ABC's of Privacy This Week- Jan 16, 2020

Welcome to our weekly privacy newsletter to read the latest privacy-related news from across the globe. We classify our weekly privacy newsletter into three parts namely Applause, Breaches and Current News (ABC's) of Privacy news. For any feedback on our weekly newsletter, please feel free to send your comments to


Washington Privacy Act to Be Reintroduced

Washington lawmakers are making another push to pass privacy regulations that govern companies' collection and sale of people's private digital information. The Washington Privacy Act would give state residents the right to know who is using their data, the right to correction and the right to opt-out of certain forms of data processing.

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US Data Broker Limeleads Data Put Up for Sale Online

A hacker claims to havehacked LimeLeads, a San Francisco-based business-to-business (B2B)leads generator, which makes its money by renting access to an internaldatabase containing business contacts that can be used for pitches and sales.The danger from this data being sold is that it provides hackers and malwareoperators with an ideal base to launch spear-phishing attacks against verifiedcompanies and their appropriate contact.

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Medical Images Exposed Online

Hundreds of hospitals, medicaloffices, and imaging centers are running insecure storage systems, allowinganyone with an internet connection and free-to-download software to access over1 billion medical images of patients across the world. Despite warnings fromsecurity researchers who have spent weeks alerting hospitals and doctors'offices to the problem, many have ignored their warnings and continue to exposetheir patients' private health information. Patients are unaware that theirdata could be exposed on the internet for anyone to find.

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Current News

Equifax Settles Mega-breach Lawsuit

The U.S. District Court ofGeorgia has signed off on Equifax's $1.38 billion class-action settlement overits 2017 data breach. The Government Technology reports affected Equifaxcustomers have a Jan. 22 deadline to file for damages under the FTC's settlementwith the credit bureau.

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Verizon Launches Privacy-focused Search Engine Onesearch

Verizon Media launched a search enginecalled OneSearch, which works on both desktop and mobile. OneSearch offers an'Advanced Privacy Mode,' which provides search results that 'self-destruct' inan hour. The company also says it won't store users' search history nor will itshare users' data with advertisers.

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Amazon Fires Employees for Leaking Customer Information

Amazon has fired severalemployees after they shared customer email addresses and phone numbers with athird-party in violation of their policies. In a separate incident, Amazon saidthis week that it fired four employees at Ring, one of the retail giant's smartcameras and doorbell subsidiaries.

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National Retailer Fined Half a Million Pounds for Failing to Secure Information

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has fined DSG Retail Limited (DSG) '500,000 after a 'point of sale' computer system was compromised as a result of a cyber-attack, affecting at least 14 million people. The company's failure to secure the system also allowed unauthorized access to 5.6 million payment card details used in transactions. The attack went on for nine months before it was detected.

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TikTok Security Flaws Expose User Videos to Hackers

A cybersecurity firm has called attention tosecurity holes in TikTok that would have allowed hackers to infiltrate the accountsamong its billion-plus users. The firm's research shows they were able tomanipulate code to mess with accounts' contents, delete and upload videoswithout the account owner's consent, make previously "hidden" videospublic, and access personal information like email addresses. The revelationsmay intensify the scrutiny over a social media service that's exploded inpopularity globally in past years.

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