Entries categorised as Privacy in Cyberspace:

Website video streaming subject to US privacy laws

Posted On September 26, 2012
In Privacy in Cyberspace / Comments Off

In light of the recent decision In re Hulu Privacy Litigation, it is likely that the Video Privacy Protection Act (“VPPA”) applies to a website operator’s use of video streaming technology to distribute its content, reports Edwards Wildman.

A “right to be forgotten” online?

Posted On September 4, 2012
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The recent European Commission proposal for a EU data protection regulation expressly provides for a “right to be forgotten”, under which it is possible to obtain erasure of personal data online as well as the abstention from further dissemination of such data.

For an interesting discussion how the proposal would apply to ISPs, and of recent Spanish and French cases on the right to be forgotten, see the Portolano Cavallo paper.

Online video providers are subject to U.S. privacy requirements

Posted On August 20, 2012
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A recent decision by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California has held that Internet video streaming site Hulu.com is subject to the U.S. Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA), 18 U.S.C. § 2710, reports Davis Wright Tremaine.

This marks the first time a court has subjected a provider of exclusively online streaming video services to the VPPA. The decision could have a wide-ranging impact on Internet video providers who may have viewed themselves as potentially not subject to the VPPA.

For an analysis of how this impacts on websites offering video streaming, see the Edwards Wildman post.

British Airways to Google-check passengers

Posted On July 17, 2012
In Privacy in Cyberspace / Comments Off

The debate about open data and its appropriate uses has taken a new twist with news that British Airways has revealed plans to use the internet to create “dossiers” on passengers (Tomi Law)

Facebook posting of nude photos of ex-lover results in jail sentence

Posted On April 26, 2012
In Privacy in Cyberspace / Comments Off

An Australian man has been sentenced to six months jail for an act of revenge that involved posting nude photos of his ex-lover on Facebook.

According to the SMH report, the man pleaded guilty to “publishing an indecent article”, but appealed the severity of his sentence.  The sentence was confirmed on appeal, but made suspended. A similar case occurred in 2010, when a jilted Wellington man was sentenced to four months jail for posting a photograph of his ex-girlfriend naked, for millions of Facebook users to see.

It is noteworthy that the action against the man was a criminal case (brought by the police), not a civil case (brought by the ex-girlfriend) for breach of privacy. The ex-girlfriend wanted the photos removed. When the man refused, she involved the police – an action that no doubt increased the pressure on Facebook to delete the photos if the man didn’t.

See my interview about the case on News Exchange, ABC TV News 24, on 27 April 2012

Berlin court rules Facebook violates user rights

Posted On March 8, 2012
In Copyright in Cyberspace, Privacy in Cyberspace / Comments Off

IP Watch reports that the District Court of Berlin, Germany, has ruled that Facebook user rights were violated by several parts of social media site Facebook’s general terms and conditions and by its “friendfinder” feature.

  • With regard to copyright law, the automatic worldwide exploitation right granted by users clicking off the terms and conditions was invalid, the court ruled.
  • With regard to privacy, Friendfinder invitations to non-Facebook members unaware of the fact that their names and email addresses had been shared with the company are unlawful, the Berlin court ruled.

Google’s new privacy policies break EU laws

Posted On March 6, 2012
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Although Google claims its new Privacy Policy helps simplify privacy, a French privacy authority claims otherwise and specifically that the new Privacy Policy “makes it impossible to understand which purposes, personal data, recipients or access rights are relevant to the use of a specific service.  As such, Google’s new policy fails to meet the requirements of the European Data Protection Directive (95/46/CE) regarding the information that must be provided to data subjects. (Gardere)

White House Proposes ‘Bill of Rights’ for the Internet

Posted On March 3, 2012
In Privacy in Cyberspace / Comments Off

The White House has released proposals for a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights for the Internet. The draft Bill of Rights, which would be enforceable by the Federal Trade Commission, provides US consumers with the following rights:

  1. Individual control – to exercise control over what personal data companies collect from them and how they use  it
  2. Transparency – to easily understandable and accessible information about privacy and security practices
  3. Respect for context – to expect that companies will collect, use, and disclose personal data in ways that are consistent with the context in which consumers provide the data
  4. Security – to secure and responsible handling of personal data
  5. Access and accuracy – to access and correct personal data in usable formats, in a manner that is appropriate to the sensitivity of the data and the risk of adverse consequences to consumers if the data is inaccurate
  6. Focussed collection – to reasonable limits on the personal data that companies collect and retain
  7. Accountability – to have personal data handled by companies with appropriate measures in place to assure they adhere to the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights

The Obama administration has announced that it will work with the private sector to implement the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, and encourage Congress to write these flexible, general principles into law.