Posts Tagged ‘GDPR’

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data protection commission ireland logo Based on the results of an investigation by Privacy International, one of Europe’s key data protection authorities has opened an inquiry into Quantcast, a major player in the online tracking industry.The Irish Data Protection Commission has now opened statutory inquiry into Quantcast International Limited. The organisation writes:

Since the application of the GDPR significant concerns have been raised by individuals and privacy advocates concerning the conduct of technology companies operating in the online advertising sector and their compliance with the GDPR. Arising from a submission to the Data Protection Commission by Privacy International, a statutory inquiry pursuant to section 110 of the Data Protection Action 2018 has been commenced in respect of Quantcast International Limited. The purpose of the inquiry is to establish whether the company’s processing and aggregating of personal data for the purposes of profiling and utilising the profiles generated for targeted advertising is in compliance with the relevant provisions of the GDPR. The GDPR principle of transparency and retention practices will also be examined.

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us government logoThe US Federal Government is quietly meeting with top tech company representatives to develop a proposal to protect web users’ privacy amid the ongoing fallout globally of scandals that have rocked Facebook and other companies.Over the past month, the Commerce Department has met with representatives from Facebook and Google, along with Internet providers like AT&T and Comcast, and consumer advocates, sources told the Washington Post.

The goal of these meetings is to come up with a data privacy proposal at the federal level that could serve as a blueprint for Congress to pass sweeping legislation in the mode of the European Union GDPR. There are currently no laws that govern how tech companies harness and monetize US users’ data.

A total of 22 meetings with more than 80 companies have been held on this topic over the last month.

One official at the White House told the Post this week that recent developments have been seismic in the privacy policy world, prompting the government to discuss what a modern U.S. approach to privacy protection might look like.

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whatsapp 2016 logoPopular messaging service WhatsApp is introducing a minimum age restriction of 16yo, at least in Europe.The Facebook owned service is changing the rules ahead of the introduction of new EU data privacy regulations in May.

The app,will ask users to confirm their age when prompted to agree new terms of service in the next few weeks. It has not said if the age limit will be enforced.

At present, WhatsApp does not ask users their age when they join, nor does it cross-reference their Facebook or Instagram accounts to find out. About a third of all UK-based 12- to 15-year-olds active on social media use WhatsApp, according to a 2017 report by the media regulator Ofcom. That made it the fifth most popular social network with the age group after Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube.

The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) includes specific rules to protect youngsters whose personal data is processed in order to provide them with online services. Such websites and apps are obliged to make reasonable efforts to verify that a parent or guardian has given consent for their child’s data to be handled. The law says this obligation applies to under-16s, although some countries – including the UK – have been allowed to set the cut-off limit lower, at 13.

Facebook, which has also been criticised for its handling of personal data, is taking a different approach to younger users on its main service. To comply with GDPR , the social network is asking those aged 13 to 15 to nominate a parent or guardian to give permission for them to share information on the platform. If they do not, they will not see a fully personalised version of the platform.

The policy changes implemented in response to GDPR will surely have profound impact on the take up of social media services. Age restrictions (or the ability to ignore age restrictions) are incredibly important. For some apps, the dominant services are those that connect the most people, (whilst others become dominant because the effectively exclude parents). A messaging app will be diminished for many if the kids are banned from it. And as you start chipping away at the reach of the network so it would be less attractive to others on the network. Users could soon rift away to less restrictive alternatives.