01 Apr 2020
On March 20, the UK's Department of Health and Social Care published a notice providing legal backing for the NHS to set aside the duty of patient confidentiality as part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As long as it is to fight the coronavirus, NHS organisations and GPs may share whatever
26 Mar 2020
The Northamptonshire Police reported a surge in calls from people reporting their neighbours for exercising more than once a day, holding barbecues in their back yards, or failing to cough into a tissue. Nick Adderley said his officers will issue penalty notices if necessary, but thought it
26 Mar 2020
On the second day of India's nationwide shutdown due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Karnataka government published the home addresses of quarantined residents, as a deterrent to breaking the rules. The list included individuals who had flown in from a foreign country and been asked to stay indoors
16 Mar 2020
The Indonesian Doctors Association has asked the government to open up the identity of patients who have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in order to facilitate contact tracing and improve the efficiency of efforts to prevent further spread, arguing that in an emergency like this the public
04 Mar 2020
The first two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Indonesia and their neighbours became the targets of media coverage and social media abuse after their personal details were spread via WhatsApp and other social media soon after the President announced the positive tests results - before anyone told the
18 Mar 2020
The identities of Montenegro's first two confirmed COVID-19 patients were published by social media users, including photos of one of the patients and her family, leading to online abuse based on their ethnicity and religious beliefs. Source:
A study published in February 2019 found that 95% of the predictive accuracy for an individual can be achieved solely by analysing their social ties; the person's data is not needed. Given as few as eight or nine of an individual's contacts, it should be possible to profile the individual even if
29 Apr 2019
A private intelligence company, LookingGlass Cyber Solutions, used social media to monitor more than 600 “Family Separation Day Protests” held across the United States on June 30, 2018, to oppose the Trump administration’s policy family separation policy. The policy was part of a “zero tolerance”
06 May 2019
Absher, an online platform and mobile phone app created by the Saudi Arabian government, can allow men to restrict women’s ability to travel, live in Saudi Arabia, or access government services. This app, which is available in the Google and Apple app stores, supports and enables the discriminatory
Cases of female and gender diverse public figures being targeted with online harassment have become sadly common in the news. Female politicians are particularly affected – although journalists and in particular sports commentators are also frequently targeted as well. In some cases, the harassment
01 Jul 2011
In July 2011, the established writer GrrlScientist tried to log into her Google account and found that it was suspended, barring her access to Gmail, Google Docs, YouTube, Google Reader, and the newly launched social network Google+. It turned out that the reason was then when Google launched its
01 Mar 2018
A data breach at the Internet Research Agency, the Russian troll farm at the centre of Russia's interference in the 2016 US presidential election, reveals that one way the IRA operated was to use identities stolen from Americans. Using these accounts and other fake ones, the troll farm interacted
17 May 2016
FindFace compares photos to profile pictures on social network Vkontakte and works out identities with 70% reliability. Some have sounded the alarm about the potentially disturbing implications. Already the app has been used by a St Petersburg photographer to snap and identify people on the city’s
23 Feb 2016
A 2016 study from the French Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation found that in 95% of cases it takes as few as four of the apps users have installed on their smartphones to reidentify them within a dataset. Based on a study of 54,893 Android users over seven months, the
10 Feb 2017
In 2017 two Metropolitan police officers were jailed for five years for hacking into the force's intelligence database and leaking the identity of a protected witness to the defence lawyer in a 2011 murder trial that eventually saw the defendant, Leon De St Aubin, convicted. While the trial was in