FTC: Online billing service deceptively collected medical records
Wed 3 Dec 2014, 22:20

An online service allowing consumers to pay their medical bills failed to adequately inform them that it would also try to collect highly detailed medical information from their pharmacies, medical labs and insurance companies, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission said.

The FTC has reached a proposed settlement with PaymentsMD, an Atlanta health billing company, and former CEO Michael Hughes requiring the company to destroy any medical information it collected related to its separate online medical records service, Patient Health Report, the agency said Wednesday.

PaymentsMD “deceptively” used the sign-up process for its billing service to seek customers’ consent to obtain detailed medical information, the FTC said in a press release.

EPIC's brief on aerial surveillance
Mon 8 Dec 2014, 23:40

EPIC argued that warrantless surveillance around a person's home violates both property interests and an individual's reasonable expectation of privacy. EPIC also warned the New Mexico high court that "Drones will enable broader use of aerial surveillance by law enforcement" agencies. EPIC explained that "it will be necessary to establish privacy rights to protect against constant monitoring."

UK admits unlawfully monitoring legally privileged communications
Wed 18 Feb 2015, 20:54

The regime under which UK intelligence agencies, including MI5 and MI6, have been monitoring conversations between lawyers and their clients for the past five years is unlawful, the British government has admitted.

The admission that the activities of the security services have failed to comply fully with human rights laws in a second major area – this time highly sensitive legally privileged communications – is a severe embarrassment for the government.

It follows hard on the heels of the British court ruling on 6 February declaring that the regime surrounding the sharing of mass personal intelligence data between America’s national security agency and Britain’s GCHQ was unlawful for seven years.

Access delivers petition to U.S. agencies to investigate use of zombie cookies by mobile carriers
Thu 19 Feb 2015, 01:00

Today, Access delivered a petition signed by 3,000 users to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate the use of so-called “zombie cookies” by mobile carriers to track their customers’ web traffic. Access also delivered a similar petition to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) because both agencies arguably have the authority to investigate these harmful practices.

EFF warns about the threats of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP)
Fri 20 Feb 2015, 12:28

The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) will force other TPP signatories to accept the United States' excessive copyright terms of a minimum of life of the author plus 70 years, while locking the US to the same lengths so it will be harder to shorten them in the future. It contains DRM anti-circumvention provisions that will make it a crime to tinker with, hack, re-sell, preserve, and otherwise control any number of digital files and devices that you own. The TPP will encourage ISPs to monitor and police their users, likely leading to more censorship measures such as the blockage and filtering of content online in the name of copyright enforcement. And in the most recent leak of the TPP's Intellectual Property chapter, we found an even more alarming provision on trade secrets that could be used to crackdown on journalists and whistleblowers who report on corporate wrongdoing.

No evidence of NSA and GCHQ Sim card hack, says allegedly compromised firm
Wed 25 Feb 2015, 22:40

The alleged hack was revealed by documents from the NSA files provided by Edward Snowden, which detailed attacks on Gemalto – the world’s largest Sim card manufacturer – which allegedly saw them steal encryption keys that allowed them to secretly monitor voice calls and data from billions of mobile phones around the world.

But after an investigation, the Dutch security company, which supplies Sim cards to all of the major UK mobile phone networks and 450 operators globally, has said that no evidence of a theft of Sim card security details has been found.

“No breaches were found in the infrastructure running our SIM activity or in other parts of the secure network which manage our other products such as banking cards, ID cards or electronic passports,” said the company. “Each of these networks is isolated from one another and they are not connected to external networks.”