UK landmark ruling has dealt a double blow to Google while boosting consumer privacy rights

By Simon Davies The Court of Appeal in London this morning handed down a decision that is set to trigger a huge win for European consumers. The court had been considering a case in which a group of UK online consumers had sued Google over its wilful manipulation of the Safari browser, so that privacy …

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March 27, 2015

Privacy International – foundation stone of the global privacy movement – turns 25 today

By Simon Davies On this day 25 years ago, in the sterile bar of an anonymous business hotel in Luxembourg, I hosted the first meeting of the global watchdog Privacy International. Numerically tiny as it was, that moment – in many respects – marked the commencement of the international privacy advocacy movement. I recall that …

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March 17, 2015

MEP’s start to militate about the EU Google investigation as the Competition Commission shows its true colours

By Simon Davies Members of the European Parliament are starting to become militant about the failure of the EU competition authority to take action over mounting complaints about the activities of Google. A statement endorsed by MEPs has complained that “despite four years of investigation and three sets of commitment proposals, the Commission has achieved …

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March 16, 2015

How police and security surveillance really work (a fairytale for children and for smart adults)

By Simon Davies Once upon a time in a kingdom not so far away, there dwelled a lovely policeman called Elderberry who lived happily in a picturesque village at the top of a beautiful green hill populated by flowers and birds and contented sheep. Elderberry had been the town’s policeman for as long as anyone …

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March 15, 2015

Legal action against UK authorities aims to highlight the “utter chaos” of EU borders

By Simon Davies The Privacy Surgeon is shepherding an appeal by a US citizen who earlier this week was detained and interrogated for more than seven hours at the UK border. The man was subsequently refused entry and forced back to mainland Europe on grounds that can best be described as bizarre and unstable (you …

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March 15, 2015

Forced detention, interrogation and £20 Nicorettes… Welcome to Britain

By Jonathan The Privacy Surgeon is shepherding an appeal by a US citizen against UK authorities who improperly detained him and issued an order for his removal from the country. This is Jonathan’s story in his own words. “So this is it. I’m suddenly in a bleak airport security detention room alongside a bunch of …

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March 15, 2015

Data protection enforcement vote by EU Ministers is a two-edged sword

By Simon Davies At a meeting earlier today in Brussels, EU Justice Ministers agreed to support significant enforcement powers for a future pan-European data protection authority. Under the new understanding, the proposed European Data Protection Board (EDPB) would be empowered to review decisions where a conflict of opinion arises between national data protection regulators. That …

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March 13, 2015

A speech reveals Google’s poetic deception over EU privacy law

By Simon Davies Last month, Google gave one of its most impressive public performances of the year – one that was filled with strategic artistry that would do justice to Mark Antony. It’s likely that you overlooked this precious moment, which is a pity because – like a Bill Hicks comedy sketch – it was …

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March 5, 2015

Why have 200 Americans been executed by US police since the Michael Brown killing in Ferguson?

By Simon Davies (with additional research by James Cohen) Six months have passed since US police in Ferguson MO murdered an unarmed teenager in the act of surrender and then subsequently slaughtered a mentally ill man. The events sparked widespread  disquiet in America about the militarization of law enforcement agencies. In the six months since those killings, …

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February 21, 2015

Why we shouldn’t allow government to poison the concept of radicalism

By Simon Davies We should all be on alert whenever government tries to embed a transitive verb into popular language; it usually signals an impending campaign of fear and hatred. The transitive verb of the moment is “radicalized”. The word has, in a very short time, become part of the global political and media vocabulary …

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February 15, 2015

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