Aug 312015
 August 31, 2015  Posted by  Breaches, Business, Court

A federal jury today found against BMW Financial Services with a unanimous verdict for violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the California Identity Theft Law. Seungtae Kim v. BMW Financial Services, NA, LLC, Case No. 2:14–cv–01752–BRO–SH, Central District of California. In its verdict form, the jury assessed damages of $250,000 for damages to creditworthiness and reputation under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, as well as additional damages of $150,000 for emotional distress and mental anguish under the California Identity Theft Law. The jury also assessed a civil penalty of $30,000.00 for a willful violation of the California Identity Theft Law.

As alleged in the lawsuit, in 2013 plaintiff Seungtae Kim, a Korean acupuncture doctor in Los Angeles, discovered four identity theft accounts on his credit report. Through contacting the creditors and working with the police, he was able to clear up three of the accounts, but the fourth account, BMW Financial, insisted that the false information resulted from a “straw purchase,” where Mr. Kim had consented to let someone else use his identity to buy a car.

Following the verdict, Mr. Kim expressed great relief. “I felt like I was up against a brick wall,” commented Mr. Kim, “and had no other option than to file a lawsuit to clear my name and my reputation. Corporations should never be allowed to do this to someone.”

Plaintiff’s attorney Robert F. Brennan of La Crescenta commented, “Financial corporations like BMW Financial really have little concept of the enormous power that they enjoy with quick, easy computerized credit reporting. The power to credit report is the power to destroy, and I hope that BMW Financial, and other corporations, learn that they must, must take their credit reporting and identity theft responsibilities very seriously.”

SOURCE: Robert F. Brennan

Aug 312015
 August 31, 2015  Posted by  Business, Laws, Non-U.S.

The Visayan Daily Star reports:

The Joint Foreign Chamber of the Philippines has urged the government for the immediate establishment of National Privacy Commission in order for the Data Privacy Act of 2012 to take effect.


“The laudable potential impact of the law on the country and the IT-BPM-KPM industry, however, has been nullified because the government has not created the National Privacy Commission which would draft and issue the vital Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) needed for the law’s implementation,” JFC stated.

“The IRR is needed to provide the clear guidelines on dealing with data breaches, establishing data breach policies and response protocols and crafting safety standards, among others,” it added.

Read more on Visayan Daily Star.

Aug 312015
 August 31, 2015  Posted by  Business, Featured News

Know someone who’s too naive or too trusting when it comes to businesses and privacy?  Or know someone who’s thinking of installing Windows 10?

Have them listen to this 30-minute interview with Katherine Albrecht. And you listen to it, too.  Even if you think you know how bad things they are, they’re even worse…..

Great thanks to Joe Cadillic for making me aware of this interview.

Aug 302015
 August 30, 2015  Posted by  Business, Online, Surveillance

Kavita Iyer reports:

A new privacy feature in Windows 10 sends a weekly “activity update” to parents carrying all the details of children’s internet browsing and computer history. More importantly the information is sent to the parents in an unsolicited email.

The new operating system, which was rolled out last month as a free upgrade for users of Windows XP, 7 and 8/8.1, has raised concern over the new ‘activity reports‘ feature. This allows parents to get ‘weekly reports’ of absolutely everything their children are looking at online, even if the kids browse anonymously or try to clear it.

Read more on TechWorm. Although some parents may welcome this free snooping service, it’s a pretty awful feature if you believe that children are entitled to some privacy.

The feature is “on” by default, but you can turn it off.