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The Data Drop News for Thursday, March 18, 2021

Updated: May 18, 2021

Proposed US national data privacy bill. Restoring US-EU relationships through data privacy. US professors gain access to student browsing data. Thousands of healthcare records leaked in the Netherlands. Plus: this week's Drop Shots!

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Proposed US national data privacy bill

House Democrats have introduced a new attempt at a national data privacy bill. The Information Transparency and Personal Data Control Act comes shortly after Virginia passed its own state-level law and joined California as the only US states with data protection standards

The bill was presented by representative Suzan DelBene a former Microsoft executive. Should this bill become law, it would supersede the state-level regulations and provide a cohesive national approach to data privacy

Restoring relationships through data privacy

Analysts believe a national data privacy standard in the US could be an important tool for repairing relations between the United States and EU, which were strained repeatedly by the Trump administration.

Karen Kornbluh, Director of the Digital Innovation and Democracy Initiative at the German Marshall fund said "There is a real opportunity for the Biden team to score early wins by addressing the festering tech conflicts within the EU."

A US policy would mean that Europe's GDPR privacy standards would make international business far easier by reducing regulatory headaches and encouraging future collaboration.

US professors gain access to student browsing data

Attention students, The University of Illinois has announced they will no longer use remote proctoring software Proctorio after student outcry that the software invaded personal privacy and displayed discriminatory biases.

Proctorio looks for signs of cheating by recording students through their webcams and applying facial detection technology. But it also gave professors access to students' browsing data and its inability to properly recognize students with darker skin tones led to a number of false alarms

US senators joined the cause saying "Students have run head-on into the shortcomings of these technologies, shortcomings that fall heavily on vulnerable communities and perpetuate discriminatory biases."

Thousands of healthcare records leaked in the Netherlands

In healthcare news, the organization coordinating COVID-19 testing and vaccination policies in the Netherlands has leaked the personal data of thousands of Dutch citizens. The cause of the leak? Outdated systems and insufficient access control gave almost all of the employees access to private data which was then illegally traded on the internet.


This week's Drop Shots

Your quickfire news items from the world of data privacy

Citizens suspicious of own government

According to a new survey by Ernst and Young citizens around the world are reluctant to trust their data to the government. 53% of respondents said that the privacy and security risks outweigh the benefits even when it comes to pandemic-related assistance.

Vein recognition: the future of personal ID?

Egypt has announced plans to use finger vein technology in its national ID program. Unlike fingerprint recognition vein tracing technology cannot be counterfeited or duplicated and requires the user to be alive.

Banks pushing back against compliance complexity

Banks are speaking out against the state-level privacy laws appearing in the US saying that the patchwork system makes regulatory compliance a nightmare.

Have they ever heard of fake data?

The personal data of some 65,000 individuals was leaked by health insurance provider Humana when a former subcontractor inappropriately included member's actual data during team training sessions

Facebook and fishy photo-scraping

Facebook recently announced a breakthrough on new image recognition AI that was trained using over a billion images scraped from Instagram. The social media giant says that users have no need to worry about their privacy being violated by this training exercise, which begs the question: Why didn't Facebook use any photos from European citizens protected by the GDPR?


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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