Data Privacy Digest – April 12, 2019

April 12, 2019

The Data Privacy Digest is Californians for Consumer Privacy's weekly round-up of relevant consumer data privacy news. You may subscribe here.

This week, we're checking in on some of the major corporations that collect our personal information and don't exactly keep it safe. Yahoo found out their 2017 data breach may cost them $118 million, and Equifax was found to have violated Canada’s privacy laws. All the while, Facebook is making a show of opting for transparency and modifies its terms and conditions to inform users it makes money off their data. The New York Times editorial board is also launching "The Privacy Project" to further discuss consumer privacy in the modern age. We spy a few references to a certain California privacy law...

It’s time for this week’s Data Privacy Digest:


Yahoo could pay $117.5 million to settle massive data breaches that compromised personal information, including email address and passwords.

"'We believe that the settlement demonstrates our strong commitment to security,' a Verizon Media spokesperson told CNN Business.

"Since June 2017, Yahoo's parent company has boosted its security budget, increased the number of employees in its information security group and enhanced training, policies and procedures related to security, according to court documents.”



Equifax Violated Canada’s Privacy Laws In 2017 Data Breach: Commissioner Daniel Therrien
He criticized the company’s poor security safeguards and a lack of accountability for Canadians’ information.

“More than 143 million people around the world, including 19,000 Canadians, were affected by unauthorized access the financial services company's systems.

"His office concluded the company's deficiencies included poor security safeguards, a lack of accountability for Canadians' information and limited protection measures offered to affected individuals after the breach.

"'We know there are advantages to transborder data flows, but individuals ought to — and do, under the law — have a say in whether their personal information will be disclosed outside Canada.'”



The European Union says Facebook changes terms so users know it makes money by using their data to sell targeted ads.

“The social media giant modified its terms and conditions to better inform users what they are signing up for, the commission said. The new wording will clearly explain how Facebook uses the data it collects on users to develop profiling activities and target advertising to 'finance' the company, it said.

"The company made the changes after discussions with the commission and European consumer protection authorities. EU regulators stepped up scrutiny of Facebook's terms after the Cambridge Analytica data privacy scandal, in which data on 87 million Facebook users was allegedly improperly harvested. They also want tech companies to bring their terms in line with European consumer law.

"If Facebook wants to restore consumer trust after the scandal, it 'should not hide behind complicated, legalistic jargon on how it is making billions on people's data,' European Union Consumer Commissioner Vera Jourova said in a statement."



The New York Times is launching "The Privacy Project" to discuss consumer privacy in the modern age.

"Companies and governments are gaining new powers to follow people across the internet and around the world, and even to peer into their genomes. The benefits of such advances have been apparent for years; the costs — in anonymity, even autonomy — are now becoming clearer. The boundaries of privacy are in dispute, and its future is in doubt. Citizens, politicians and business leaders are asking if societies are making the wisest tradeoffs. The Times is embarking on this monthslong project to explore the technology and where it’s taking us, and to convene debate about how it can best help realize human potential"


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