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September 8, 2022
This week’s Privacy Insider features a couple of stories that center around a very sensitive topic: Children’s data. It’s a good example of just why data privacy is such an important issue.
There are plenty of adults that look at data privacy and think, “They’re tracking everybody anyhow, so what’s the point of data privacy?” or “I don’t matter enough that I have to worry about somebody using my data in an unethical way.”
But mention children’s online privacy, and something clicks: Children are a highly influenceable, vulnerable group that needs protection. And when we look at tech companies’ business practices in regard to children and children’s data, it’s hard not to think of it as exploitative.
Once somebody understands how children’s data can be misused, it’s not that much of a leap to see how other groups are open to the same exploitation. Adults like to think that we’re all security-conscious critical thinkers that can be responsible for our own data. The truth is, we’re all vulnerable to manipulative content and the consequences of data breaches in the tools and systems we rely on in our digital lives. When we consider how much protection our kids need, it gets easier to see that reality.
Tech tool offers police ‘mass surveillance on a budget’
A tool called “Fog Reveal” is being used by police departments to track cellphone users' locations without a warrant using data pulled from free apps like Starbucks and Waze, according to AP reporters. Privacy advocacy groups worry that the tool could be used to violate citizens’ Fourth Amendment rights.
TikTok denies reports that it’s been hacked
After a hacking group publicly claimed to have accessed over 2 billion records and 790GB of user data, TikTok denies it has been hacked. “We have confirmed that the data samples in question are all publicly accessible and are not due to any compromise of TikTok systems, networks, or databases,” said TikTok spokesperson Maureen Shanaha.
Ireland fines Instagram a record $400 mln over children's data
In what is the second largest GDPR fine to date, Ireland's data protection authorities have fined Instagram 405 million euros ($402 million) over its handling of children’s data. Specifically, child users between the ages of 13 and 17 were allowed to operate business accounts, which facilitated the publication of the user's phone number and/or email address. Meta intends to dispute the fine.
Privacy advocates demand rules for mobile providers on data use
After an FCC investigation revealed a wide range of retention and privacy practices amongst the top 15 mobile providers, privacy advocates are calling for standards on how mobile carriers handle consumer data. “The only ‘industry standard,’” said Harold Feld, senior vice president at the Public Knowledge public interest group, “ appears to be that there is no standard at all for how long carriers retain data, how they protect it, or how hard they make it for their customers to invoke their rights.”
First-of-its-kind legislation will keep California’s children safer while online
California recently passed the California Age-Appropriate Design Code Act, which will require businesses like TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube to install guardrails for users under the age of 18. These include requiring businesses to use higher default privacy settings for minors, refrain from collecting location data, and analyze their algorithms and products to determine whether they could be addictive or harmful to children.
California Office of the Attorney General posts 13 new CCPA investigations
On the heels of its first enforcement action against Sephora for $1.2 million, California’s Office of the Attorney General published summaries of 13 ongoing investigations illustrating the sorts of noncompliance it’s targeting. The investigations focus on businesses ranging from retail to healthcare and violations like noncompliant opt-out processes, noncompliant privacy policies, and more.
Osano blog: What to expect when implementing consent management software
Wondering what you can expect once you finish evaluating compliance solutions? Our recent blog post walks through what you can expect during and after implementation.
Spotlight on Osanians: Get to know Alan J
Ever wished you could get to know the people hard at work keeping the world compliant with data privacy regulations? Our Spotlight on Osanians series shines a light on the people we’re proud to call our coworkers. This post focuses on Alan Jacobson, a Senior Strategic Account Executive here at Osano. Check out Alan’s interview here.
If you want to keep up with the Spotlight on Osanians series, bookmark this page — we’ll update it regularly as new interviews come out.
And if you someday aspire to be featured on the Spotlight series, why not check out our Careers page? We might have the perfect opportunity for you.
Arlo Gilbert is the CEO & co-founder of Osano. An Austin, Texas native, he has been building software companies for more than 25 years in categories including telecom, payments, procurement, and compliance. In 2005 Arlo invented voice commerce, he has testified before congress on technology issues, and is a frequent speaker on data privacy rights.