Top 10 Defamation Cases 2019

Happy New Year readers!

This year we again are publishing our thoughts on the Top 10 Defamation cases of the year.

This covers the top 10 defamation cases jurisdictionally from across the UK, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Case will be ranked on the strength of the precedence they set, including thier impact on the jurisdictions legal framework.

Many thanks to INFORRM for orginally agreeing to post this article.

Citation: Privacy International: Amazon’s contract with the NHS raises data privacy concerns

Privacy International (“PI”) has scrutinized Amazon’s contact with the Department of Health to harvest data for Alexa services.  The contract started from 14 December 2018 and will be in effect till 15 October 2024.

The contract covers Amazon using the data of the NHS website and integrating it with Alexa, allowing Alexa to better respond to medical questions. This permits Alexa to better respond to a range of medical questions with the vetted information available from the NHS website. Readers should note that the arrangement DOES NOT SHARE THIRD-PARTY HEALTHCARE DATA. The focus is permitting Alexa to access the NHS website’s publically available data to enhance its response to heathcare questions. Patient data, as far as we know, was not part of the agreement.

PI then goes on to scrutinize the contract in detail giving an overview of the key terms and conditions. The article also covers the commercial vs public interest issues arising from the redaction of parts of the contract, raising matters of transparency in government contracting.

The sharing of data under this agreement permits Alexa to use data gathered from the NHS website. This is for informational purposes as the site is typically a first port of call for those concerned about symptoms. By integrating this data Amazon helps Alexa enhance its service offering. It has notably been said, by the Guardian, that such accessibility was granted free of charge.

 

Citation: Security Boulevard: On the Convergence of Data Privacy and Data Security: Part 1

Security Boulevard has a great piece unpacking the terminology behind privacy. Including- what is meant by data privacy as opposed to data protection? What is the significance of this?

The terminology used around privacy has been changing as fast as the privacy landscape has. In this context it is important to keep ahead of the language used to formulate and express privacy ideas. Security Boulevard does just that in its recent post.

It’s definition typically focuses on the zonal nature of privacy. Thus the fact that it can be lost, breached or reformulated.

Suneet Sharma launches the Law and Games (“LaG”) Blog

As of 26 November 2019 TPP’s Founder Suneet Sharma has launched the Law and Games Blog. This blog is focused on content creators and their legal rights.

The move comes following Suneet taking up the position of Legal Executice at game developer and publisher Sega. We hope you will find it informative.

Suneet will continue to run TPP and post weekly privacy oriented content.

Citation: Wired: The privacy of crypto-currency

Wired has published an insightful article on virtual currencies.

The article considers the privacy implications of crypto-currency transactions. It highlights the issues surrounding logging each transaction in a publically available manner and concerns around behavioural modelling.

The article considers the providers Monero and Zcash in particular.

Google and healthcare provider Ascension collaboration raises privacy concerns

blue and silver stetoscopeGoogle Cloud has been providing Ascension, the second biggest healthcare provider in the US, with cloud infrastructure services since July 2019. Providing software services to healthcare providers to facilitate the secure management of patient data is not uncommon for Google. The services Ascension are taking are similarly commonplace- the migration of data to Google Cloud, utilizing suite productivity tools and providing technological tools to Ascension’s doctors for use. What perhaps is the defining factor is the scale, with this being the largest project of its kind to date – managing data of over 50 million Americans. This was dubbed “Project Nightingale”.

Continue reading

Citation: The Guardian: Google and Facebook to investigate the targeting of micro-political ads

The Guardian has an excellent piece on recent moves by Facebook and Google in seeking to ban micro-targeting political ads.

The practice, which underpins the Cambridge Analytica scandal, is being reviewed by the news providers. The harvesting of political oriented data is common and is usually undertaken as part of an effort to profile users.

Facebook has been known to group users for the purposes of ads-targeting, some of which considers political interests. This allows for nuanced and in many cases, an alarming degree of differentiation and influence of users.  The US legislatures have taken issue with this approach in the past.

The ICO has recently reached an agreement with Facebook over the fines put in place over the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The regulator continues work into data misuse in political advertising, to which the issue of micro-targeting of political ads is central.

Morrisions data breach vicarious liability case before UK Supreme Court

Following its data breach in November 2013 the Morrisons data breach case is now before the UK Supreme Court. The breach involved the personal data of 5,500 employees.

An employee, Mr Skelton, took a memory stick containing the records of employees home. In January 2014 he uploaded the contents onto a data sharing website, later sending it to newspapers. Continue reading