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Hello all, and happy Thursday!  

Unless they’ve been the victim of some privacy violation, your average Joe might dismiss privacy concerns—they say that everybody is being tracked anyways or that they’ve got nothing to hide.  

 But there are a few subjects that really resonate with the general public. For example, targeted advertisements can feel like a nuisance that really highlights the impact of privacy violations.  

Our newsletter this week features another data privacy issue that resonates with non-privacy experts in the general public: Mass surveillance and facial recognition. 

 Clearview AI is one of the most notorious organizations collecting data en masse for use in AI-based facial recognition databases. Now, IBM is apparently reversing a previous self-imposed ban on the technology. Given that law enforcement will be one of IBM’s primary customers for this technology, it’s easy to see why people feel uncomfortable with having their face and biometric data collected.  

While some might still say that they don’t mind being surveilled since they have nothing to hide, this argument reverses the presumption of innocence. Law enforcement is not meant to be able to invade your privacy unless you’re the suspect of a crime. In a way, having your biometric data swept up into a facial recognition database implies that you’re a suspect in any future investigations that might make use of that database. 



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Top Privacy Stories of the Week

X, Formerly Twitter, Updates Privacy Policy 

X recently updated its privacy policy to allow for the collection of biometric data and employment history, among other information. In addition, Elon Musk stated that the social media platform will soon support voice and video calls, though did not give a specific timeline. 

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IBM Promised to Back off Facial Recognition—Then It Signed a $69.8 Million Contract to Provide It 

In response to 2020’s Black Lives Matter protests, IBM announced it would no longer work on facial recognition technology due to concerns about racial profiling, mass surveillance, and other human rights violations. Now, IBM has signed a $69.8 million contract with the British government to develop a national biometrics platform that will offer a facial recognition function to immigration and law enforcement officials. 

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12 Down, 38 To Go: Oregon Becomes One Of The Latest States To Enact A Comprehensive Data Privacy Law 

Oregon has become one of the latest states to adopt a comprehensive data privacy law. The Oregon Consumer Privacy Act (OCPA) takes effect July 1, 2024, and mirrors its other U.S. privacy law counterparts, with a few unique distinctions. Here is what you need to know. 

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Meta May Offer Paid Ad-Free Facebook and Instagram in Europe 

Meta is considering a paid subscription to its social media products, an attempt by Meta to quell concerns by the EU around data privacy and ads. No information is available on price or a release date, and it’s not confirmed whether the product will actually be released. 

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TikTok's First European Data Center Goes Live in Bid to Combat Privacy Concerns 

TikTok's first European data centre has gone live as the Chinese-owned company seeks to combat long-held privacy concerns. Until recently, user data was only held on servers in the US and Singapore. Its first European data center, which is in Dublin, is a further attempt to reassure skeptical politicians. 

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Osano Blog: What Is Quebec’s Law 25? 

Later this month, many of Law 25’s provisions go into effect. What is this new data privacy law, how does it differ from Canada’s PIPEDA, and what do you need to do to become compliant before September 22nd? Find out in our blog.  

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