Data Digest № 011

Data Digest ¦ July 11th, 2019, 11:00 pm

Hey there and welcome to the 11th edition of the Datawallet Data Digest. It’s been a busy time for us gearing up for the launch of several Datawallet products, hence the several week hiatus from the Data Digest. We’re diving right into the deep end with this commencement edition, so please prepare for a slightly longer read to catch you up on the past few weeks.

First off, I had the pleasure to join CNBC’s “Squawk Alley” live on air to discuss Datawallet and what the price tag on consumer data should be:

I was also invited to offer feedback on the 16 draft action items in the Federal Data Strategy at the Data Coalition and White House Office of Management and Budget joint forum. I recommended universal data encryption and public-private key cryptography to control access to data assets, and discussed personal data implications for the strategy. Read the full article below:

Comments On The Federal Data Strategy Action Plan

Earlier this week I was invited to offer feedback on the 16 draft action items in the Federal Data Strategy at the Data Coalition and White House Office of Management and Budget joint forum. This is a summary of my analysis and feedback on the specifications of the federal data strategy action plan.

Third Party Data Scandals

While all this was going on, we witnessed some pretty big data scandals. In case you missed it, a study from Berkley found that Android apps have been harvesting your data, even after you tell them not to. Highlighting the gaping inconsistencies in Google’s newfound love for privacy, the study reveals that Google’s entire business model is built on harvesting data ―not that we didn’t all know that already. Google relies on these apps to garner all their data for them and then turns the water into fine wine to sell to advertisers.

In other third party news, Forbes reported that 25 Million Android Phones Were Infected With Malware That ‘Hides In WhatsApp’. The malware was said to serve malicious ads to infected phones, a reported 15m phones in India, and more than 350k in USA. Researchers said they’d found 11 apps on Google’s store that contained a “dormant” piece of the hostile software. Google swiftly took those apps down. Earlier this week, a shocking warning also went out stating that another malware spreading over Google Play was apparently screen recording users banking sessions. A system designed to harvest data is evidently more vulnerable to malicious attacks.

Android apps are harvesting your data even after you tell them not to, says study

App developers have found ways to skirt Android permissions and collect user data, even after users denied them permission to do so, according to a new study from the International Computer Science Institute.

GDPR Fines to Reprimand Misbehaviour

In the wake of malicious attacks there have been some hefty GDPR fines handed out to companies for mishandling data practices. BA is facing a £183m fine over passenger data breaches after the personal data of 500,000 customers was stolen from their website and mobile app. During the first year of GDPR fewer fines have been given than expected, $63 million fines issued in total, with $57 million issued to Google. Without enforcement and accountability, all regulation is void — so this is a pretty important step forward for data privacy.

BA faces £183m fine over passenger data breach

ICO says personal data of 500,000 customers was stolen from website and mobile app

Consumer Consent

Elsewhere in Europe, Dutch regulators say banks shouldn’t snoop on customer payments to churches, casinos, or sex clubs. A significant push for consumers to understand the data they create from digital payments. Regulators are speculating that the data companies leverage needs to be done with explicit consumer consent. And if a deal is proposed, there must be legal underpinning and the consumer must know exactly what data is used and what they will get in return.

Dutch regulator says banks shouldn't snoop on payments to churches, casinos, or sex clubs

The country's Data Protection Authority said it heard from people concerned about their payment data being used to deliver personalized ads.

Cryptic Facebook

Some good strides forward by the notoriously privacy-backward company Facebook have been made this week. TNW reported that the “Why am I seeing this ad?” section will now share information about why you were targeted, including specific information on data-brokers. They’ve also made it possible to completely opt-out of all ads from a particular advertiser. Trump doesn’t seem to be so complimentary, as he declared on Twitter that he was “not a fan of Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies” in reference to the proposed Libra coin, and suggested that Facebook would need a banking charter to proceed with its efforts. Regulators are concerned that with the new currency Facebook will operate in a void outside existing monetary frameworks and connect transaction data to Facebook users for advertising purposes. Just when we thought they were moving forward…

President Trump Is the Latest Critic of Facebook's Libra

In a series of tweets late Thursday, the president attacked cryptocurrencies and said Libra "will have little standing or dependability."

What I'm Reading:

How to Protect Our Kids' Data and Privacy

Opinion: Kids today have an online presence starting at birth, which raises a host of legal and ethical concerns. We desperately need a new data protection framework.

‘Fingerprinting’ to Track Us Online Is on the Rise. Here’s What to Do. (Published 2019)

Advertisers are increasingly turning to an invisible method that pulls together information about your device to pinpoint your identity.

Google employees are eavesdropping, even in your living room, VRT NWS has discovered

VRT NWS has discovered that Google employees listen to audio picked up by smart speakers and Google Assistant, even when it was never intended for Google.

Big Tech ‘Knows You Better Than Your Wife.’ He Plans to Rein It In. (Published 2019)

Germany’s top antitrust official is urging other countries to take on Facebook and its peers by attacking what the companies value most: data.

How much is your data worth?

A new bill in the US wants to force social media giants to disclose how much consumer data is worth. But how?

F.E.C. Allows Security Company to Help 2020 Candidates Defend Campaigns (Published 2019)

Federal lawyers previously advised the commission to block the company, Area 1, from providing services to presidential candidates at a discount.

That wraps up this week’s edition of the Data Digest.

See you next week,


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