Sep 302010
 September 30, 2010  Posted by  Court, Online

The Associated Press reports:

A scholar’s son was convicted Thursday of using online aliases to harass and discredit his father’s detractors in a heated academic debate over the origins of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

A Manhattan jury found Raphael Golb guilty of about 30 counts against him, including identity theft, forgery and harassment. He was acquitted of one count of criminal impersonation.

Read more on FoxNews. The case has been very controversial because it may criminalize parody and other protected speech. This conviction and a new law in California that criminalizes posting as someone else under certain circumstances are both cause for concern for free speech proponents.

Sep 302010
 September 30, 2010  Posted by  Online

Online document sharing site Scribd hooked up with Facebook to create “instant personalization” so Scribd users can get reading recommendations based on their Facebook likes and what their friends are sharing. Sounds interesting, right?

But the document sharing and embedding service has created a privacy nightmare that involves drafting users who are already logged into Facebook without offering a clear opt out process either on the site or through e-mail.

Instead Scribd has been creating subscriptions and followers on behalf of a user by sending e-mails to contacts obtained through Facebook’s friends list and notifying them — all without requiring the user to ever click a button.


Sep 302010
 September 30, 2010  Posted by  Breaches, Non-U.S.

A customer purchased travel related services from a company. The company sent him an email with a link to his booking details on its website. The customer noticed that the website url link ended with his booking number. He observed that by changing the booking number, he could view booking details for other customers. He realised that other individuals would also be able to view his booking information.

The booking details included personal information about customers like:

• Name
• Address
• Phone number
• Email address
• Vehicle registration
• Travel dates

The customer was concerned about this information being disclosed. He contacted the company asking it to secure his personal information on its website, but it did not respond. He then complained to us.

Read more about the investigation and outcome on the Privacy Commissioner of New Zealand’s web site.

Via @JCELaw

Sep 302010
 September 30, 2010  Posted by  Misc

From the IAPP press release:

The International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), the world’s largest association of privacy professionals, today announced that the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Jennifer Stoddart, is the winner of the 2010 IAPP Privacy Vanguard Award. Commissioner Stoddart received the award at the IAPP Privacy Dinner, held in conjunction with the IAPP Privacy Academy 2010.

Commissioner Stoddart was selected for her role in establishing Canada as a leading regulator on privacy issues. She has served as Canada’s federal privacy commissioner since 2003; prior to her current role she served as president of Québec’s Access to Information Commission. During her tenure as Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Stoddart has focused on a number of issues that include youth online privacy, cross-border data protection and coordinated global privacy enforcement. A longtime supporter of public advocacy and education in data protection, Commissioner Stoddart spearheaded the creation of a contributions program for not-for-profit organizations and consumer groups that advances privacy and data protection research, policy and education. The program has awarded more than CAN$2 million to more than 60 different initiatives since its launch in 2004. Most recently, she led an unprecedented collaboration involving 10 data protection authorities on four continents who issued a joint statement regarding the respect of privacy laws by technology companies launching new products. Her office is the first data protection authority to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the practices of a leading social networking service.

“Commissioner Stoddart has been instrumental in forging coordinated approaches to global data protection challenges,” said IAPP President Nuala O’Connor Kelly, CIPP, CIPP/G, chief privacy leader & senior counsel, information governance, General Electric Company. “Her strong leadership has elevated the privacy profession, not just in Canada, but globally; this award is richly deserved.”

The IAPP Privacy Vanguard Award honors the privacy professional who has best demonstrated outstanding leadership, knowledge and creativity in privacy and data protection, whether through spearheading projects or programs that positively impact the privacy profession or through achievements over the course of an entire tenure or career. The IAPP Board of Directors’ Executive Committee selects the recipient from a distinguished list of nominees.

Congratulations to Ms. Stoddart.  If you’d like to know how the U.S. privacy tsar fared, well…. oh that’s right, we don’t have one. 🙁