European law: EU laws could ban under-16s from using social media without parental consent

European law: EU laws could ban under-16s from using social media without parental consent

A proposed amendment to the European Data Protection Regulation could increase the legal age for social media use from 13 to 16, The Telegraph reports. As part of a revamp of data protection laws designed to create a unified set of rules for the European Union (EU), European politicians have proposed last-minute changes to EU data protection laws, which “could ban millions of teenagers from using social media.” The proposal means that internet services, such…

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European law: European lawmakers agree on cyber security law

European law: European lawmakers agree on cyber security law

Members of the European Parliament have proposed new rules making it compulsory for technology firms and companies running critical services to report cyber breaches, the BBC reports. In a historic first, Europe has put forward European Union (EU) rules on cyber security, which also create minimum standards of cyber security for banking institutions, energy firms and water companies. The proposed laws – collectively referred to as the Network and Information Security directive – stem from…

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Law and government: Conservative Party calls for Investigatory Powers Bill to be rushed through in aftermath of Paris terror attacks

Law and government: Conservative Party calls for Investigatory Powers Bill to be rushed through in aftermath of Paris terror attacks

In view of the terrorist attacks in Paris, the government is pushing for the Investigatory Powers Bill to be rushed through “as soon as possible”, The Independent reports. Following last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris, which left at least 129 people dead and hundreds injured, the Prime Minister, David Cameron, hinted this week that, due to “the increasing international terrorist threat,” he would like to fast-track the Investigatory Powers Bill – the proposed surveillance laws…

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Privacy: Ashley Madison adultery website faces $578m class action lawsuit over data hack

Privacy: Ashley Madison adultery website faces $578m class action lawsuit over data hack

Two Canadian law firms have issued legal proceedings against two companies running the adultery website, Ashley Madison, following a data hack revealing 39 million members’ details, The Guardian reports. After the data hack of a website that facilitates extramarital affairs, which publicly exposed 39 million members’ personal information, two Ontario- Two Canadian law firms have issued legal proceedings against two companies running the adultery website, Ashley Madison, following a data hack revealing 39 million members’…

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Privacy law: Legal experts demand increased scrutiny of surveillance laws

Privacy law: Legal experts demand increased scrutiny of surveillance laws

Legal academics are urging Members of Parliament to conduct an “open and transparent assessment and critique of UK surveillance powers,” the Press Association reports. Legal academics are calling on Members of Parliament (MPs) to carefully consider new laws that serve to increase government surveillance powers. A group of esteemed academics have signed an open letter to new and returning MPs, issuing a warning against expanding the scope of state surveillance laws and policies without the…

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Government looks to increase online surveillance powers of UK intelligence agencies

Government looks to increase online surveillance powers of UK intelligence agencies

The government is looking to further extend its new “snooper charter” bill that would see the UK’s intelligence agencies having greater access to the public’s online communications. Currently, the charter is intended to allow agencies to access anyone’s web and social media use. However, the new bill will also have provisions for the police and GCHQ to intercept and store personal communications on a massive scale. The government argues it is attempting to “modernise the…

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International: Federal court finds NSA telephone operations illegal

International: Federal court finds NSA telephone operations illegal

Yesterday, a US federal appeals court ruled the National Security Agency’s (NSA) Section 215 collection of telephone metadata programme is illegal under the Patriot Act. In December 2013, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) brought the case of the NSA’s metadata telephone surveillance to a district court in New York. At the hearing, Judge William Pauley ruled the NSA’s actions were constitutional, arguing: “the right to be free from searches is fundamental but not absolute”…

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Privacy: Lib Dems plan to introduce bill of digital rights

Privacy: Lib Dems plan to introduce bill of digital rights

The Liberal Democrats have announced they will introduce a bill of digital rights if they find themselves as part of a coalition after the coming election. The bill is intended to bring the current civil and human rights of the UK into the digital sphere. The Lib Dems have released a public consultation paper on the proposed bill. Within, the paper’s highlights include: providing compensation for consumers in instances when companies use deliberately misleading terms…

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Privacy law: Information Commissioner finds UCAS broke marketing practice rules

Privacy law: Information Commissioner finds UCAS broke marketing practice rules

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has announced on 8 April the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) broke electronic marketing rules. An investigation in UCAS was launched by the ICO after the Guardian published an article in March 2014 showing UCAS had been selling data on over a million teenagers and students to companies such as Vodafone and Microsoft. The ICO’s investigation specifically focused on a part of the UCAS application form where students have…

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International: Samsung voice-recording ‘smart’ TVs may fall foul of US privacy law

International: Samsung voice-recording ‘smart’ TVs may fall foul of US privacy law

The US Electronic Privacy Information Center is calling for an investigation of Samsung over claims that its voice-recording ‘smart’ TVs breach privacy laws, The Guardian reports. An independent non-profit research centre in Washington DC is pushing for a federal investigation of Samsung over privacy concerns relating to its voice-recording ‘smart’ TVs. The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) claims that Samsung smart TVs record the private conversations of users without informing them and is calling for…

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