top of page
  • Writer's pictureTeam

The Data Drop News for Friday, April 23, 2021

Updated: May 6, 2021

App Tracking Transparency has (almost) arrived. 17 different vaccine passports... and counting. What's happening to all that vaccine registration data? What Brexit means for UK's data privacy protections. International coalition opposes planned "Instagram for Kids". WhatsApp's new privacy policy might be illegal. Plus, this week's Drop Shots!

Pro tip: get The Data Drop on your phone by subscribing to our podcast.

App Tracking Transparency has (almost) arrived

Apple has announced that its iOS 14.5 update will be released next week and will include the company's long-anticipated app-tracking transparency capability.

The new feature will require application developers to ask consumers for consent before sharing their data outside of the app. This is expected to have major implications for developers as most users aren't even aware that apps collect and share their data in the first place.

The change comes after months of pushback from Facebook and other Silicon Valley giants who argue that this will hurt their digital marketing abilities.

17 different vaccine passports... and counting

According to officials in the Biden administration, there are currently at least 17 different vaccine passport initiatives happening in the United States. While digital proof of vaccination against COVID-19 could help speed up the return to normalcy, observers note that the administration must act quickly if they want to prevent the confusion that would come from having so many passport options.

Inevitably, reports of vaccination passport forgeries on the dark web have already started to appear.

What's happening to all that vaccine registration data?

A coalition of privacy advocate groups, including the Electronic Privacy Information Center and the Consumer Federation of America, recently stated that "patients should not have to trade unrestricted use of their sensitive personal information for a life-saving vaccine".

The announcement comes as pharmacies and healthcare providers in the US ramp up the collection of personal information as part of COVID vaccination scheduling. Currently, citizens searching for vaccines are being asked to enter data on their race, ethnicity, profession, health, and gender - often to multiple websites - just to register for an appointment.

According to privacy experts, it's likely that much of this information will find its way into the hands of data aggregators.

What Brexit means for UK's data privacy protections.

After leaving the EU and the protections of the GDPR, Britain needs a national data privacy law of its own.

UK digital secretary Oliver Dowden said that it is important to allow information to flow more freely and drive growth in the digital economy. Now that the UK has left the European union's orbit. The country is currently on a temporary extension of Europe's comprehensive protections but the nation plans to create its own data protection laws in the near future.

International coalition opposes planned "Instagram for Kids"

Our regular listeners will know that the Data Drop News recently shared that Facebook plans to make a new version of Instagram available that's targeted specifically at children under the age of 13.

Now, an international coalition of 35 different children and consumer groups has called on the social media giant to scrap these plans, citing the rampant potential for abuse and bullying.

The coalition cites how Facebook's previous "Messenger Kids" app had a bug that allowed children to enter into group conversations with strangers, for example.

WhatsApp's new privacy policy might be illegal

Staying with Facebook, it seems that their proposed update to WhatsApp's privacy policy is so bad that it might be illegal! German privacy investigators are looking into the changes which would allow Facebook to aggregate user data across platforms and have recently begun the process of blocking the changes.


This week's Drop Shots

Your quickfire news items from the world of data privacy

Export controls for US data?

A newly proposed us bill cites inadequate data protection is a matter of national security and is seeking to set up export controls for US consumer data.

Azimuth Security hacked that iPhone for the FBI

In 2012 Apple made headlines for refusing to give the FBI backdoor access to a terrorist suspect's iPhone. It's now been revealed that Azimuth Security was the company that cracked into the phone on behalf of the FBI.

Your iPhone remembers everywhere it's ever been

It's not always obvious how much data your devices have about you. If you use an iPhone, visit this link to learn how to find a hidden map that shows everywhere you've been recently.

Google Android collects 20x more user data than Apple's iOS

A new study has demonstrated that Google collects 20 times more data from Android users than Apple collects from iOS users.

Total cost of initial compliance with the CCPA estimated at $55 billion

The total cost of initial compliance with the California consumer privacy act (CCPA) is estimated at 55 billion. That's according to a recent economic impact assessment report. It makes you wonder what the total cost will be when all 50 States develop their own privacy laws.


The Data Drop News is a production of the Data Collaboration Alliance, a nonprofit working to advance data ownership through pilot projects in sustainability, healthcare, education, and social inclusion. We also offer free training in the Data Collaboration methodology. Listen to the Data Drop on our website or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page