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Happy Tuesday! Here in the USA our news cycle has been primarily focused on the upcoming presidential elections and the Covid-19 coronavirus. However data privacy remains top of mind for many of us.

Between two very large data breaches, pending lawsuits and new proposed privacy bills, this past week has been quite eventful.

Here are the top stories from last week that you might have missed:

Coronavirus ramps up Chinese data collection - Greater data collection has helped prevent the virus from spreading in China because it enables precise reporting of hotspots. The rush to scoop up even more data to fight the outbreak has led to privacy breaches, especially for residents in the epicentre of Wuhan

Cell phone carriers may face up to $200 million in fines for selling location data - The U.S. FCC is set to propose fining four major U.S. mobile phone companies (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint & T-Mobile) at least $200 million in total for improperly disclosing some consumer real-time location data. 

857k customers caught in Slickwraps data breach - Slickwraps (an online store that offers skins for a variety of smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles, and laptops) has revealed a data breach impacting over 850,000 user accounts, admitting its mistake in permitting customer records to become public. Customer names, email addresses, physical addresses, phone numbers and purchase histories were exposed due to data security vulnerabilities.

Clearview AI, the world's scariest facial recognition company, can't even keep its own data secure - Clearview AI, the controversial and secretive facial recognition company, recently experienced its first major data breach — a scary prospect considering the sheer amount and scope of personal information in its database, as well as the fact that access to it is supposed to be restricted to law enforcement agencies. Clearview was working with everyone from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to the NBA.

A new Google policy threatens to further squeeze the location-data ad market - Google plans to roll out a policy change later this year that will require developers to go through an approval process before their apps can collect user location data when the app isn’t visible to the user. The idea is to clamp down on apps collecting such information unnecessarily and to protect user privacy.

Minnesota House passes party privacy bill for presidential primaries - The Minnesota House of Representatives by a 72-55 vote on Wednesday, Feb. 26, advanced a bill that would restrict how the state's major political parties can use voter data obtained in Tuesday's presidential primary contests. Days ahead of the partisan primaries, supporters said the bill was needed to ensure voters that their decisions about which primary in which they voted would be kept private.

New Mexico sues Google over Children's Data Privacy - New Mexico sued Alphabet Inc.’s Google, alleging that the internet giant knowingly spies on students and their families through its Google Education platform. The state says Google has used the platform to circumvent privacy laws and gain access to children's personal data and movements online, according to a complaint filed Thursday in federal court in Albuquerque. 

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to reach out at any time.

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