Verizon to pay largest ever FCC privacy settlement

Verizon has agreed to pay USD 7.4 million to the FCC to settle their mistake concerning the privacy  of its customers, said to be the largest consumer privacy settlement in FCC history. In the  mid-2000s, Verizon did not include the ability to opt out of sending private information to the  company to approximately 2 million customers. Verizon   then compounded the problem by not  notifying the FCC of the mistake within five days as required, although they did eventually report  the violation. A Verizon spokesman has stressed that the violation “did not involve a data breach  or an unauthorized disclosure of customer information to third parties.”

Home Depot confirms data breach

Home Depot has confirmed that its payment data systems have been breached and implied that the  breach may have affected customers as long ago as April. Although it is still unclear how many  customers have been affected, the retailer has said that the breach could impact customers using  payment cards at its stores in the U.S. and Canada but ruled out stores in Mexico and online shoppers. This breach is believed to be  “many times larger” than that at Target.

Fake links to nude celebrities crash New Zealand internet

New Zealanders trying to view the hacked pictures of naked celebrities have been blamed for a  nationwide collapse of the country’s main internet provider, Spark New Zealand, formerly Telecom.  It is thought that  the internet users clicked links on Friday evening which they believed would  take them to the illicit photos but instead they unintentionally downloaded malware that created  distributed denial of service attacks. It is reported that 600,000 users were without internet  connection for over 24 hours.

Finger vein technology may be hindered by Data Protection Regulation

Barclays has become the first UK bank to launch “finger vein authentication”, technology already in  use in Japan and Poland, allowing customers to withdraw money without using a card. However, there  are some concerns that the move could be hindered by new draft Data Protection Regulations, which  proposes to add such biometric data as a category of specially protected sensitive details, making  conditions on their lawful use more demanding.

Dublin warns on US bid for data

A court in New York has ordered Microsoft to hand over emails held on its Dublin server in a case  involving an investigation into narcotics trafficking. Microsoft challenged the decision and was  told by the US government that if it refused to hand over the data, it should be held in contempt  of court. The company has now agreed to be held in contempt in order to move the case on to appeal.  The Irish government has condemned the way in which the US has proceeded in this case, calling  their actions “objectionable”.

Google appointed-panel start tour to discuss privacy rights

In response to the controversial “right to be forgotten” ruling handed down by the European Court  of Justice in May, Google has appointed a specialist panel to tour Europe and gather expert views  on how the company might implement the decision. The panel, including Google’s general counsel and  chairman, as well as eight members from outside the firm, including Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales,  met for the first time on Tuesday in Madrid and will tour Europe for 2 months. The results of their  tour will be collated into a report and presented to Google early next year.