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The Data Drop News for Thursday, June 24, 2021

EU completes legislative work on "vaccine passports". Can an algorithm be illegal? The value of data collaboration in healthcare. American Heart Association partners with Hitachi on new data platform. LinkedIn asks US Supreme Court to rule on data scraping. Contractor Exposed the Movements of People Wearing Ankle GPS Bracelets. Privacy group calls for Europe to back browser-level cookie controls. Perpetrator sentenced in Alibaba data breach. Plus, this week's Drop Shots!

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EU completes legislative work on "vaccine passports"

Members of the European Parliament have recently completed legislative work on their vaccine passports to support the restart of travel between EU countries.

The certificates will be issued free of charge by national authorities and be available in either digital or paper format containing a QR code.

This common EU framework will make certificates interoperable and verifiable across the European Union, as well as prevent fraud and forgery.

The new system will launch on July first and remain in place for 12 months.

Can an algorithm be illegal?

Can an algorithm be illegal?

Attorneys general from 16 US states recently joined together in a lawsuit against the Census Bureau contesting the its plan to use a new mathematical approach called Differential Privacy to adjust the results of the US census to protect citizen privacy.

The legal debate highlights the complex tradeoffs faced when balancing privacy with practicality.

The value of data collaboration in healthcare

Last month, the Ontario Brain Institute in Canada released clinical datasets from over 5,500 participants with the intention of helping the research community better understand brain disorders and identify new treatment options.

While data sharing in healthcare isn’t a novel idea it faces many obstacles. Obtaining patient consent and the lack of trust between researchers has challenged our ability to create collaborative systems.

American Heart Association partners with Hitachi on new data platform

Staying with healthcare, the American Heart Association has announced the launch of its Precision Medicine Platform which is a joint venture with Hitachi Vantara.

This cloud-based platform will facilitate rapid and accurate scientific data research, allowing scientists around the globe to collaborate on healthcare information.

LinkedIn asks US Supreme Court to rule on data scraping

LinkedIn has asked the US Supreme Court to review whether the “scraping” of data from its website equates to illegal hacking under Federal law.

At the core of the case is data analytics company hiQ which used automated software tools to access and copy the data from public profiles on LinkedIn.

The practice violates LinkedIn’s rules but lower federal courts have upheld hiQ's right to "scrape" the publicly visible data.

Contractor Exposed the Movements of People Wearing Ankle GPS Bracelets

An “enormous amount of private information” has been leaked by a company that sells GPS ankle bracelets that are used by Chicago's police force to monitor people under house arrest.

The leaked data was available in online search results and included names, emails, home addresses and location data.

The download site was taken down shortly after the leak was found but privacy watchdogs say this incident underscores the lack of oversight placed on electronic monitoring programs.

Privacy group calls for Europe to back browser-level cookie controls

The European Center for Digital Rights has published a technical proposal for an automated browser-level signal which it believes could be the answer to endless “your data choices” pop-ups.

The proposal would allow users to pre-configure advanced consent choices about their data, including what cookies they'll allow, and then automate the yeses and noes for each new site they visit.

Perpetrator sentenced in Alibaba data breach

E-commerce giant Alibaba was the victim of a months-long data-scraping operation that collected over a billion items of data, including names and phone numbers.

The breach was carried out by a marketing consultant who used the stolen data to serve clients.

The consultant and his employer have been fined the equivalent of $70,000 US dollars, and sentenced to more than 3 years in prison.


This week's Drop Shots

Your quickfire news items from the world of data privacy

WhatsApp launches privacy campaign after backlash

WhatsApp has launched its first major privacy-focused advertising campaign in the UK, following a customer backlash against changes to its terms and conditions. But they say they have no intentions to compromise on the way they encrypt messages.

UK/EU reach data agreement

UK businesses can breathe a sigh of relief. The European Union has decided that British standards for personal data protection are sufficient enough to allow for the continued flow of information between the EU and its former member.

Privacy violations can be challenged by individual EU nations

A new ruling allows watchdog groups from EU member states to challenge data privacy violations, raising the potential number of fines Facebook, Google, and other major corporations could see.

Renewed push for Data Protection Agency

US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York has renewed her call to establish the Data Protection Agency, a federal agency that would “protect Americans’ data, safeguard their privacy, and ensure data practices are fair and transparent.”

Wegmans customer data may have been compromised

Popular US supermarket Wegmans is alerting customers that their personal data may have been compromised due to a “configuration issue” which left two of the company’s cloud databases open to outside access.

Colorado Privacy Act awaits governor's signature

Colorado is set to become the third US state to enact data privacy protections for its residents. The Colorado Privacy Act has passed the state legislature and awaits the signature of Governor Jared Polis before officially becoming law.


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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