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European Commission tells citizens to stop using Facebook

Posted by Alexander Hanff on March 25, 2015

Yesterday was a very important day for privacy and data protection in Europe.  It was the day that Max Schrems was able to present arguments in the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) with regards to the US surveillance programme called PRISM and whether or not companies which expose European citizens’ data to […]

Draft General Data Protection Regulation – where it went wrong.

Posted by Alexander Hanff on March 11, 2015

Last week a coalition of NGOs issued a report on the latest changes to the draft General Data Protection Regulation made by the Council of Europe titled “Data Protection Broken Badly”.  The eight page document talks about a number of issues such as the “one stop shop”, “legitimate interest” and consent. As someone who has […]

EU Data Centers are not safe from US Surveillance

Posted by Alexander Hanff on March 10, 2015

Over the past 12 months I have noticed an increasingly worrying trend which is developing in the global technology arena and it is one which in my mind amounts to nothing less than a deliberate attempt to mislead consumers and businesses alike on the legal powers available to US law enforcement and intelligence agencies. Late […]

Privacy by Design – worrying developments

Posted by Alexander Hanff on March 5, 2015

Last week I attended the Privacy by Design User Forum in Toronto where I delivered a presentation on how to develop a new project using Privacy by Design.  But that is not the subject of this article, this article is about a discussion which took place at the end of the event – a lively […]

Advertising Industry to Sue AdBlock Plus

Posted by Alexander Hanff on December 10, 2014

In the news this week (French) is the story regarding GESTE and the French Internet Advertising Bureau threatening to sue Eyeo GmbH – the company behind AdBlock Plus. Now don’t get me wrong, I am no fan of AdBlock Plus, I think their “Acceptable Advertising” racket is amoral and indefensible, but I do believe that […]

One rule for them…

Posted by Alexander Hanff on December 9, 2014

Earlier this week I was engaging in an interesting discussion with some lawyers about the Article 29 Working Party opinion on Device Fingerprinting.  First of all, for those who do not know, Device Fingerprinting is a technique used by the advertising industry (and government intelligence agencies) to circumvent cookie blocking and allow them to still […]

The War Against Ad-Blockers

Posted by Alexander Hanff on December 8, 2014

Phys.org are currently running a story titled “Internet giants wage war on pop-up ad blockers” in which they raise moral panic about the woes of the advertising industry being crippled by Ad-Blockers. Depending on the website, the percentage of viewers equipped with ad-blocking software ranges from 10 to 60 percent they claim with further citations […]

Is WIRE a threat to Privacy?

Posted by Alexander Hanff on December 4, 2014

This week saw the launch of Skype Co-Founder Janus Friis’ new social communications application, WIRE.  There has been a great deal of noise about it in the press which is to be expected given Friis’ pedigree.  One of the points being made is that WIRE is based in Switzerland and complies with EU privacy laws, […]

Update on FTC penalties against TRUSTe

Posted by Alexander Hanff on November 22, 2014

As many people will know I was in Brussels earlier this week delivering two presentations at the IAPP Europe Data Protection Congress.  I was there to talk about encrypted email in the first session and mobile privacy (more specifically the risks BYOD pose to corporate networks, data and infrastructure) in the second session. On Wednesday […]

It is official, you can’t trust TRUSTe.

Posted by Alexander Hanff on November 17, 2014

Today the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a press release outlining details of a settlement reached with TRUSTe on the grounds that the “company failed to conduct annual recertifications, facilitated misrepresentation as non-profit”.  The FTC goes on to accuse TRUSTe of not following through on annual recertifications of companies who obtained their privacy seal from […]