Data Protection News Update 14 August 2023

United Kingdom

Northern Ireland head of policing urged to consider his position over data breach

Electoral Commission apologizes for security breach involving UK voters’ data

United States

5-billion-dollar Lawsuit over Google’s ‘incognito’ browsing moves forward

  • The US District Court for the Northern District of California is allowing for a lawsuit to move forward against Google’s alleged tracking of users when they are in ‘incognito mode’.
  • The Court did so by ruling against a summary judgment that would have allowed Google to avoid trial.
  • Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers wrote that a triable issue does exist as to whether statements in the Chrome privacy notice, Privacy Policy, Incognito Splash Screen and Search & Browse Privately Help page create an enforceable promise that Google will not collect users’ data while they browse privately.

US Department of Homeland Security’s Investigations Unit used Clearview AI to uncover child abuse

  • Using facial recognition tools from Clearview AI and other such providers, the Department has sought to uncover child exploitation online.
  • This has required coordinated effort with UK authorities, Interpol’s Child Sexual Exploitation database and scanned child exploitation material from the department’s own investigations unit.
  • The efforts have led to the identification of hundreds of children and abusers from recent to old crimes.


Finland bans transfers of taxi customer data to Russia

  • Finland’s Data Protection Ombudsman has ordered that the parent companies of taxi service company ‘Yango’ temporarily halt transfers of customer data to Russia.
  • This comes as a response to a new Russian law allowing for security services to obtain passenger data.


Cyberspace Administration of China issues draft rules on use of facial recognition technology

  • The draft rules contain the security requirements for the deployment of facial recognition technology, including provisions for purpose limitation, necessity, required consent and prohibitions on where it can be installed.
  • Biometric identification technology has become widespread in China, with local media reports from 2020 reporting that facial recognition technology was used to activate toilet roll dispensers in public toilets.

Iraq blocks Telegram messaging app

  • Iraq’s Ministry of Communications has halted the use of Telegram, the cloud-based messaging app, over privacy concerns, citing dangers to national security and the privacy of citizens.
  • The block took effect from the 6th of August.
  • A VPN or similar circumvention tool is now the sole means for citizens of Iraq to access the popular app.


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