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This tool tells you if NSO’s Pegasus spyware targeted your phone

Over the weekend, an international consortium of news outlets reported that several authoritarian governments — including Mexico, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates — used spyware developed by NSO Group to hack into the phones of thousands of their most vocal critics, including journalists, activists, politicians and business executives.
A leaked list of 50,000 phone numbers of potential surveillance targets was obtained by Paris-based journalism nonprofit Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International and shared with the reporting consortium, including The Washington Post and The Guardian. Researchers analyzed the phones of dozens of victims to confirm they were targeted by the NSO’s Pegasus spyware, …

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Ireland must ‘swiftly’ investigate legality of Facebook-WhatsApp data sharing, says EDPB

Facebook’s lead regulator in the European Union must “swiftly” investigate the legality of data sharing related to a controversial WhatsApp policy update, following an order by the European Data Protection Board (EDPB).
We’ve reached out to the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) for a response. (Update: See below for their statement.)
Updated terms had been set to be imposed upon users of the Facebook-owned messaging app early this year — but in January Facebook delayed the WhatsApp terms update until May after a major privacy backlash and ongoing confusion over the details of its user data processing.
Despite WhatsApp …

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E.U. Delays Digital Levy as Tax Talks Proceed

Other finance ministers indicated that the delay was another sign of progress.“It’s very, very good that we are now going to the next step, discussing how we will implement this at the European Union and that the European Union is deciding not to go with its own proposal to the public today,” Olaf Scholz, Germany’s finance minister, said as he entered the meeting.The E.U. digital levy proposal faced a difficult path to becoming law in Europe, but the prospect of a new proposal that could be construed as a tax that targets American companies would …

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Global Tax Overhaul Gains Steam as G20 Backs New Levies

Absent unanimous approval among the members of the European Union, an accord would stall. Establishing a minimum tax would require an E.U. directive, and directives require backing by all 28 countries in the union. Ireland had previously hinted that they would object to or block a directive and Hungary could prove to be an even bigger hurdle given its fraught relationship with the union, which has pressed Hungary on unrelated rule-of-law and corruption issues.Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary has stated that taxes are a sovereign issue and recently called a proposed global minimum corporate tax “absurd.” Hungary’s …

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Kill the standard privacy notice

Leif-Nissen Lundbæk
Contributor

Leif-Nissen Lundbæk is the co-founder and CEO of Xayn. He specializes in privacy-preserving AI.

Privacy is a word on everyone’s mind nowadays — even Big Tech is getting in on it. Most recently, Apple joined the user privacy movement with its App Tracking Transparency feature, a cornerstone of the iOS 14.5 software update. Earlier this year, Tim Cook even mentioned privacy in the same breath as the climate crisis and labeled it one of the top issues of the 21st century.
Apple’s solution is a strong move in the right direction and sends a powerful …

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Next Year, Brits Will Fly Abroad. For Now, It’s Bognor Bingo.

BOGNOR REGIS, England — Little has changed in the 40 years that Jean Sheppard has been calling numbers at Crown Bingo here in the heart of Bognor Regis, one of Britain’s oldest seaside resort towns, about 60 miles south of London. The regulars still line up before the doors open at 11 a.m., hoping to nab their upholstered seat of choice in a converted cinema built in the ’30s.When the games begin, there are no distractions.“We had an elderly lady here once whose family came to tell her that her husband had passed away,” Ms. Sheppard recalled recently. “And this …

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Dear EU: It’s time to get a grip

The EU for all its lethargy, faults and fetishization of bureaucracy, is, ultimately, a good idea. It might be 64 years from the formation of the European Common Market, but it is 29 years since the EU’s formation in the Maastricht Treaty, and this international entity is definitely still acting like an indecisive millennial, happy to flit around tech startup policy. It’s long due time for this digital nomad to commit to one ‘location’ on how it treats startups.
If there’s one thing we can all agree on, this is a unique moment in time. The COVID-19 pandemic has …

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LinkedIn formally joins EU Code on hate speech takedowns

Microsoft-owned LinkedIn has committed to doing more to quickly purge illegal hate speech from its platform in the European Union by formally signing up to a self-regulatory initiative that seeks to tackle the issue through a voluntary Code of Conduct.
In statement today, the European Commission announced that the professional social network has joined the EU’s Code of Conduct on Countering Illegal Hate Speech Online, with justice commissioner, Didier Reynders, welcoming LinkedIn’s (albeit tardy) participation, and adding in a statement that the code “is and will remain an important tool in the fight against hate speech, including within …

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Perspectives on tackling Big Tech’s market power

The need for markets-focused competition watchdogs and consumer-centric privacy regulators to think outside their respective ‘legal silos’ and find creative ways to work together to tackle the challenge of big tech market power was the impetus for a couple of fascinating panel discussions organized by the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), which were livestreamed yesterday but are available to view on-demand here.
The conversations brought together key regulatory leaders from Europe and the US — giving a glimpse of what the future shape of digital markets oversight might look like at a time when fresh blood has just been injected …

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UK’s ICO warns over ‘big data’ surveillance threat of live facial recognition in public

The UK’s chief data protection regulator has warned over reckless and inappropriate use of live facial recognition (LFR) in public places.
Publishing an opinion today on the use of this biometric surveillance in public — to set out what is dubbed as the “rules of engagement” — the information commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, also noted that a number of investigations already undertaken by her office into planned applications of the tech have found problems in all cases.
“I am deeply concerned about the potential for live facial recognition (LFR) technology to be used inappropriately, excessively or even recklessly. When sensitive personal data …

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