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BIGtoken’s Weekly Data Privacy Roundup

Surprise, more data leaks following poor big tech privacy policies. Big technology, particularly Facebook is just not getting the message.

Facebook Is Under Investigation In The EU For Its Massive Leak Of 533 Million People’s Data – And It Could Face A Fine In The Billions,” Business Insider – April 14, 2021

  • Europe’s leading privacy regulator is investigating Facebook’s handling of the leak of phone numbers and personal data of more than half a billion people. If Facebook is found to have violated the EU’s rules concerning data, it could be liable for up to $3.5 billion, approximately 4% of its global revenue. Surprisingly, Facebook was vulnerable to a cyber attack allowing this enormous amount of data to be dumped onto a hacking forum. Whether found liable or having a cavalier attitude with a lack of transparency, it is time for Facebook to take its users personal data more seriously.

WhatsApp Privacy Policy’s May 15 Deadline: With A Month Left, What You Need To Keep In Mind,” MSN- April 15, 2021

  • The WhatsApp chaos started when it became clear that its privacy policy is to keep account of and share user data with its parent company Facebook including phone numbers and transactional data. WhatsApp has extended its February 8th deadline to a May 15th deadline for users to expect their re-vamped privacy policy to continue the service. Most people do not trust the new policy and it is likely that the mass exodus from WhatsApp will be permanent.

Governments, companies, and individuals are scrambling to develop data protection solutions while simultaneously enjoying the benefits of technological advancement with big data. The equilibrium is far from being reached; however, at least efforts are underway.

“In A Quest To Rein In Its Tech Giants, China Turns To Data Protection,” CNBC- April 11, 2021

  • China is making the rules stronger to contain the power of technology companies such as Alibaba and Tencent. Some believe that developing a strong data privacy framework could improve China’s stature in the technology world. Skeptically, even if the technology power held by companies is reduced, China’s government still holds a tremendous amount of data on all of its citizens.

“The Challenges Of Big Tech Holding The Reins On Privacy,” Law.com- April 12, 2021

  • As usual, Apple is now the bellwether for privacy policies as its new protocols could impact the “whole tech ecosystem.” Apple will require individual apps to explicitly ask for permission for data tracking. Conversely, there are tech companies that are implementing, ahead of regulations, standards beneficial to their privacy policies. As is consistently the theme with respect to privacy, vigilance is critical.

“5 Key Data Privacy and Security Risks That Arise When Organization Record Job Interviews & Strategies For Mitigating Them,” The National Law Review- April 13, 2021

  • In many cases, the increased use of video conferencing in lieu of in-person interactions was necessary in response to the Covid-19 crisis. While in-person meetings will start to come back as the pandemic gets under control, using video will continue to be utilized for its many benefits. However, these videos, often recorded, create significant privacy concerns such as which state privacy law governs, the increased amount of private data collected compared to notes taken in person and the security of the video interviews. As video recordings, zoom and other remote ways to communicate are here to stay, it is incumbent on those recording and collecting the data to ensure that they are complying with laws and implementing proper safeguards to protect the data.