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Source: New Zealand Privacy Commissioner – Blog

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

CovidCard trials halted for privacy and security concerns

The CovidCard contact tracing tool is yet to be trialled in the general population, with the Ministry of Health pushing back trials due to privacy and security concerns. The Ministry says the prototype card did not meet the necessary controls for a community trial, but the process is due to start next week. Read more here.

Police admit to mailing error which involved privacy breach

Police have admitted mistakenly sending a person a letter containing personal information about someone else. The letter was sent from the organisation’s infringement bureau, and it is investigating a second possible error. Read more here.

H&M fined $41 million for violating its workers’ privacy

H&M has been fined 35 million euros ($41.1 million USD) by the Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information after monitoring several hundred employees at its service centre in Nuremberg. This is the second-largest fine levied against a single company since the EU introduced new General Data Protection Regulation laws in 2018. Read more here.

New privacy standard launched for the whole internet

A group of tech companies, publishers, and activist groups are backing a new standard to let internet users set their privacy settings for the entire web. The new standard, called Global Privacy Control, will let users activate a browser setting to keep their data from being sold wherever they visit on the internet. Read more here.

Netflix exposes social media’s problems – but how do we fix them?

Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma focuses on how social media companies manipulate users by using algorithms that encourage addiction to their platforms. It also shows how the companies harvest personal data to target users with ads. But the documentary falls short of providing a tangible solution – what can users do to protect themselves? Read more here.

How did ‘ransomware’ get so bad?

Hackers are taking advantage of an increasing reliance by companies on digital systems as the coronavirus pandemic continues and online working remains prevalent. This year, there has been a notable increase in ‘ransomware’ attacks, where hackers take control of information and demand a ransom for its release. Read more here.

Image credit: Black-billed Cuckoo via John James Audubon’s Birds of America