Google will pay $170 million to settle charges that YouTube made millions of dollars over the years from violating children's privacy laws, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and New York’s attorney general announced on Wednesday. The fine is by far the largest ever imposed on a website for violations of the 1998 Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which requires companies to obtain parental consent before collecting data on children under the age of 13.
Now that so much of normal life revolves around the internet, the privacy of each and every one of us is at risk. Advertisers, service providers, and governments all around the world are increasingly interested in tracking every single movement we make online.
Facebook has been hiring third-party contractors to review and transcribe audio clips of its users, according to a new report from Bloomberg. Facebook claims it stopped using human workers to review audio clips “more than a week ago,” noting that the contractors were previously hired to check whether anonymized conversations were being correctly transcribed on the Messenger app.
Though there is both industry and congressional support for regulation, there has yet to emerge a consensus for a framework of said legislation. A proposed regulation can draw upon elements of existing regulation, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the APEC Cross-Border Privacy Rules (CBPR), as well as impending regulation, such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) for guidance.
If not properly executed, a federal privacy law could cost billions, according to a report released Monday by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. Legislation that mirrors many of the key provisions in the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation or California’s Consumer Protection Act would cost the U.S. economy $122 billion per year..
Seattle-based engineer Paige Thompson was arrested Monday for allegedly hacking into Capital One’s databases and gaining access to approximately 140,000 Social Security numbers and 80,000 bank account numbers. Capital One disclosed the massive breach in a press release Monday afternoon, noting that about 100 million people in the U.S. and 6 million people in Canada were affected in total. It’s one of the largest breaches of a major financial service.
The FTC found that Facebook deceived its users about their privacy protections while allowing third parties to harvest their data and that the company failed to establish a "reasonable privacy program that safeguarded the privacy, confidentiality, and integrity of user information" as required under a previous agreement with the agency. The agency further alleged that Facebook illegally used phone numbers that users provided to protect their accounts' security for advertising purposes without their consent.
GDPR has been in effect in the EU for one year, and regulators, consumers and businesses are facing its unintended consequences. Other countries can take those outcomes and do better with their own data protections.
Lawmakers have to create a policy that is “sufficiently agile to accommodate new uses of data that none of us can even conceive of right now,” said Ernest & Young Americas Privacy Leader Angela Saverice-Rohan. Privacy standards are dependent on shifting cultural norms and constantly evolving technology, Saverice-Rohan said, and so Congress should focus on allowing context-dependent consumer choice.