Summary of this week’s Data Privacy News…
Facebook has said it could lose most of its revenue from ads on apps, because of changes to Apple’s operating system.
In the upcoming iOS 14, apps have to explicitly ask users’ permission to collect and share data, meaning ads will no longer be able to just “follow” users to apps outside of Facebook.
Users targeted in this way are eight times more likely to buy products, according to Facebook.
But iOS 14 tests suggest “more than a 50% drop in… publisher revenue”.
Audience Network, which Facebook describes as a “way for advertisers to extend their campaigns beyond Facebook and into other mobile apps”, works by using an identifier code to target advertising on the basis of users’ “likes” and preferences.
Source & full story: BBC News
Unsealed documents from a lawsuit against Google show that even the company’s own engineers were confused about its location settings and privacy.
The state of Arizona recently filed its case against the company claiming it uses “deceptive and unfair practices used to obtain users’ location data, which Google then exploits for its lucrative advertising business.”
The documents show that Google engineers attempted to make it easier for users to change how much location information is sent to the company, but one unnamed employee expressed dismay that it was so complex.
According to the Arizona Mirror, the software engineer said in the released chat logs:
Speaking as a user, WTF? More specifically I **thought** I had location tracking turned off on my phone, …So our messaging around this is enough to confuse a privacy focused [Google software engineer]. That’s not good.
Source & full story: Independent
Facebook is pushing back on new Apple privacy rules for its mobile devices — and putting app developers in the middle.
Apple will soon require apps to ask users for permission to collect data on what devices they are using and to let ads follow them around on the internet. The social network said Wednesday that those rules could reduce what apps can earn by advertising through Facebook‘s audience network.
Facebook said it expects “less impact” on its own advertising revenue than on the ad-supported businesses that rely on its audience network to promote their apps. The audience network allows Facebook and Instagram advertisers to place their ads elsewhere on the internet.
Apple says the latest version of its mobile operating system, iOS 14, is designed to protect people’s privacy. It will require apps to ask users for permission to collect and share data using a unique code that identifies their iPhones and iPads. The update is due later this fall.
Source & full story: ABC News
A cross-party group of more than 20 MPs has accused the UK’s privacy watchdog of failing to hold the government to account for its failures in the NHS coronavirus test-and-trace programme.
The MPs have urged Elizabeth Denham, the information commissioner, to demand that the government change the programme after it admitted failing to conduct a legally required impact assessment of its privacy implications.
In a letter signed by 22 MPs from four parties, the group calls on the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to consider fining the government “if it fails to adhere to the standards which the ICO is responsible for upholding”.
Daisy Cooper, the Liberal Democrat MP for St Albans, one of the letter’s signatories, said:
During the coronavirus pandemic the government has seemingly played fast and loose with data protection measures that keep people safe. The public needs a data regulator with teeth: the ICO must stop sitting on its hands and start using its powers – to assess what needs to change and enforce those changes – to ensure that the government is using people’s data safely and legally.
Source & full story: The Guardian
Uber’s former chief security officer Joseph Sullivan has been charged with obstruction of justice in the US. The 52-year-old is accused of trying to cover up a data breach in 2016 that exposed the details of 57 million Uber drivers and passengers.
The company has previously admitted to paying a group of hackers a $100,000 (£75,000) ransom to delete the data they had stolen.
Mr Sullivan was fired in 2017 when the data breach was revealed.
The charges filed by the US Department of Justice said Mr Sullivan had taken “deliberate steps” to stop the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) from finding out about the hack.
He is accused of approving the $100,000 payment to the hackers, which was made in bitcoin. The payment was disguised as a “bug bounty” reward, used to pay cyber-security researchers who disclose vulnerabilities so they can be fixed.
Source & full story: BBC News