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Privacy Monday – Privacy Bits and Bytes to Start Your Week

UK Regulators Tell Google:  Rewrite that Privacy Policy — Or Else

It’s been clear since last year that many European data protection regulators were very unhappy with Google’s “new” privacy policy.   The UK Information Commissioner’s Office has now joined its counterparts in France and Spain in ordering Google to amend its privacy policy by September 20th or face legal action.   According to a release from the Information Commissioner’s Office:  “Google must now amend their privacy policy to make it more informative for individual service users.”   The reaction stems from the Google decision last year to allow it (via its privacy policy) to combine information from logged-in users across all of its platforms and services – including Gmail, Android and YouTube.  Users cannot opt out of the aggregation.

Read More:  Washington Post

The Guardian

AT&T May Sell User Data

You may not have noticed it, but AT&T has “updated” its privacy policy.   Take a look here.   The “update” promotes two new programs — one of which clearly is aimed at permitting AT&T to sell anonymized user data to third parties.

We … want to point out two new programs to help us and other businesses serve you better:

The first program will make reports available to businesses. These will contain anonymous information about groups of customers, such as how they collectively use our products and services. For example, they might tell a retailer about the number of wireless devices in or near their store by time of day, together with anonymous information about those device users’ collective age or gender.

The second program will use local geography as a factor in delivering online and mobile ads to the people who might find them most useful. For instance, if you happen to live in an area where people like going to the movies, you may get ads for movie theaters. This doesn’t mean you’ll get more ads, it just means that the ads you get from AT&T may be more suited to your interests.

Unlike the Google privacy policy changes, though, if you are an AT&T customer, you will be offered an opportunity to opt-out via a letter — see here.    Metrics on the opt-out rate should be interesting.

Read More:  Slashgear

University of South Carolina Hit With Another Data Breach

Even as the University of South Carolina works to eliminate unnecessary use of Social Security numbers after an earlier massive data breach, it has sent another notice to 6,300 students whose personal information, including SSNs, were on a laptop that went missing from the school.   Lesson for the day:  If you don’t need it don’t keep it — and certainly do not keep it on a portable device.

Read More:  The State

If Your Fourth of July Holiday Included Gaming, You Might Want to Read This

An Ubisoft account database was breached through a website assault, revealing user names, email addresses and encrypted passwords, according to the maker of games like the Assassins Creed andJust Dance series.  Ubisoft said, “We instantly took steps to close off this access, to begin a thorough investigation with relevant authorities, internal and external security experts, and to start restoring the integrity of any compromised systems.”    Change that password, gamers.

Read More:  Network World/IDG News Service

AllThingsD

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About this Author

Cynthia Larose, Privacy, Security, Attorney, Mintz Levin, Law Firm
Member

Cynthia is Chair of the firm’s Privacy & Security Practice and a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP).  She represents companies in information, communications, and technology, including e-commerce and other electronic transactions. She counsels clients through all stages of the “corporate lifecycle,” from start-ups through mid- and later-stage financings to IPO, and has broad experience in technology and business law, including online contracting issues, licensing, domain name issues, software development, and complex outsourcing transactions.

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