In this week’s Privacy News roundup….
Facebook Inc. is appealing a preliminary order by Ireland’s privacy regulator to suspend its data transfers from Europe to the U.S., pushing its stance in a case with wide-ranging implications for global tech businesses.
Facebook filed the case against Ireland’s Data Protection Commission before Ireland’s High Court on Thursday, according to the country’s courts service. The social networking giant says it is asking for judicial review of the data commission’s process because the regulator issued an initial conclusion before regulatory guidance from a body representing all EU privacy regulators.
A lack of safe, secure and legal international data transfers would have damaging consequences for the European economy, …We urge regulators to adopt a pragmatic and proportionate approach until a sustainable long-term solution can be reached,
The company wouldn’t comment on whether it had asked the court to halt finalization of the preliminary order, nor did it offer more detail on the grounds for its request for a judicial review.
Source & full story: InvestorsHub
Hackers with ties to Russia, China and Iran are attempting to snoop on people and groups involved with the US 2020 presidential election, Microsoft says.
The Russian hackers who breached the 2016 Democratic campaign are again involved, said the US tech firm. Microsoft said it was “clear that foreign activity groups have stepped up their efforts” targeting the election.
Both President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden’s campaigns are in the cyber-raiders’ sights.
Russian hackers from the Strontium group have targeted more than 200 organisations, many of which are linked to US political parties – both Republicans and Democrats, Microsoft said in a statement.
The same attackers also targeted British political parties, said Microsoft, without specifying which ones.
Strontium is also known as Fancy Bear, a cyber-attack unit allegedly affiliated with Russia’s GRU military intelligence service.
Russia and China have denied the reports. On Friday Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for President Vladimir Putin, said the Kremlin had never tried to interfere in other countries’ elections.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Microsoft “should not make accusations against China out of nothing”.
Source & full story: BBC News
The ride-hailing app Wheely has written to the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) after claiming it is being pressured into potentially breaking European privacy law by handing over data on its journeys to the Moscow Department of Transportation (MDOT).
The company, which has its headquarters in London, last month had its Russian subsidiary suspended from operating by a Moscow court for 90 days, after it refused to hand over the information that it argues could be used to breach the privacy of individual customers.
The case is the latest row between a major city and a ride-hailing app about the balance to be struck between regulating transport and customer privacy.
In the letter to the ICO, sent last month, the Wheely chief executive, Anton Chirkunov, said: “We are very concerned that sharing the data with the MDOT would likely result in a high risk to the privacy rights and freedoms of the individuals to whom it relates, due to the sensitive (and very detailed) nature of the information sought.
We think it unlikely that we (or any other business established in the EU and operating a ride-hailing service in Moscow), would have a legal basis for the purposes of the GDPR [General Data Protection Regulation] to share the requested data with the MDOT.
Source & full story: The Guardian
A Swiss federal commissioner says a U.S.-Swiss program aimed to protect personal data exchanged between the two countries doesn’t go far enough.
A Swiss federal commissioner announced Tuesday that a U.S.-Swiss program aimed to protect personal information exchanged between the two countries doesn’t go far enough, and has downgraded the United States to rank it as a country deemed to have inadequate data protection.
Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner Adrian Lobsiger, in a new policy paper, recommends that Swiss companies or government should disclose personal data to the U.S. only if safeguards are put in place to protect people from prying U.S. authorities.
Lobsiger’s paper follows a regular review of the three-year-old U.S.-Swiss program known as Privacy Shield, and his recommendations follow similar concerns expressed by EU authorities about an alleged lack of privacy protections in the United States. Switzerland is not an EU member, but often mirrors or lines up with the positions of the 27-member bloc that all but surrounds the wealthy Alpine country.
Source & full story: ABC News
Zoom has added a new security update as continues to fight against privacy threats.
The app has become perhaps the most prominent way for people to keep in touch with colleagues and friends through global lockdowns, reporting a vast increase in the number of people using it in recent months.
But that extra attention has also brought concern about its security features, amplified by a range of high-profile incidents. Those problems have included Zoombombing, where unauthorised people break into Zoom chats, often shouting offensive or troubling things.
Now the company has added yet another update intended to keep chats more secure: two factor-authentication, or 2FA.
The feature is another layer of security intended to ensure that only the right people are able to join any given conversation.
Source & full story: MSN