Google’s Right-to-be-Forgotten tour comes to an end

The advisory panel set up by Google to consider the so-called right to be forgotten European Court of Justice ruling met for the final time in Brussels on Tuesday. Those responsible for drafting upcoming EU laws governing data protection were present, including Paul Nemitz, a director in the European Commission’s Justice Unit. The panel now will work on a non-binding public report to be published in January next year.

EU conducted biggest ever cyber security exercise

Last week the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA), a European Union agency  whose objective is to improve network and information security in the EU, carried out its biggest exercise to prevent cyber-attacks on Europe’s public utilities and communications networks. The director of ENISA, Udo Helmbrecht, said that the one-day exercise involving 29 countries and 200 agencies simulated large-scale crises relating to critical information infrastructures.

Internet of Things challenges privacy

The Article 29 Working Party (WP), made up of a representative from the data protection authority of each EU Member State, recently published its opinion of the Internet of Things (IoT). By 2020, it is estimated   that 30 billion devices around the world will be connected to the internet and, like others in the privacy community, the WP drew attention to the privacy and data protection challenges raised by “smart things”, including (i) ensuring users have sufficient control as they often cannot review the data before its ‘publication’; (ii) the risk of stakeholders processing data beyond the original specified purposes; and (iii) IoT devices’ ability to determine the habits, behaviours and daily activities of individuals.

White House confirm cyber-attack

Last week, a White house official, speaking anonymously, confirmed there had been a cyber-attack on the Executive Office of the President network. A second US official said there were no indications that the White House’s classified networks, which are kept separate from day-to-day traffic, had been affected. As a result of the attack, White House officials were asked to change their passwords and users faced temporary outages.

Update to China’s judicial breach interpretation

China’s Supreme People’s Court recently issued a judicial interpretation regarding breaches of personal rights on the internet. The interpretation detailed the legal liabilities that arise in a data breach case, including who was liable. The interpretation has been hailed as a step forward in terms of litigating a  breach case but businesses are urged to take note of the potential increases in exposures in relation to data protection compliance.

Depression watch app raises Twitter privacy concerns

A UK suicide prevention charity Samaritans recently launched an app to enable users to identify if one of  their followers is depressed. When the app, named Samaritans Radar, is downloaded it will have access to the Twitter accounts followed by that user and will search for pre-determined phrases in tweets. If these triggers are detected, the app will alert the user offering support on how to reach out to the depressed individual. In a response to user backlash, Samaritans executive director of policy, research and development, Joe Ferns did not directly address any user concerns but promised to take action going forward.