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The Data Drop News for Thursday, April 8, 2021

Updated: May 18, 2021

EU framework for vaccine passport data. Calling for ban on facial recognition. "Cybervetting" privacy risks. Watching employees work from home. Plus this week's Drop Shots!

Data framework for vaccine passports

Vaccine passports are getting attention in the EU, especially in the member nations who rely heavily on tourism. But the European Data Protection Board warned that such certificates should conform to a broader legal framework.

A spokesperson for the EU stated: “Any measure adopted at national or EU level that involves processing of personal data must respect the general principles of effectiveness, necessity, and proportionality"

The EU also stated that data from vaccine passports should not be used to create a centralized EU database and that the data should be destroyed once the pandemic is truly over.

Digital rights coalition against facial recognition

Staying in Europe, an open letter has been sent to European commissioners from a coalition of 51 digital rights organizations that is calling a ban on the use of facial recognition tools in public spaces.

The letter comes just weeks ahead of the April 21st release of new rules on the ethical use of artificial intelligence in Europe, which will include the use of Computer Vision, and AI technology focused on image recognition.

The letter stresses the importance of protecting fundamental human rights in relation to facial recognition and other biometric technologies and says that the use of such tools in public spaces is nothing short of mass surveillance.

Privacy risk with "cybervetting"?

A new study has found that the use of social media by HR professionals in researching job applicants may pose significant risks to the privacy of candidates.

The study found that the process, which is known as "cybervetting", introduces unavoidable bias into the hiring process.

According to one co-author of the report: “Some workers have a social media profile that sends the right signals and can take advantage of cybervetting. But for everyone else, they are not only at a disadvantage; they don’t even know they're at a disadvantage… because they don’t necessarily know what employers are looking for.”

Work-from-home watchers

According to the Guardian newspaper, one of the world’s largest call center companies will soon start monitoring their remote workers via webcams.

Teleperformance, which employs about 380,000 people in 34 countries, will record their workers to spot infractions like eating, looking at their phones, or leaving their desks while working from home.


This week's Drop Shots

Your quickfire news items from the world of data privacy

Volvo invests in ethical data collection

In Sweden, automaker Volvo has hired data protection expert Augusta Speiser as its new Chief Compliance and Ethics Officer. The new role will help ensure that the cars produced by the company apply an ethical approach to data collection and use.

Alaska joins States for data ownership

Alaska has introduced a new data privacy bill, making it the latest state to do so and adding increased pressure on the Biden administration to introduce national data protection regulations similar to Europe's GDPR.

Google listening to you sleep?

Google knows almost everything you do while you’re awake - now they want to know what you do while you’re asleep, too. Their latest smart display measures motion and noise in your bedroom in order to generate data about your quality of sleep. One can only imagine what else it will record.

Indiana against workplace tracking devices

Indiana has joined a handful of other US states in the preemptive banning of workplace microchipping where employers require workers to wear RFID or other tracking devices on their person. It might sound like science fiction, but some privacy experts see personal device implants as the next privacy battleground.


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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