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The Data Drop News for Friday, July 9, 2021

Data from over 700-million LinkedIn users leaked on Dark Web. US Supreme Court undervalues personal data privacy. Differential privacy algorithm upheld in court. Germany to remove government pages from Facebook by end of year. EU approves UK data rules, for now. Consumers want customized shopping experiences. IT budgets are increasing, but not meeting demands. Plus, this week's Drop Shots!

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Data from over 700-million LinkedIn users leaked on Dark Web

Personal data from over 700 million LinkedIn users are up for sale on the dark web, but LinkedIn is denying any blame.

The social network says that the data breach happened as a result of data scraping by malicious actors, and that it’s not their fault details from over 90% of their total user base have been exposed. The data in question includes full names, email addresses, phone numbers, and employment information, though it does not appear to include any financial info or passwords.

Scraping is against social media service terms, but incredibly hard to detect or prevent, as seen with Facebook’s recent struggles with Clearview AI.

US Supreme Court undervalues personal data privacy

Credit giant TransUnion wrongly and negligently labeled approximately 8,000 people as potential terrorists in its databases and made that dangerous misinformation available to businesses across the nation for purposes of making credit, employment, and other decisions.

In a 5-4 decision, the US Supreme Court said that those affected by the mislabeling were not sufficiently injured to file a lawsuit.

The decision could threaten future Congressional efforts to protect personal data privacy, as it clearly demonstrates that the court does not grasp the value and importance of data in today’s world.

Differential privacy algorithm upheld in court

In a follow-up to one of our earlier reports on "differential privacy", a three-judge court has rejected Alabama's request to force the U.S. Census Bureau to move up the release of 2020 census redistricting data.

The federal judges have also allowed the bureau to continue plans for the differential privacy algorithm, a new way of anonymizing personal data like that collected by the census.

It’s unclear whether differential privacy will face further legal challenges.

Germany to remove government pages from Facebook by end of year

The German government's official Facebook page has over a million followers, but it’s soon to be gone - along with the Facebook pages of all German government organizations.

German officials have decided that it is impossible to run these pages in such a way that followers' personal data was not transmitted to the United States. Under EU law, personal data can only leave the EU for a jurisdiction with equivalently strict data protection rules, and the US does not qualify.

EU approves UK data rules, for now

Since leaving the EU and the protections of the GDPR, the UK has been forced to come up with its own data privacy laws. And it has, by closely copying GDPR policies.

The EU has ruled that the U.K.'s data-protection standards rate as “adequate,” a decision that should prevent widespread disruption in the data flow between the two regions.

The "adequate" rating should be good for four years.

Consumers want customized shopping experiences

According to a recent study by web platform MoEngage, 27% of consumers were bothered by inconsistent messaging across channels, 25% wanted brands to remember preferences based on previous purchases, and 24% complained about irrelevant content or products.

These are exactly the sort of custom experiences that website cookies allow brands to create, making the spread of a “cookie-free” internet a serious concern for retailers.

IT budgets are increasing, but not meeting demands

Security and automation are top priorities for IT professionals, according to a new study by the software company Kaseya.

The report surveyed nearly 1,000 IT professionals worldwide between April and May of 2021. It found that 30% of respondents felt that there was not enough budget or resources to meet demands, despite 38% of respondents saying their budgets had increased in 2021.


This week's Drop Shots

Your quickfire news items from the world of data privacy

New drone capable of long-range flight

European drone-maker Parrot has introduced the first drone to use a 4G data link between it and the pilot, allowing for long-range flights. It works with any phone and data plan, and includes the capability to upload photos and videos while still in the air. As if you needed more reasons to keep your curtains closed.

88% of marketers say collecting first-party data is a 2021 priority

While personal data protection laws remain few and far between, a new study indicates 88% of marketers place the collection of first-party data as their 2021 priority.

The privacy policies of face filters

Privacy advocates are raising concerns over AI photo filters, like those that add cartoon features to your face on Instagram. As more 3rd party developers launch these apps, it's almost certain that personal data, including photos and videos, is being collected and catalogued.


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.


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