Category Archive: Online privacy

If you figure that privacy advocates are irrelevant, here’s why you should think again

By Simon Davies (This article appeared originally on the website of the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) in August 2016. In recent months, a small but tenacious army of privacy and consumer rights activists has been quietly ramping up for an assault on poor privacy and data protection practices by companies and governments. These …

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Warrantless mass surveillance? Bring it on! I’m all the way with Theresa May…

 By Simon Davies My colleagues in the privacy realm should think twice before attacking the fledgling British Prime Minister, Theresa May, over her plan to introduce sweeping new surveillance laws. I personally think she’s a very courageous woman and deserves some kudos. And she has nice hair. I mean, no sooner were the Tory Party’s …

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The Belgian decision about Facebook cookies has huge data protection and press freedom implications

By Simon Davies Like many other people, I’ve been grappling with the intricacies of the recent Belgian court decision about Facebook’s use of cookies (the English text of which is, at last, here.) I’m coming around to the view that the implications are far broader than we might imagine and it’s a little bewildering that there …

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Google moves its privacy offering from Abysmal to Appalling as EU regulators force change

By Simon Davies You’ve probably seen numerous media reports on Google’s new privacy dashboard. In essence, this is a facility where Google consolidates all its spin about the need to collect more information on its customers. Users who can navigate the anti-privacy rhetoric on those pages have an opportunity to improve their privacy level from abysmal to …

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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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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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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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Why the UK GCHQ unlawful spying ruling may force president Obama to take action

By Simon Davies Last week, a British court ruled that UK spy agencies had acted unlawfully by partnering with the NSA in conducting mass surveillance through the use of covert interception programmes such as PRISM. Make no mistake. Despite the bravado-ridden response of the British government to this ruling, the national security ground has shifted …

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Google’s claim that it fought the Wikileaks gagging order just doesn’t add up

By Simon Davies Google’s claim that it fought the gagging provisions of a federal handover request for detailed information on three Wikileaks staff is not only wholly disingenuous, it’s also deceptive. Since the issuing of that demand in early 2012, it took almost three years before Google finally admitted to WikiLeaks that it handed over …

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A powerful new legal analysis lays bare the facts about the Right to be Forgotten

Review by Cristina Pauter “The right to be forgotten on the Internet: Google versus Spain” (Artemi Rallo, ed. CEPC, Madrid, 2014) is a timely work (Spanish text only) that examines an emerging legal issue in which singular fundamental rights are threatened by the rapid development of knowledge and the modern information society. The initial illusion …

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