Tear down the tracking wall

Nicolas Collignon Privacy 0 Comments

It has become a daily routine: “consenting to” being tracked, on the basis of meaningless explanations (or no explanation at all) before you’re allowed access to a website or online service. It’s about time to set limits to this tracking rat race.

An ever-growing portion of our personal and professional communication, our news consumption and our contact with government, is mediated through the internet. Access to online information and services is crucial to participating in today’s society. Yet, on a daily basis we are forced to allow ourselves to be tracked – from across multiple websites and app , and across several devices – before we’re given access to information or digital services.

The infamous cookie walls you encounter when visiting websites are a prime example of this. If you want to get beyond that wall, you first have to consent to having your online behaviour minutely tracked. To be clear, we are not talking about the cookies that are necessary to, for example, store y..

The Israeli algorithm criminalizing Palestinians for online dissent

Nicolas Collignon Privacy 0 Comments

intelligence has developed a predictive policing system – a
computer algorithm – that analyzes social media posts to identify
Palestinian “suspects.”

Graffiti on the separation wall in the West Bank, Palestine. Photo by Wall in Palestine. Flickr.com (CC BY-SA 2.0) Some rights reserved.The
Palestinian Authority’s (PA) arrest
of West Bank human rights defender Issa Amro for a Facebook post
last month is the latest in the the
recent crackdown on online dissent among Palestinians. Yet it’s a
tactic long used by Israel, which has been monitoring social media
activity and arresting Palestinians for their speech for years –
and has recently created a computer algorithm to aid in such

2015, Israel has detained around 800 Palestinians because of content
they wrote or shared online, mainly posts that are critical of
Israel’s repressive policies or share the reality of Israeli
violence against Palestinians. In the majority of these cases, those
detained did not ..

No Airport Biometric Surveillance

Nicolas Collignon Privacy 0 Comments

Facial recognition, fingerprinting, and retina scans—all of these and more could be extracted from travelers by the government at checkpoints throughout domestic airports. Please join EFF in opposing the dangerous new bill, sponsored by Senator Thune (R-SD), which would authorize this expanded biometric surveillance.

The TSA Modernization Act (S. 1872)would authorize the U.S. Transportation Security Administration and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to deploy “biometric technology to identify passengers” throughout our nation’s airports, including at “checkpoints, screening lanes, [and] bag drop and boarding areas.”

The bill would make a bad situation worse. Today, CBP is subjecting travelers on certain outgoing international flights to facial recognition screening. The bill would expand biometric screening to domestic flights (not just international flights), and would increase the frequency that a traveler is subjected to biometric screening (not just once per trip).


Europe’s Courts Decide: Does U.S. Spying Violate Europe’s Privacy?

Nicolas Collignon Privacy 0 Comments

In a long-awaited decision on whether and how Europeans' private data can be protected from the roving eyes of the NSA, the Irish Commercial High Court this morning declared that “standard contractual clauses” —the procedure that tech companies like Facebook use to try to satisfy European privacy laws—should be reviewed by the European Union's top court, the Court of Justice (CJEU).

The decision hands the court a key question that could affect millions of users and the business practices of Facebook and other tech giants: should tech companies be allowed to send the personal data of European customers across the Atlantic if they can’t guarantee that, once in U.S. data centers, the information won’t be vacuumed up by NSA surveillance?

The decision follows a request for guidance by the Irish Data Protection Commissioner (DPC), who began to ask questions about the procedure after the collapse of the U.S/E.U. Privacy Safe Harbor rules, another method for legally transferring pe..

New Privacy International report shows that 21 European countries are unlawfully retaining personal data

Nicolas Collignon Privacy 0 Comments

6 September 2017Related Privacy 101s: What is PrivacyRelated Projects: Contesting SurveillanceKey points

Privacy International surveyed 21 EU member states' legislation on data retention and examined their compliance with fundamental human rights standards
0 out of the 21 States examined by PI are currently in compliance with these standards (as interpreted in two landmark judgements by the Court of Justice of the European Union: Tele-2/Watson and Digital Rights Ireland)
Privacy International is calling for:

EU member states to review their legislation on data retention and, if necessary, amend it to comply with European standards, including the CJEU jurisprudence;
Telecommunications and other companies subject to data retention obligations to challenge existing data retention legislation which are not compliant with European standards, including the CJEU jurisprudence;
The European Commission to provide guidance on reviewing national data retention laws to ensure its conformity..

Case Study: The Myth of Free Wi-Fi

Nicolas Collignon Privacy 0 Comments

Date: 30 August 2017Related Privacy 101s: What is PrivacyRelated Projects: Challenging Data ExploitationInvisible and insecure infrastructure is facilitating data exploitation

Many technologies, including those that are critical to our day-to-day lives do not protect our privacy or security. One reason for this is that the standards which govern our modern internet infrastructure do not prioritise security which is imperative to protect privacy.

What happened?

An example of this is Wi-Fi, which is now on its sixth major revision (802.11ad). Wi-Fi was always designed to be a verbose in the way it signals to other Wi-Fi devices, however what made connectivity realisable in the early days has become a hindrance in our connected world.

Wi-Fi infrastructure was built to prioritise responsiveness and connectivity, rather than ensuring that users are able to communicate privately. And overall, people have not minded. The expectation of consumers is for Wi-Fi technology is that it just wor..