Google defends its use of data, points finger at governments

Business Cloud News,  Monday, February 16, 2015

Google’s senior vice president communications and public policy Rachel Whetstone has defended the company’s evolving strategy on collecting and managing personal data, but said governments need to reform how they seek data from private firms and one another. She also said Google’s progressive policy on encryption “requires governments to go through the proper legal channels” for customer data, and hit out at how governments secure data from one another and private firms across borders for law enforcement purposes including surveillance. “The MLAT process is too slow, too complicated and in need of reform,” she said. “Europe is leading the way here. We now need the US to follow suit.”

Microsoft beats rivals to certify under new public cloud security standard

Business Cloud News,  Monday, February 16, 2015

Microsoft has adopted a relatively new ISO standard that specifies measures to protect Personally Identifiable Information (PII) in public cloud environments. The company claims it is the first public cloud provider to do so. Microsoft, a huge advocate of regulatory reform around data privacy rights in the US, is currently embroiled in a court case that has seen the IT giant repeatedly challenge US District Court rulings compelling it to hand over email and contact information stored in its cloud platform in Ireland as part of a drug-trafficking trial. The company is currently supporting a number of recently introduced laws that seek to limit the reach of US courts over data stored in cloud services located outside the US.

Samsung Reveals Potential for Smart TVs to Eavesdrop

Youkyung Lee, AP/ABC News,  Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Watch what you say in your living room. Samsung's smart TV could be listening. And sharing. Voice recognition technology in the South Korean company's Internet connected TVs captures and transmits nearby conversations. The potential for TVs to eavesdrop is revealed in Samsung's smart TV privacy policy available on its website. "Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party through your use of Voice Recognition," the policy said.

Box hands cloud encryption keys over to its customers

Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica,  Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Today, Box says it has a new product that gets the job done. Called “Enterprise Key Management (EKM),” the service puts encryption keys inside a customer’s own data center and in a special security module stored in an Amazon data center. The Box service still must access customer’s data in order to enable sharing and collaboration, but EKM makes sure that only happens when the customer wants it to, Box says.

The Role of Privacy Practices in Information Management

Tracy Mitrano and Jacob Cunningham, EDUCAUSE,  Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Cloud computing shifts the institutional burden from technology to contract formation. Nowhere is this shift more notable than in information management. Many privacy practices and technical security controls must be negotiated up front with the vendor. Physical technology rests on their premises while the institution's regulatory, business needs, and ethical responsibilities to maintain the information appropriately do not change.

Limit ‘Right to Be Forgotten’ to Europe, Panel Tells Google

Mark Scott, New York Times Bits,  Friday, February 06, 2015

Europe’s so-called right to be forgotten should apply only in Europe. That was the majority opinion in a recommendation published on Friday by an eight-person committee set up by Google to provide guidance over how the search giant should comply with a landmark privacy ruling in the 28-member bloc.

Congress takes another swing at ending warrantless reading of emails

John Ribeiro, IDG News Service,  Thursday, February 05, 2015

Legislation that aims to put a stop to warrantless reading of emails got a fillip Wednesday with bills introduced both in the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives to amend the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. The bipartisan "Electronic Communications Privacy Act Amendments Act of 2015" will require the government to have a search warrant to obtain the content of Americans' emails and other electronic communications stored with a third-party service provider, even if it is older than 180 days. It will also require that the government notify the person whose account was disclosed, and provide him with a copy of the search warrant and other details about the information obtained.

Getting Smart about Smartphones

Julie Anderson by Julie Anderson, AG Strategy Group
Wednesday, February 04, 2015

If the 20th century was the age of the automobile, the 21st already looks to be the century of smartphones, devices and big data. In the past five years alone, smartphones have gone from being reserved for the world’s wealthiest to full integration into our daily lives. But as next-generation technologies such as Apple’s Siri, Google Voice, smart watches, and other interactive, data-collecting tools are adopted faster than any previous technology in human history, this begs the question—how much do consumers actually know about them? And what can we, as consumers, do to protect our personal data from misuse?

FTC’s Rich Lays a Roadmap for Responsible Data Practices

Omer Tene, IAPP,  Tuesday, February 03, 2015

If you haven’t already read the speech that Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Bureau of Consumer Protection (BCP) Director Jessica Rich gave last week at an advertising industry meeting, take the time to do it now. Direct, sharp and concise, it maps out the state of play at the intersection of technology, law and policy, and charts a path for businesses that wish to avoid legal trouble not only with the powerful federal regulator but also with state attorneys general, class-action plaintiffs and European privacy authorities.

Google to change privacy policy after investigation by UK data watchdog

Leila Abboud, Reuters,  Friday, January 30, 2015

Search engine Google has agreed to better inform users about how it handles their personal information after an investigation by Britain's data protection regulator found its privacy policy was too vague. The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) said in a statement on Friday that it required Google to sign a "formal undertaking" that it would make the changes by June 30 and take further steps in the next two years.