Week in Review : December 15-21, 2014

Top Privacy Stories from Last Week
Dec. 22, 2014

Former Sony Employees Sue over Privacy Breach
At least 2 civil cases have been brought against Sony Pictures Entertainment, Inc. by former employees who allege that the company knew that it had inadequate measures in place to protect sensitive employee data such as SSNs and salary data. The Sony Hack, which occurred just under a month ago, resulted in the public release of personal information about 6,000+ current and former employees. Accusations that Sony should have been better prepared have existed since the beginning of December.

Uber Responds to Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn)
Private car service, Uber, responded to Senator Al Franken‘s request for information about the company’s privacy policies and practices. The inquiry is the result of recent revelations about Uber’s privacy practices and the existence of their God View tool. In the letter, Uber asserted that rider data can only be accessed for “legitimate business purposes” and that it has recently implemented additional safeguards to protect user data. Sen. Franken, however, was not impressed with the response, and has stated that he is concerned about the lack of detail in Uber’s response.

Dutch_FlagThe Dutch Data Protection Authority Flexes its Muscles
The Dutch Data Protection Authority, College Bescherming Persoongegevens (CBP) made waves this week with 2 big announcements. On Monday, it threatened to fine Google for its combined privacy policy and its practice of combining user data across products. Then, on Tuesday, the CBP targeted Facebook with a press release announcing an investigation into the social media giant’s new privacy policy. The CBP expresed concern about Facebook’s alleged use of photos and personal details for advertising purposes.

The Future of Privacy Discussed 
On Thursday, the Pew Research Internet Project and Elon University have released a new study, called the Future of Privacy, looks 10 years into the future to understand the challenges that consumers, governments, privacy professionals, and other IT works will face “in light of the technological change, ever-growing monetization of digital encounters, and shifting relationship of citizens and their governments” that will occur in the future. This study follows closely on the heels of the Pew Research study “Public Perceptions of Privacy and Security in the Post-Snowden Era” released at the beginning of November.

 

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