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The Data Drop News for Friday, June 18, 2021

Is Apple turning data privacy into a strategic advantage? The need for a federal data privacy committee. Regulations are driving a new data privacy market. Data privacy market set to double by 2025. Amazon facing record GDPR fine.

Executive Order replaces ban on TikTok & WeChat. How are social media companies handling children's data?

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Is Apple turning data privacy into a strategic advantage?

Is Apple turning data privacy into a strategic advantage? The company made waves recently with its App Tracking Transparency initiative, and they made privacy a main focus at this year's Worldwide Developer's Conference.

Nearly every new feature that the company announced at the conference includes new privacy protections for consumers.

This includes burner emails, a VPN competitor that obscures IP addresses, and ways to stop email tracking. They are also adding data privacy protections to their in-house apps like Apple Wallet and Health.

The need for a federal data privacy committee

A new report from the US-based Open Technology Institute outlines the need to create a new Federal agency to enforce the law should Congress pass comprehensive privacy legislation.

The Federal Trade Commission has been considered the default privacy agency in the past, however, three recent Bills are now challenging its role in the future of consumer privacy protections.

The report compares the FTC with hypothetical new agencies on six key metrics.

Regulations are driving a new data privacy market

The Future of Privacy Forum is reporting that the privacy tech market is entering a new phase where startup valuations are higher than ever but buyers are demanding more comprehensive product offerings.

One of the biggest drivers of this new era in privacy tech? Regulations. As more rules govern data privacy, businesses must adapt to remain compliant.

Forum CEO Jules Polonetsky stated, “Increasingly, companies want privacy tech to help businesses maximize the utility of data while managing ethics and data protection compliance.”

Data privacy market set to double by 2025

A new report from research firm IDC shows that worldwide revenues of data privacy management software grew by 46.1% year-over-year in 2020.

As data privacy regulations continue to expand, the future looks ripe for privacy management software solutions.

IDC predicts the market will nearly double in the next few years, reaching $2.3 billion by 2025.

Amazon facing record GDPR fine

Luxembourg’s Data Protection Commission is reportedly planning a record-breaking, $426-million fine against Amazon for GDPR violations following a 2018 complaint by a French privacy rights group.

Amazon posted record profits of $108-billion in Q1 2021, meaning the $426-million fine represents 0.4% of their first-quarter profits. That's the rough equivalent of being fined 39 cents after earning $100 dollars.

Executive Order replaces ban on TikTok & WeChat

President Biden has signed an executive order revoking bans on TikTok and WeChat, and replacing them with legislation aimed at better regulating Americans' personal data.

The order requires the Commerce Department to assess the risks posed by apps “owned, controlled, or managed by persons that support foreign adversary military or intelligence activities, or are involved in malicious cyber activities, or involve applications that collect sensitive personal data.”

But isn't that exactly the sort of thing that the US Commerce Department should already be doing?

How are social media companies handling children's data?

Facebook, Youtube, and TikTok do not currently allow users younger than 13 years old but very little is done to prevent kids from lying about their age to create accounts. A new study finds that 75% of kids aged 5 to 15, 50% of children aged 3 to 4 years old watch Youtube, and 44% of children ages 8 to 12 use TikTok.

Currently, if an account is created with a fake birthday these companies have no way of treating that user's data differently, so the data is being used to serve ads, content, and being sold to aggregators. Meanwhile, content algorithms often result in inappropriate material being served to children.

While Facebook has announced several new platforms targeted specifically at children, privacy experts warn that these platforms could be collecting data to be used for targeted marketing as soon as the child turns 13.


This week's Drop Shots

Your quickfire news items from the world of data privacy

Academic professionals support shared data

According to a recent survey at 20 top Canadian universities, the majority of academic professionals believe open data is beneficial to society and nearly 80% of respondents supported mandatory open data policies.

What is blind learning?

Hey AI enthusiasts, have you heard of blind learning? It's a new way to feed massive amounts of training data to machine learning algorithms without sacrificing user data privacy. Visit this link to learn more!

Facebook publishes report on supposed cost of data privacy

A new report says that the GDPR and similar laws could be very expensive for businesses. It's worth noting that the report was funded by Facebook which has openly opposed such privacy protections from the start.

Apple settles in privacy case

Apple has settled a court case with a 21-year-old student whose personal images and videos were uploaded to her Facebook account while her iPhone was at an Apple-approved repair facility in 2016.


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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