Privacy News Online | Weekly Review: November 27, 2020

Privacy News Online | Weekly Review: November 27, 2020

New details about the official app used by the Trump 2020 campaign have been revealed and things aren’t looking good.Privacy News Online is brought to you by Private Internet Access, the world’s most trusted VPN service.

There’s a war going on over 5G (and no, that’s not a conspiracy theory)

There’s a war going on over 5G (and no, that’s not a conspiracy theory)

First there’s Trump himself, whose attacks on Chinese tech companies appear to be part of a broader strategy aimed at getting a better trade deal out of China.

Official Trump 2020 App collected phone numbers from contact lists without consent and could sell that data

Official Trump 2020 App collected phone numbers from contact lists without consent and could sell that data

It’s worth noting that the official campaign app from President elect Joe Biden – Team Joe and later Vote Joe – also collected IP addresses, location information, and even contact lists; however if the user declined to consent to sharing this information, the app would respect that request as opposed to siphoning the information anyways with invisible code.

Financially troubled startup helped power Trump campaign

Financially troubled startup helped power Trump campaign

But after Uber filed suit against Phunware, alleging the software company committed fraud by among other things, allowing ads for the ride-sharing app to show up on porn sites, former employees said the startup looked for new ways to diversify its revenue stream.

TikTok says it’s been waiting weeks for a Trump response on US ban

TikTok says it’s been waiting weeks for a Trump response on US ban

ByteDance on Tuesday appealed to a federal appellate court seeking to overturn a sweeping Trump administration order requiring the company to divest itself of its popular TikTok platform—at least in the United States.

Trump could be banned from Twitter after he leaves office, company's rules indicate

Trump could be banned from Twitter after he leaves office, company's rules indicate

Donald Trump could be removed from after he leaves office if he continues to break the platform’s rules, according to Twitter’s policy regarding public figures.

What Facebook Did to American Democracy

What Facebook Did to American Democracy

The Trump campaign was working to suppress “idealistic white liberals, young women, and African Americans,” and they’d be doing it with targeted, “dark” Facebook ads.“I wouldn’t have come aboard, even for Trump, if I hadn’t known they were building this massive Facebook and data engine,” Bannon told them.

Facebook and UK Privacy Regulator ICO Complicit in subverting democracy

Facebook and UK Privacy Regulator ICO Complicit in subverting democracy

Responding to Channel 4’s latest revelations about the massive cache of voter data used by the Trump campaign, Jim Killock, Executive Director of Open Rights Group said: “This latest revelations lays bare two key problems.

Trump to shut off TikTok, WeChat to new U.S. users on Sunday

Trump to shut off TikTok, WeChat to new U.S. users on Sunday

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration will ban WeChat and video-sharing app TikTok from U.S. app stores starting Sunday night, a move that will block Americans from downloading the Chinese-owned platforms over concerns they pose a national security threat.

Trump administration seeks sweeping DNA collection of immigrants, U.S. sponsors

Trump administration seeks sweeping DNA collection of immigrants, U.S. sponsors

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration on Friday formally proposed a sweeping expansion of its collection of DNA and other biometric data of immigrants, to go beyond detained migrants in order to include U.S. citizen sponsors and others.

AP Exclusive: Barr ‘vehemently opposed’ to pardoning Snowden

AP Exclusive: Barr ‘vehemently opposed’ to pardoning Snowden

The attorney general’s comments in an interview with The Associated Press come days after President Donald Trump said he would “look at” whether to pardon Snowden, who was charged under the Espionage Act in 2013 with disclosing details of highly classified government surveillance programs.

Should Donald Trump pardon Edward Snowden?

Should Donald Trump pardon Edward Snowden?

Seven years later, Trump is President and now believes there is an argument that Snowden acted in the interest of all humankind.It is widely believed that a pardon of Snowden would encourage future whistle-blowers to publicize possible corruption or violations in the US intelligence community and other government agencies.

Trump says he is considering pardon for leaker Edward Snowden

Trump says he is considering pardon for leaker Edward Snowden

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump said on Saturday he is considering a pardon for Edward Snowden, the former U.S. National Security Agency contractor - now living in Russia - whose spectacular leaks shook the U.S. intelligence community in 2013.

Trump: ‘A lot of people’ think Edward Snowden ‘not being treated fairly’

Trump: ‘A lot of people’ think Edward Snowden ‘not being treated fairly’

“When you look at [former FBI Director James] Comey and [former FBI Deputy Director Andrew] McCabe, and [former CIA Director John] Brennan — and, excuse me, the man that sat at this desk, President Obama, got caught spying on my campaign with Biden.

TikTok reportedly violated Google's data collection policies by tracking the individual identifiers of Android users' smartphones

TikTok reportedly violated Google's data collection policies by tracking the individual identifiers of Android users' smartphones

Google and Apple have both banned apps from collecting MAC addresses, but researchers told The Wall Street Journal that TikTok did so until November last year by exploiting a bug.

Trump says he's banning TikTok in the U.S.

Trump says he's banning TikTok in the U.S.

A spokesperson for TikTok said in a statement that the app is a job creator committed to the privacy of its 100 million users in the United States.

Trump is moving forward with his plan to regulate social media

Trump is moving forward with his plan to regulate social media

(CNN Business)The Trump administration took a key step on Monday toward fulfilling the president's executive order on social media, formally asking the FCC to develop regulations that could apply to Facebook, Twitter and other tech platforms.

White House reportedly orders hospitals to bypass CDC during COVID-19 data collection

White House reportedly orders hospitals to bypass CDC during COVID-19 data collection

The Trump administration is now ordering hospitals to send coronavirus patient data to a database in Washington, DC as part of a new initiative that may bypass the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), according to a report from The New York Times published on Tuesday.

Exclusive: Secret Trump order gives CIA more powers to launch cyberattacks

Exclusive: Secret Trump order gives CIA more powers to launch cyberattacks

The Central Intelligence Agency has conducted a series of covert cyber operations against Iran and other targets since winning a secret victory in 2018 when President Trump signed what amounts to a sweeping authorization for such activities, according to former U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Activists Are Trying to Stop the FBI From Snooping on Your Web History

Activists Are Trying to Stop the FBI From Snooping on Your Web History

Privacy advocates have launched a campaign calling on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi—who impeached Donald Trump and called him “the most dangerous person in the history of our country”—to reintroduce the privacy amendment, which has enough support to pass in both chambers of Congress.

DOJ seeks new emergency powers amid coronavirus pandemic

DOJ seeks new emergency powers amid coronavirus pandemic

In one of the documents, the department proposed that Congress grant the attorney general power to ask the chief judge of any district court to pause court proceedings “whenever the district court is fully or partially closed by virtue of any natural disaster, civil disobedience, or other emergency situation.”.

Google says it is developing a nationwide coronavirus website

Google says it is developing a nationwide coronavirus website

President Donald Trump had thanked Google on Friday for developing a website that he said would help people determine whether they needed a coronavirus test, saying that 1,700 engineers were working on it.

The Guardian view on Trump tracking phones: it could happen here

The Guardian view on Trump tracking phones: it could happen here

While apps’ privacy policies might say that location information is used for advertising, the use of such data for invasive political purposes is rarely disclosed.In the US, data collection from apps is legal as long as it is disclosed.

Trump to put Secret Service in charge of policing cryptocurrencies

Trump to put Secret Service in charge of policing cryptocurrencies

US President Donald Trump will hand control of cryptocurrency criminal investigations to the Secret Service.“The Budget proposes legislation to return the US Secret Service to Treasury to create new efficiencies in the investigation of these crimes and prepare the Nation to face the threats of tomorrow.”.

Republicans Hate Surveillance on Trump but Sound Like They’ll Renew the PATRIOT Act

Republicans Hate Surveillance on Trump but Sound Like They’ll Renew the PATRIOT Act

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKIIf Republicans have any appetite for reining in domestic surveillance that they describe as a massive violation of the civil liberties of Donald Trump’s associates, it wasn’t on display when FBI Director Christopher Wray made his first appearance on Capitol Hill since the damning Justice Department inspector general’s report into the Trump-Russia investigation.

Stephen King quits Facebook over false claims in political ads

Stephen King quits Facebook over false claims in political ads

Horror novelist says that the social network has allowed false information to be disseminated, and that he is also concerned about users’ privacy.Stephen King has quit Facebook, saying that he is not comfortable with the “flood of false information allowed in its political advertising”.

Facebook makes a decision: microtargeted, false political ads are fine

Facebook makes a decision: microtargeted, false political ads are fine

The social media company, as it considered what to do about political ads, faced intense pleas from campaign strategists on both sides, pointing out legitimate uses of microtargeting, especially for challengers, in local races and for advocacy groups.“Over 85% of spend by US presidential candidates on Facebook is for ad campaigns targeted to audiences estimated to be greater than 250,000,” Facebook said.

Trump Campaign Deploying Phone Location-Tracking Technology

Trump Campaign Deploying Phone Location-Tracking Technology

President Donald Trump’s reelection effort has retained the services of a technology company that specializes in the mass collection of smartphone location data, which can be used to track voters for political targeting purposes.

America should demand privacy protection — before it's too late

America should demand privacy protection — before it's too late

Having worked and legislated in this space since long before the first mainstream thinkpiece was written about data privacy, I know for certain that a balanced approach will protect American consumers from bad actors, while ensuring the innovators can keep innovating.

The Guardian view on Boris Johnson’s NHS plan: trading patient data

The Guardian view on Boris Johnson’s NHS plan: trading patient data

The NHS is a goldmine of patient data which the United States wants to be quarried by some of its biggest companies.Jeremy Corbyn’s NHS press conference revealed that the US wanted its companies to get unrestricted access to the UK’s medical records, thought to be worth £10bn a year.