International Data Privacy Day not so private / News / The Foreigner

International Data Privacy Day not so private. 28th January was met with more information about the US’ NSA using mobile apps to gather more information from users. Mobile apps such as the popular Angry Birds may have leaked information about its users that both the National Security Agency and the UK’s GCHQ (Government Communication Headquarters) were able to pick up. This includes the age, gender and location of the player. These agencies can also gather personal information from social media websites. The NSA stressed, Monday, they did not monitor innocent Americans or foreigners, however.

app, personalprivacy, dataprotection



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International Data Privacy Day not so private

Published on Wednesday, 29th January, 2014 at 15:54 under the news category, by Lyndsey Smith and Michael Sandelson      .

28th January was met with more information about the US’ NSA using mobile apps to gather more information from users.

Businessman with his mobile
Businessman with his mobile
Photo: Markus Gann/Shutterstock


Mobile apps such as the popular Angry Birds may have leaked information about its users that both the National Security Agency and the UK’s GCHQ (Government Communication Headquarters) were able to pick up. This includes the age, gender and location of the player.

These agencies can also gather personal information from social media websites. The NSA stressed, Monday, they did not monitor innocent Americans or foreigners, however.

More leaks from whistle-blower Edward Snowden also revealed that the UK’s GCHQ were also involved in monitoring internet traffic through fibre optic cables and gathering information on users – similar to their American counterparts.

GCHQ have said that what they are doing is within the law. Nevertheless, legal advice given to British MPs has stated this information gathering is likely to be illegal under current legislation that is too vague, allowing GCHQ to interpret it.

“The Government and intelligence agencies are advising the most senior levels in the UK’s largest companies on how to safeguard their most valuable assets, such as personal data, online services and intellectual property,” GCHQ officials write on the website.

According to the NSA, their “cryptology that encompasses both Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) and Information Assurance (IA) products and services” lead the US Government “and enables Computer Network Operations (CNO) in order to gain a decision advantage for the Nation and our allies under all circumstances.”

“We will protect national security interests by adhering to the highest standards of behaviour,” they also state.

In 2011, Norway’s Data Inspectorate produced the “what does your app know about you?” report, which they say is still valid.

One of their findings was that the app market is largely non-transparent for users when it came to which data is collected and why, as well as how it might be used.

Numbers from the Google Play and the App Store indicate Angry Birds, for example, is very popular with Norwegian smartphone users.

The Inspectorate also concludes that “app users' right to access their personal data that has been collected is difficult to exercise when there is no indication of who is legally responsible for the processing (who is the controller).”

According to them, lack of information on personal data collection makes it difficult for users to decide whether to download an app or not.

“Available opportunities to explain how personal data is used within apps are rarely used […] if information is given only inside the apps, users will only be informed after they have given their consent when downloading the apps – this is the wrong way round in accordance to the Personal Data Act.”



Published on Wednesday, 29th January, 2014 at 15:54 under the news category, by Lyndsey Smith and Michael Sandelson      .

This post has the following tags: app, personalprivacy, dataprotection.





  
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