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BIGtoken Weekly Data Privacy Roundup

Enforcement actions and fines work as evidenced by WhatsApp’s improved privacy policies following a whopping fine. Further, Google has pledged to improve its privacy protection compliance to a British regulator.

Meta-Owned Messaging Service WhatsApp Launches New Privacy Policy After Record $267M Fine,” Newsweek- November 22nd, 2021 

Reeling in the wake of a staggering $267 mm fine, WhatsApp is finally updating its privacy policies. The new policy will provide more detailed information about how data is collected and used. WhatsApp’s shift in its privacy policy is a clear indication that enforcement actions with heavy fines are effective.

Google makes pledges on browser cookies to appease UK regulator,” Reuters- November 26th, 2021

Facing increased scrutiny from Britain’s competition regulator, Google has vowed to enhance restrictions on the use of data from its Chrome browser. Whether Google is changing its “privacy tune” or wants to improve its public image, Google has said it is “determined to ensure that the Privacy Sandbox is developed in a way that works for the entire ecosystem.” Britain’s regulator should be commended for its actions.

The fact that privacy regulations such as the GDPR have been enacted is positive. However, many of the intended consumer protections are not enforced.  At the same time, people must take their own independent actions to ensure that their online data is as safe as possible.

Personal Data: Why Privacy Regulations Don’t Go Far Enough,” Forbes- November 22nd, 2021

Despite the privacy protection progress made with the passing of laws such as the GDPR, privacy advocates often argue that these laws do not go far enough. While many laws entitle consumers to ask that their information not be collected or used, this is often not viable from a practical perspective. For these laws to be effective, the laws need to be solidified when it comes to forcing companies’ to truly give back control of personal information to the consumer.

5 mistakes putting your online privacy and security at huge risk,” USA Today- November 28th, 2021

This article alerts readers to 5 mistakes which lead to privacy risks. These include: 1) setting profile to public rather than private, 2) exposing the home network with a weak password, 3) re-using the same passcode, 4) shopping directly from ads and 5) giving broad apps broad access to your private information. Addressing these mistakes will greatly enhance one’s privacy while online.