Weekly Newsletter: 19 July – 23 July 2021
GDPR EU Representative

July 26, 2021

Washington Post: Investigation finds Israeli-designed spyware was used to hack journalists and activists around the world

[#Cybersecurity #Spyware #Personaldata] 

“Thirty-seven smartphones owned by journalists, human rights activists, business executives and two women connected to the slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi were targeted by “military-grade spyware” licensed by an Israeli company to governments, according to an investigation by a consortium of media organizations, including The Washington Post, published Sunday. […]

The spyware, which was developed a decade ago with the help of Israeli ex-cyberspies, is designed to easily circumvent typical smartphone privacy measures, “like strong passwords and encryption,” according to the Post, which said it can “attack phones without any warning to users” and “read anything on a device that a user can, while also stealing photos, recordings, location records, communications, passwords, call logs and social media posts.”

The Post also noted that “spyware also can activate cameras and microphones for real-time surveillance.””

To read more: Click here

BREAKING: Austrian OGH asks CJEU if Facebook “undermines” GDPR since 2018

[#Noyb #Facebook #CJEU #Schrems] 

“In a long-standing civil case between Max Schrems and Facebook, the Austrian Supreme Court (Oberster Gerichtshof, or “OGH”) has accepted Mr Schrems’ request to refer a number of questions to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU, the highest Court in the EU).

The four questions raise fundamental doubts over the legality of Facebook’s data use of all EU customers. In parallel, the Austrian Supreme Court also decided in a partial judgment that Mr Schrems will receive € 500 in symbolic emotional damages because Facebook did not give full access to Mr Schrems’ data, but instead staged an “egg hunt” for user data.”

To read more : Click here

Top U.S. Catholic church official resigns after cellphone data used to track him on Grindr and to gay bars

[#UnitedStates #Gindr #DataApp #Privacy #WashingtonPost] 
“The top administrator of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops resigned after a Catholic media site told the conference it had access to cellphone data that appeared to show he was a regular user of Grindr, the queer dating app, and frequented gay bars. […] USCCB spokeswoman Chieko Noguchi told The Washington Post on Tuesday afternoon it was Burrill’s decision to resign, and came after allegations of his “improper behavior” were brought to the USCCB by the Pillar, a Catholic news site.

In a Tuesday piece presenting the backstory, the Pillar reported that it had obtained information based on the data Grindr collects from its users, and hired an independent firm to analyze it. […]

“A mobile device correlated to Burrill emitted app data signals from the location-based hookup app Grindr on a near-daily basis during parts of 2018, 2019, and 2020 – at both his USCCB office and his USCCB-owned residence, as well as during USCCB meetings and events in other cities,” the Pillar reported.”

To read more : Click here

Civil rights ‘in peril’ unless data protection watchdog is reformed, says committee

[#Dataprotection #PersonalData]

“The Data Protection Commission (DPC) should adopt a culture of enforcement rather than “emphasising guidance” in its efforts to get businesses and organisations to comply with data privacy regulations, the Joint  Oireachtas  Committee on Justice has recommended.

The committee said it “fears that citizens’ fundamental rights are in peril” as a result of the way the DPC operates. […]

Of the 196 cases in which the DPC asserted its status as lead authority in the EU from May 2018 to December 2020, it produced a draft decision in four of these cases. The only fine issued to a big tech company was the €450,000 penalty given to Twitter last December in relation to a 2018 breach of GDPR.”

To read more: Click here