Tag Archives: Internet Privacy

Not Just Google and Yahoo! Harvesting Webmail Contacts Lists Also the NSA

As two class actions are pending for violation of the Federal Wire Tap Act against Google and Yahoo! for harvesting contact lists, now it appears that NSA has also been harvesting “hundreds of millions of contact lists from personal e-mail and instant messaging accounts around the world, many of them belonging to Americans.” According to a … Continue reading this entry

Privacy Law Allows Minors to Scrub Indiscretions, But the Content is Not Deleted

California enacted a law which allows minors to request websites to remove content from websites, but the law does not address data stored on the websites servers, only what it available for view on the Internet. Given the nature of the Internet, it is unlikely any law will ever be capable of actually deleting data … Continue reading this entry

Free Webmail May be Coming to an End as Yahoo! is Sued for Scanning eMails

In the wake of the Google class action for scanning gmail and violating the Federal Wiretap Act, a new class action suit was filed against Yahoo! for “…unlawful, wrongful, and intentional reading and/or learning of the contents.” The class action was filed by John Kevranian and Tammy Zapata on behalf of Yahoo! email users on … Continue reading this entry

Google to be Fined for Failing to Comply with EU Privacy Laws

Google told the EU that the EU Privacy Laws did not apply to Google’s services and the EU now plans to impose a sanction for “breaches of the French Data Protection Act of 6 January 1978, as amended (French Data Protection Act) which, in practice, prevents individuals from knowing how their personal data may be … Continue reading this entry

Cloud Used in Schools Pose Risk to Student Privacy

Many schools require children to use apps on the cloud, and as a result privacy groups are asking the cloud providers to promise better privacy protection. On September 23, 2013 SafeGov.org issued a Report about EU data privacy for students which among other things that among other things stated that the: …advertising-oriented cloud services may … Continue reading this entry

LinkedIn Sued for Harvesting eMail Addresses

A class action was filed alleging that LinkedIn’s advertising revenues are based on “LinkedIn’s practice of breaking into its users’ third party email account, downloading email address…without consent,…and indefinitely stores email addresses…” Perkins et al v. LinkedIn was filed on September 17, 2013 in US District Court for the Northern District of California states that: … Continue reading this entry

Invasion of Privacy at Penn State?

A number of Penn State employees are protesting a new requirement to provide personal health data to a private company or be fined by the school. “For me, discussing my reproductive plans with an unknown entity at an insurance company does not constitute private” a faculty member stated in a NY Times report. Although the … Continue reading this entry

Court Rules that Google Should NOT Have Collected wifi Data

Google collected unprotected wifi data while taking Street View pictures between 2007 and 2010, and paid $7 million fine to the FTC. In a class action lawsuit on appeal Google claimed that it did nothing wrong and Computerworld reported Google’s argued: …that its data collection did not violate the Wiretap Act because it fell under … Continue reading this entry

Google Defends Scanning of Gmail for Advertising

A class action against Google claims that Google violated laws by scanning Gmail notwithstanding the Terms of Service that expressly allows Google to scan Gmail. The allegations in this class action includes the following: …claim that the automated processing of email in Google’s Gmail service violates the Federal Wiretap Act, as amended by the Electronic … Continue reading this entry

Court Limits eMail Search Warrants

Search warrants were rejected because they required “…each Provider to disclose all email communications in their entirety and all information about the account without restriction.” On August 27, 2013 US Magistrate Judge David J. Waxse denied the government’s request under the 1986 Stored Communication Act to require Google, GoDaddy, Verizon, Yahoo!, and Skype regarding an … Continue reading this entry

Google's $8.5 Million Proposed Settlement for Privacy Violations Opposed

Privacy groups oppose the current offer to settle a 2010 suit that “Google transmitted user search queries to third parties without knowledge or consent in order to enhance advertising revenue and profitability.” According to the 2010 complaint Google included: The search terms can contain users’ real names, street addresses, phone numbers, credit card numbers and … Continue reading this entry

Is Anyone Really Anonymous?

“If you need absolute anonymity, don’t use the Internet” is the recommendation of InfoWorld although many Internet users believe that they can obscure their Internet identity. InfoWorld gave the following 6 reasons why no “…service or product can claim to give you absolute privacy or anonymity”: Reason No. 1: Your location is traceable Reason No. … Continue reading this entry

Constitutional Right to Cell Privacy?

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court recently commented that its biggest challenge is “constitutional protection is and apply it to new issues and new technology.” The Washington Post reported that Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. responded to a question at Rice University that: I think that is going to be the real challenge … Continue reading this entry

$1.7 Million Fine for HIPAA Violation

A database of health records for 612,402 individuals was accessible over the Internet for 5 months which led WellPoint to agree to pay a $1.7 million fine. Wellpoint (a managed care company) agreed to settle the violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) after an investigation by the US Department … Continue reading this entry

GPS Location Data Requires a Warrant

The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that cell owners can “reasonably expect that their personal information will remain private” and in order to get GPS location data police must get a search warrant. The question in State v. Thomas W. Earls was the “constitutional right to privacy in cell-phone location” and the unanimous decision written … Continue reading this entry

UK Sued for Violating Privacy Laws

Privacy International sued the UK government for violating the privacy of citizens using “servers of global internet companies located in the US such as Google, Facebook or Yahoo.” Computerworld reported that “the expansive spying regime is seemingly operated outside of the rule of law, lacks any accountability, and is neither necessary nor proportionate.” Privacy International’s … Continue reading this entry

UK Orders Google to Update Privacy Policy

Google now has until September 20, 2013 to revise its Privacy Policy or be fined by the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) which is dissatisfied with Google’s March 2012 Privacy Policy. In April, 2013 six EU states (France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and the United-Kingdom) launched an enforcement action against Google to change its … Continue reading this entry

Google Ordered to Comply with French Privacy Law

In March 2012 Google changed its Privacy Policies much to the dissatisfaction of many countries in the EU, but in spite of the complaints Google has not changed its Privacy Policies. In October 2012 a letter was sent to Google demanding changes within 4 months by CNIL (Commission nationale de l’informatique et des libertés). Then … Continue reading this entry

Invasion of Privacy by Google, Facebook, & Apple?

Initial reports that Verizon provided phone data has expanded and now includes “Internet surveillance …including e-mail, chat services, videos, photos, stored data, file transfers, video conferencing and log-ins” as reported by the New York Times as part of PRISM under federal oversight by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the FBI. Based on reports from … Continue reading this entry

Astroturfing in the EU by Google, Microsoft and Yahoo?

Accusations are flying in the EU about astroturfing by members of the European Privacy Association (EPA) in spite of the EU requirement that "requires all signatories to disclose their interests, objectives or aims and, where applicable, the clients they represent."   The EPA is listed in the category of think tanks, research and academic institutions and … Continue reading this entry

"Apple Picking" - Violent Crimes on the Rise

There is an epidemic of violent crime when stealing cells and tablets since the manufacturers apparently do little to protect these devices if stolen.  On May 10, 2013 the New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman sent letters to Apple, Google/Motorola, Microsoft, and Samsung “seeking information about their efforts to protect customers from the rise … Continue reading this entry

Privacy Challenge for Proposed Wiretap Law

The FBI wants Congress to pass laws that would force Facebook, Google, and others to intercept Internet online communications when they occur or penalize those companies who do not comply. The Washington Post reported that the FBI: …concerns that it is unable to tap the Internet communications of terrorists and other criminals, the task force’s … Continue reading this entry

Apple Siri Keeps Data 2 Years!

Apple users’ privacy may be at risk, as Apple finally revealed to Wired that Siri data is kept for 2 years even though that is not mentioned on Apple’s FAQs about Siri. In March 2012 the American Civil Liberties Union raised the issue about Siri privacy and claimed that the Apple Privacy Policy was unclear but … Continue reading this entry