Twitter accounts outside of US now subject to EU data protection rules

Twitter’s revision to its privacy policy on 18 April 2015 will see account information for users outside of the US handled in Dublin and subject to Irish privacy and data protection law. This poses a challenge for the Irish Data Protection Commissioner whose office has responsibility for some of the world’s biggest technology companies, recognised by the doubling of its budget this year. Twitter’s US users’ account information remains under U.S. law, handled by Twitter’s head office in San Francisco.

US lawmakers consider new bipartisan cyber bills

In the wake of several high profile data breaches involving some of the US’s major companies, the US is considering two new pieces of legislation promoting cyber security with the The Data Breach Notification and Punishing Cyber Criminals Act before the House this week. It emphasises the US’ commitment to tackling cyber crime by introducing tougher punishments for hacking and requires companies to notify customers within 30 days of discovery of a breach. The Senate is due to consider the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Credit Act in the coming weeks, a measure that would introduce tax credits for companies who share cyber threat information.

Civil rights groups express growing concern for EU data protection reforms

More than 60 civil rights groups from across the globe have contributed to an email to the European Commission sent this week by civil rights group EDRi voicing their concerns around privacy rights. This comes in the wake of the impending EU data protection changes. At the forefront is the proposal that companies could collect individual’s data on a "legitimate interest" exception without acquiring consent. The EC responded noting concerns ahead of the June deadline for agreeing the reform proposal, but the impact remains to be seen.

Ad blocking site wins case against German publishers

In a case heard in the German courts this week, Eyeo, the company behind advert blocking software ‘AdBlock Plus’ has defeated a legal challenge from two online news publishers claiming that the software was anti-competitive and infringed press freedom. The ruling sets an important precedent in confirming that web users have the right to control their privacy by blocking unwanted ads.

HSBC suffers serious data breach after files transferred to web server

HSBC have notified their US mortgage customers of a data breach which began in late 2014 but remained undetected until last month. The breach affected customers of HSBC’s subsidiaries where information including names, account numbers, Social Security numbers, and telephone numbers were being "inadvertently made accessible via the Internet" following indexation by search engine. The result being that the information was available to everyone online between the date of the breach and 27 March 2015.

FBI airline warning following hacking tweet

The FBI released a warning to airlines on Tuesday to be vigilant against the threat of hacking following an onboard tweet from a passenger who joked about hacking into a United Airlines plane’s wi-fi network. Some planes use single wi-fi networks, used by both the pilot and passengers simultaneously, giving rise to the risk that hackers may be able to access the wi-fi and gain control of a plane.

Chinese regulator takes action against social media site Sina

China’s leading Internet regulator The Cyberspace Administration of China has taken action against Sina Corp, the company behind China’s popular news services and social media site. In a statement dated 17 April 2015 it highlighted problems with inadequate censorship, demonstrating the commitment of Chinese authorities to limit information published on the Internet and the use of social media.