With Europe passing the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) -- a significant piece of data protection legislation with global implications -- and now California implementing a new privacy law, coupled with several high-profile incidents involving companies exposing consumer data, there is a growing push for federal data privacy legislation in the United States.
Yahoo has said it will pay $50 million in damages and provide free credit-monitoring services to millions of Americans and Israelis following a data breach beginning in 2013 that led to as many as 3 billion accounts being compromised by hackers.
"Every day, billions of dollars change hands, and countless decisions are made, on the basis of our likes and dislikes, our friends and families, our relationships and conversations. Our wishes and fears, our hopes and dreams," Cook said. "These scraps of data, each one harmless enough on its own, are carefully assembled, synthesized, traded, and sold."
At the end of last month, Facebook made a bombshell disclosure: As many as 90 million of its users may have had their so-called access tokens--which keep you logged into your account, so you don't have to sign in every time--stolen by hackers. Friday, the company put the actual number at 30 million. Here's how to see if you were one of them, and if so, what the hackers got from your account.
Not long ago, few companies would dream of having to come out publicly to tell customers their data had possibly been exposed but had not been stolen or misused. Disclosures of data incidents were generally saved only for the crimes that hit consumers directly in the wallet, like stolen credit card numbers or identities.
An alternative search engine is seeing growth as Google faces questions about its practices and alleged bias against conservatives. Google dominates search with only few viable alternatives in the field. But in the last few years, Paoli, Pa.-based DuckDuckGo has been gaining as a search engine, one that is built around anonymity, according to Search Engine Watch.
Apple CEO Tim Cook hit out at tech companies that claim more customer data leads to superior products, saying that's a "bunch of bunk." In an exclusive interview with Vice News Tonight that aired Tuesday, Cook did not name any names but appeared to admonish the likes of advertising giants Facebook and Google, which rely on data sharing with third parties.
The Facebook data breach will be the first major test of Europe's tough data protection laws introduced in May and known as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). It regulates any companies that are handling data of EU citizens and puts strong controls on how that information is stored and used.
Some schools might have a problem on their hands when it comes to the use of educational technology and the need to protect student privacy, according to an alert issued by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The alert warns schools that the widespread collection of student data could have privacy and safety implications if the information is compromised or exploited.
In August, The Associated Press published an investigation into how Google handles the data it collects, following a curious discovery by a graduate researcher at U.C. Berkeley. For years, the company has allowed users to control their “location history,” which stores a detailed record of where they’ve been, based primarily on their activity in Google Maps. This, the researcher suggested -- and The A.P. confirmed -- did not work as advertised. “Some Google apps automatically store time-stamped location data without asking,” the reporters found.