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Source: New Zealand Privacy Commissioner – Blog

Welcome to our latest round-up of privacy news stories for the week.

Ministry of Social Development U-turn to release wage subsidy data

The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) has U-turned on its reluctance to release a list of businesses that have received the Covid-19 wage subsidy. MSD previously wasn’t willing to provide the entire dataset, saying it would first have to manually remove sole traders with three or more employees from the list. Read more here. (Stuff)

Should bosses be able to spy on workers, even when they work from home?

With more employees working from home following the Covid-19 lockdown, many companies have felt the need to monitor their staff using increasingly advanced technology solutions. But should employees simply accept the privacy trade-offs of this surveillance as part of the cost of working from home? Read more here. (Scoop)

Home CCTV: What are the rules?

Anyone with a few hundred dollars and an app on their phone can set up a home security system and be notified when a motion sensor is triggered in their front garden. But homeowners using CCTV have a responsibility to respect the other people around them who may be caught on film. Read more here. (Stuff)

Dating apps exposed 845 GB of explicit photos and data

Security researchers have uncovered a collection of publicly accessible online data ‘buckets’, containing sensitive information from a slew of specialised dating apps. The data contained intimate photos and chats from thousands of users and was accessible to anyone on the internet. Read more here. (Wired)

Court databases may prejudice the innocent

Concerns have been raised in Australia that privately run court databases do not give the full picture of a person’s experience with the criminal courts – for example, listing their court appearances but not their acquittal or the dropping of charges. Read more here. (ABC)

UK government releases NHS COVID data deals with big tech

Hours before facing court proceedings over its massive NHS COVID-19 data deal with private tech firms, the UK government has caved to pressure and released all the contracts governing its deals with Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and controversial AI firms Faculty and Palantir. Read more here. (OpenDemocracy) 

Protecting your digital privacy while protesting

As protesters increasingly use smartphones as a means of recording their experiences on the ground, those same devices can be used against them. Digital surveillance tools, like fake cell phone towers and facial recognition technology, can be used to identify protestors and monitor their movements and communications. Read more here. (Time) 

Image credit: Least Water-hen via John James Audubon’s Birds of America