Global Data & Privacy Update - 19 February 2015

Author:Ms Margaret Tofalides
Profession:Clyde & Co

Companies House breaks data protection laws

A Freedom of Information request has revealed that data protection laws were breached 13 times at Companies House's headquarters in 2014. Breaches included case correspondence being mistakenly scanned onto the register and a director's home address made public.

Thousands join campaign to discover if GCHQ has spied on them

The Investigatory Powers Tribunal ruled earlier this month that the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) had collected intelligence illegally. Following this, London-based charity Privacy International has launched a campaign to enable individuals to discover whether they have been spied on by the agency. Participants can submit their name and email address to the charity, which will pass the details to GCHQ and the Tribunal as part of a large-scale inquiry. If participants find they have been spied on, they can request their records to be deleted. In its first 24 hours, 6,000 people signed up to the campaign..

Report reveals 1 billion data records stolen in 2014

A new report by Netherlands-based digital security firm Gemalto has revealed an increase of 78% in the number of data records either lost or stolen in 2014, compared to 2013. This brings the number of data records compromised up to almost 1 billion. 54% of the 1,500 attacks which took place in 2014 were theft of personal data, while less than 4% of the data breach incidents involved encrypted data. This not only confirms that encrypted data is more secure, but it also shows a large number of companies and organisations are not encrypting their users' data. The UK was named worst country in Europe as to number of breaches (117 breaches last year, compared to 9 in France and 8 in Germany) and second only to the US (which had 1,164 breaches) in the rest of the world.

President Obama signs executive order on cybersecurity

President Obama signed an order to encourage companies to share information about threats to cyber security with the federal government at the White House Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection. The summit held on 13 February 2015 at Stanford University, brought together technology industry leaders, academics, law enforcement and consumer and privacy advocates. Senior Google, Yahoo and Facebook executives turned down invitations to attend. The summit comes in the wake of the US government's announcement of the creation of a new cybersecurity agency, the Cyber Threat Intelligence...

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