Issue 93

Enforcement Updates

South Korean privacy watchdog initiates action against Tech Giants

South Korea’s privacy regulator Personal Information Protection Commission (PIPC) issued fines against major tech companies for failure to comply with its national privacy law. PIPC fined Facebook Inc. KRW 6 billion for breach of nearly 6 articles of the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA), which included, collection of facial data without disclosure and consent, transfer of personal data outside South Korea illegally etc. Netflix Inc. was also fined KRW 223.2 million by the PIPC for illegal data collection and transfer under the PIPA. Google although did not receive any fine, was issued a letter of “recommendation for improvement” regarding its compliance with the PIPA.

Facebook’s ‘buy-or-bury’ tactics are a threat to privacy and competition: Records FTC

In an ongoing federal anti-trust against Facebook by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the authority filled an amended complaint alleging Facebook’s privacy invading and competition harming tactics. The authority noted that Facebook buried their competition in an illegal buy-or-bury scheme, to maintain its monopoly in the market, which allowed Facebook to sustain their surveillance heavy advertising and increase privacy burdens for the user. FTC has provided with further details on the violation of privacy of users, through such monopoly and destroying competition. As a result, Facebook may face prosecution before federal judge.

Investment firms fined for breach of data security practices.

Investment companies Cetera Advisor Networks LLC, Cambridge Investment Research Inc and KMS Financial Services were fined for deficient data security practices by the Security Exchange Commission, USA. These companies suffered a data security incident, owing to noncompliance with their written data protection policies and data security requirements as laid down in the safeguards rules, which led to unauthorized access of personal data by threat actors. The companies were also accused of misleading and inadequate breach notifications. As a result, Cetera was fined USD 300,000, Cambridge Investment was fined USD 250,000 and KMS was fined USD 200,000 penalty.

Heritage tracing and genetic testing company under scrutiny for GDPR violations.

The Norwegian Data Protection Authority has opened investigation into data collecting and handling practices of MyHeritage Ltd. The authority had received a complaint report from the Norwegian Consumer Council, which alleged that the company is engaged in collection and processing large amount of sensitive personal data and transgresses GDPR principles while processing the same. The Council’s report accused the company of lack of transparency, improper legal basis and denying users opportunity of true and informed consent and illegal privacy policy. The Authority had demanded information from the company.

Regulatory updates around the Globe

  • New Data Privacy and Protection law for insurance sector published in Minnesota.
  • UK’s Information Commissioners Office Age-Appropriate Design Code enters into force.
  • Texas Data Breach Notification Law enters into force.

India updates

  • The Joint Parliamentary Committee on Personal Data Protection Bill conducted two sittings i.e on 15th and 16th September to discuss the amendments introduced by Chairperson.
  • Former Supreme Court justices raises concerns over 4 years delay in implementing Personal Data Protection Law. Source HT.
  • The Personal Data Protection Law to boost business from abroad for IT industry in India – Additional Secretary, MEITY. Source ET.
  • Government of India planning to introduce incentive schemes to promote Data Centers in India. Report’s ET.

EU updates

  • Joint Committee of European Supervisory Authorities published their second risk assessment report. Highlights cyber risks for financial sector.
  • The European Commission released its 2021 Strategic Foresight Report. Provides observation on digital hyperconnectivity and technological transformations.
  • European Parliament releases study on Biometric Recognition and Behavioral Detection.

Guidance updates

  • Data Sharing Code of Practice published by the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority.
  • Hong Kong Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data released its guide on Ethical Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence.
  • CNIL, the French Data Protection Authority released opinion on the use of biometric devices, in relation to hand-shaped palm scanning devices used in school.
  • Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service releases guidelines for digital markets and platforms.

News around the globe

  • Huawei accused of illegal access and transfer of personal data of Pakistan citizens to China. – Report’s Reuters.
  • Incorrect configuration of Microsoft API by government and private entities leads to large scale data breach.
  • Facebook introduces new Privacy Enhancing Technologies to improve privacy in targeted advertising.
  • Tinder to launch Government ID based verification of users.
  • China to ban its Tech companies which can pose data privacy and security risks from listing themselves overseas. Report’s Reuters.

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