Week in Review : December 22-28, 2014

Top Privacy Stories from Last Week
Dec. 29, 2014

Overall, it was a quiet week for privacy, thanks in large part to the Christmas Holiday. Oracle Corp.’s most recent acquisition has some concerned, and Ireland officially threw its (qualified) support behind Microsoft in the months old battle over emails stored in Ireland and relevant to a U.S. criminal case. Also, it was revealed that everything the NSA knows may have come from Santa

On Monday, Dec. 22, computer technology giant Oracle Corp. acquired Datalogix,  a firm that connects both online and offline purchasing data to help companies with their marketing campaigns. The Center for Digital Democracy is concerned that this acquisition, as well as Oracle’s purchase of data broker BlueKai may present a data risk for users and is asking the FTC to carefully evaluate the purchase.

Several months ago, a U.S. court served a search warrant on U.S. company Microsoft, requiring that it divulge emails stored in an Irish server as part of a criminal drug trafficking case. Since that initial warrant, Microsoft has been fighting against producing the documents, saying that appropriate international processes were not followed, and that an American court does not have jurisdiction over documents and files stored in another country. Amicus curiae, or “friend of the court,” briefs have been filed in support of Microsoft by dozens organizations – including Apple, CNN, Fox News, Verizon, and individual members of the European Parliament. This week, the Irish government officially filed its own brief on behalf of Microsoft.

The NSA gave everyone an early Christmas gift, releasing a heavily redacted report of over a decades worth of agency privacy violations. The story did not get much traction, likely due to the Christmas holiday, and I expect more to be revealed in the coming weeks. The report covers employee violations of American citizen’s privacy from after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks until mid-2013.

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