The Data Drop News for Friday, March 5, 2021

The need for data privacy lessons, harsher GDPR penalties, businesses resisting CCPA, data privacy concerns with 23andMe, plus data privacy zingers!



Do you need data privacy lessons?

A recent survey by identity management company Entrust found that most consumers have a poor understanding of data privacy but still believe they are protecting themselves.


More than 83% of 1,000 US and UK residents surveyed claim to be taking data privacy precautions. But further questions revealed that they aren't actually doing anything meaningful to protect their data


This shows a general lack of education when it comes to data privacy protections.


GDPR penalties get harsher

Europe has been stepping up the penalties for GDPR violations, according to law firm DLA Piper. The EU has issued over $192 million USD in financial penalties since January 28th, 2020, a 39% increase over the previous year.


The single largest fine was $57 million levied against Google in 2019 - a year in which their annual revenue was over $162 billion.


Businesses resisting CCPA

California is attempting to help its residents manage their data privacy, but it's an uphill battle.


Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, their citizens have the right to use a third party or "authorized agent" to help them exercise their data privacy rights. But Consumer Reports magazine found that many companies are resisting such data privacy requests.


Excuses range from vague and incomplete requests to falsely claiming the law doesn't apply to them. Several companies simply never acknowledged the requests at all.


Data privacy concerns with 23andMe

In other news, the genetic testing company 23andMe is set to go public, partnering with a firm backed by Sir Richard Branson.


Launched in 2006, 23andMe sells kits to determine people's genetic ancestry and their risks of developing certain illnesses. However, the deal raises fresh privacy concerns about a for-profit company owning the genetic data of millions of people.


This week's Data Privacy zingers


Philadelphia demands data protection

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, residents are calling for mandatory data protection laws after scam artists collected and sold their data as part of a COVID vaccine debacle that also derailed the city's vaccination rollout.


TikTok selling children's personal data

Social media giant TikTok recently agreed to pay $92 million US in a class-action settlement for illegally tracking and sharing the personal data of users, some as young as eight years old.


Record-breaking data leak

More than 3 billion email and password combinations were posted to the dark web in early February, setting a new record for the single largest data leak. The data is estimated to include information from around 70% of worldwide internet users.

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