- CoE - Council of Europe launches guidelines in cooperation with online games and Internet service providers +/-
(Directorate of Standard-Setting) The Council of Europe has launched, in close cooperation with European online game designers and publishers and with Internet service providers, two sets of guidelines which aim to encourage respect and promote privacy, security and freedom of expression when, for example, accessing the Internet, using e-mail, participating in chats or blogs, or playing Internet games. See guidelines for: Online games providers (PDF) Internet service providers (PDF).
- EG - Crackdown against bloggers and Internet activists +/-
(ANHRI/IFEX) The Egyptian security apparatus is conducting an aggressive campaign against bloggers and Internet activists in many cities around Cairo, the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) reports.
- EG - Egypt arrests online 'spouse-swapping' couple +/-
(MENASSAT) Egyptian authorities have detained a couple accused of soliciting other married couples over the Internet for 'spouse-swapping' parties in their home, Daily News Egypt reports. A 48-year-old unnamed man and his 37-year old wife were arrested for organizing parties they advertised on a web site where participants offer to 'swap' spouses with other invited married couples.
- US - Craigslist to crack down on prostitution ads +/-
(AP) Under the watchful eye of law enforcement in 40 states, Craigslist pledged to crack down on ads for prostitution on its Web sites. As part of Craigslist's agreement with attorneys general around the country, anyone who posts an "erotic services" ad will be required to provide a working phone number and pay a fee with a valid credit card. The Web site will provide that information to law enforcement if subpoenaed. Craigslist's CEO said the deal will allow legitimate escort services to continue advertising, while providing a strong disincentive to companies that are conducting illegal business.
- "Google nimmt Datenschutz extrem ernst" +/-
(Spiegel) WirtschaftsWoche-Redakteur Thomas Kuhn im Interview mit Peter Fleischer, dem Datenschutzbeauftragten des Suchmaschinenbetreibers Google.
- DE - German privacy watchdogs agree social networking ground rules +/-
(OUT-LAW News) Social networking sites are not permitted to store information about people's use of the sites beyond the duration of a particular session in Germany, according to a panel of all that country's data protection officials. Companies behind social networks such as MySpace and Facebook must also tell users what happens to any data that is collected and tell them how they can influence the use of that data. The principles were laid down by the Düsseldorfer Kreis, a panel of all the German data protection authorities. They laid down eight principles of operation for social networking sites to keep them in line with data protection law. Datenschutzkonforme Gestaltung sozialer Netzwerke (PDF).
- DE - Kika stellt Daten von Kindern ungeschützt ins Web +/-
(Spiegel) Peinliches Datenleck beim Kinderkanal von ARD und ZDF: Auf einer Webseite des Senders waren Daten von Kindern im Internet einsehbar - Klarnamen, Adresse, Telefonnummer, Geburtsdatum.
- EU - Brussels bounces BT-Phorm quiz back to UK.gov +/-
(The Register) The European Commission has again written to the government for an explanation of UK authorities' response to BT's allegedly illegal secret trials of Phorm's ISP adware system. Brussels still wants answers after a September missive from Whitehall failed to address legal issues surrounding past deployments of the technology, and didn't provide details about how future rollouts will be regulated.
- Social networking sites told to warn users of weak privacy controls +/-
(AFP) Social networking websites were urged to warn users about the low level of protection given to their profiles at a Council of Europe-organised conference on the issue. The European Union Data Protection Authority (Cnil) said websites like Facebook should inform users that their profiles currently receive only "weak" protection. It added that website users, especially minors, should be told about the risks they face by going online and given clear instructions on how to change their data protection settings. The request came at the end of a two-day conference in Strasbourg during which 70 countries also stressed the need for a universal standard on privacy and personal data protection. See Resolution on Privacy Protection in Social Network Services.
- UK - Private data on armed forces goes missing +/-
(Guardian) MPs demanded a "cultural change" in public sector data handling after it emerged that a computer hard drive with the private details of 100,000 armed forces personnel had gone missing. The hard drive was being held by EDS, the Ministry of Defence's main IT contractor. It contains the names, addresses, passport numbers, dates of birth and driving licence details of those serving in the army, navy and RAF. It also includes next-of-kin details, as well as information on 600,000 potential services applicants and the names of referees. Officials said it may also include some bank account details.
- UK - Ministry of Defence loses computer disc with 700,000 more personal records +/-
(Times) The Ministry of Defence faces an investigation by the Information Commissioner after the disappearance of a computer hard drive containing details of Armed Forces personnel and thousands of potential recruits. Richard Thomas, the commissioner, will decide what steps to take after the MoD has completed its own inquiry. The removable hard drive was supposed to have been stored in a secure room with only limited access to personnel with special pass codes. Officials at EDS, the world's second-biggest computer company, said it was possible that the hard drive had been taken home by an employee or moved to another part of the company's office in Hook, Hampshire. Details relating to the 100,000 serving members of the Armed Forces include bank and driving licence information, next-of- kin addresses and dates of birth.
- UK - Passports will be needed to buy mobile phones +/-
(Sunday Times) Everyone who buys a mobile telephone will be forced to register their identity on a national database under government plans to extend massively the powers of state surveillance. Phone buyers would have to present a passport or other official form of identification at the point of purchase. The move is targeted at monitoring the owners of Britain's estimated 40m prepaid mobile phones. They can be purchased with cash by customers who do not wish to give their names, addresses or credit card details.
- UK - RAF loses data on 50,000 personnel +/-
(vnunet.com) The Royal Air Force has suffered a data loss that has reportedly put tens of thousands of personal records at risk. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said that it is investigating the breach, which is believed to stem from the loss of three portable hard drives from an RAF base at Innsworth in Gloucestershire. The MoD said that two of the three drives contained RAF personnel records, while the third did not hold any sensitive information. The drives are reportedly carrying details on some 50,000 people.
- A tale of two airlines and their Facebook fiascos +/-
(Economist) Firms have been exploiting social networks such as Facebook and MySpace to get their messages to a broader audience. But although they have the potential to be useful marketing tools, such networks can also be a source of damaging publicity, as British Airways (BA) and Virgin Atlantic have discovered to their cost. On October 31st Virgin fired 13 of its cabin crew who had posted derogatory comments about its safety standards and some of its passengers on a Facebook forum. On November 3rd BA began investigating the behaviour of several employees who had described some passengers as "smelly" and "annoying" in Facebook postings.
- EU - Social Networks - on the European Commission's Agenda +/-
(EDRI-gram) Viviane Reding, Commissioner for Information Society and Media, gave her first public speech on social networks at the Safer Internet Forum on 26 September 2008, which confirms the interest of the EU bodies on this topic. The commissioner emphasized the growth of the social networks in Europe. While praising their success in promoting cultural diversity and enhanced interactivity and, at the same time, in bringing new economic opportunities for the European industry, Reading mentioned also the new issues raised by the social networks on data privacy and protection of minors. The Commissioner took the stance of self-regulation in relation to social networking and announced that the Commission wants to act as a facilitator: "For this purpose the Commission has convened a Social Networking Task Force, which held two meetings in 2008 with 17 operators of social networking sites used by under-18s (e.g. MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, Bebo, Hyves, StudiVZ, and Skyrock), a number of researchers and child welfare organisations. The objective is to agree on voluntary guidelines for use of social networking sites by children, to be adopted voluntarily by the European industry."
- Facebook for suits +/-
(Economist print) Among the few firms benefiting from the upheaval in the financial markets are professional social networks - websites that help with business networking and job-hunting. On LinkedIn, the market leader, members have been updating their profiles in record numbers in recent weeks, apparently to position themselves in case they lose their jobs. The two most popular sites, LinkedIn and Xing, have been growing at breakneck speed and boast 29m and 6.5m members respectively. And, in contrast to mass-market social networks such as Facebook and MySpace, both firms have worked out how to make money.
- UK - Bosses 'should embrace Facebook' +/-
(BBC) Companies should not dismiss staff who use social networking sites such as Facebook and Bebo at work as merely time-wasters, a Demos study suggests. Attempts to control employees' use of such software could damage firms in the long run by limiting the way staff communicate, the think tank said. Social networking can encourage employees to build relationships with colleagues across a firm, it added.