of patients whose personal information was lost is suing Montfort Hospital in Ottawa for million. The suit stems from a lost USB memory stick that contained information on 25,000 patients. The stick was lost in November 2012 before [...] [...]

Privacy Commissioner launches investigation of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada breach of student loan recipient information

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) announced today that it is launching an investigation into a breach involving the personal information about more than half a million clients of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) and 250 departmental employees. The OPC was informed by HRSDC of the disappearance of an external [...]

Google gets 55% more government information requests in 2012 than 2010

Google Transparency Report shows government surveillance, takedown requests are up. The number of information requests coming to Google from governments around the world is growing fast. It is up 55% for the first half of 2012 vs. the first half of 2010. The linked article has some nice graphs showing the trend. It is interesting [...]

GAO: FDA Should Expand Its Consideration of Information Security for Certain Types of Devices

The Government Accountability Office has released a new report, “Medical Devices: FDA Should Expand Its Consideration of Information Security for Certain Types of Devices, GAO-12-816″ (GAO pdf; archive pdf). The report discusses security threats that could affect the privacy of individuals’ medical data. Here’s an excerpt: Certain medical devices have become increasingly complex, and the growing use [...]