Commons inquiry rebukes Facebook over Rigby killing

Following an investigation by parliament’s intelligence and security committee into the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby 18 months ago, the committee sternly criticised a large unnamed US internet company, believed to be Facebook, and stated that the murder might have been prevented had security services had access to the online exchanges of one of the killers. UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, told parliament that he is willing to consider new laws to compel internet companies to disclose such communications.

UK’s first “right to be forgotten” case settles

Daniel Hegglin, a UK businessman who took Google to court over the inclusion of malicious web postings about him in its search results, reached a settlement with the firm this week, the details of which have not been disclosed. Counsel for Mr Hegglin told the court that the settlement “includes efforts on Google’s part to remove the abusive material from Google-hosted websites and from its search results”.

Uber to conduct legal review following privacy controversy

Uber has commissioned an internal review into its data policy following controversial remarks made by senior vice president, Emil Michael, who hinted that the taxi company should spy on the lives of journalists. Following those remarks, another journalist reported that Josh Mohrer, the general manager of Uber New York, had tracked her, via a feature called ‘God View’, to their interview earlier this month. Uber confirmed that it is investigating Mohrer for his unauthorised tracking of the journalist, in violation of the company’s data privacy policy.

MEPs demand ECJ review EU-Canada airline passenger data sharing deal

Following concerns over the mass collection and storage of data, the European Parliament voted on Tuesday to refer the EU-Canada PNR (air passenger data) agreement to the European Court of Justice (ECJ). The bilateral deal was signed in June this year and would involve the collection of information by air carriers including the names, dates of travel, addresses, phone numbers and credit card numbers of passengers. If the ECJ decides that the Canadian deal is illegal, this could have implications for similar agreements with the US and Australia.

String of cyber-attacks across Canada

The website of the Canadian Parliament, the Supreme Court, the Ottawa Police and the Toronto police were all subject to Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks over the weekend, while the City of Ottawa’s page was taken over by an image of a dancing banana. A hacker identified as “Aerith” has taken responsibility for all of the attacks in support of an Ottawa teenager who was charged last spring with making hoax telephone calls throughout North America.

Sony Pictures forced to shut down systems

Sony Pictures Entertainment, whose productions include the Spider Man trilogy, was forced to shut down its computer systems and network this week after a skull appeared on the screen with a message threatening to publish data secrets if undisclosed demands were not met, it was reported. Sony reportedly shut down the network as a precaution and issued a statement saying that the firm is investigation the “IT matter”, advising employees that the situation could take up to three weeks to resolve.

California enacts law to protect children’s digital privacy

California, ever the leader in data privacy legislation, enacted a law entitled “Privacy Rights for California Minors in the Digital World”, which will allow anyone under 18 to remove, or request the removal of, certain online content posted by the minor. The law also restricts certain types of online advertising directed at minors. The law will come into effect in January 2015.