The privacy smartphone company Blackphone is launching its own app store for users concerned about privacy and security. The Blackphone app store will be available in January 2015 and will monitor apps to make sure they do not snoop on users. The app store will validate that the apps will do what they intend to do. For example if you have an app to manage your social media accounts and it wants access to your microphone and your camera Blackphone might ask why and get on a first screening.
EU Commissioner Oettinger believes Europe’s industrial competitiveness will in the future depend to a large extent on the capacity to develop high quality software and using the most modern computing technologies. EU is investing €80 million in up to 1,000 start-ups to promote the use of Fiware, a public-private partnership between the EU and a consortium of companies that started in 2011.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has released the annual “Who’s Got Your Back” report. For four years, EFF documented the practices of major Internet companies and service providers, judging their publicly available policies, and highlighting best practices. Over the course of the first four reports, EFF watched a transformation take place among the practices of major technology companies. Please see the major findings in the 2015 report here.
Download the complete Who Has Your Back? 2015: Protecting Your Data From Government Requests report as a PDF.
The new Investigatory Powers Bill, announced in yesterday's Queen's Speech, will include legislation to force Internet companies to give access to encrypted conversations of suspected terrorists and criminals. According to The Telegraph: "New laws will require WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, Snapchat and other popular apps to hand messages sent by their users to MI5, MI6 and GCHQ about suspects under investigation."
The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) participated in the third Global Privacy Enforcement Network (GPEN) Privacy Sweep which took place between 11th and 15th May 2015. The aim of the Sweep was to examine the data privacy practices of websites and apps aimed at or popular among children.
You can find the full results of the Sweep here. Also see ICO questions raised over children’s websites and apps.