Category: Personal Data

Cathay Pacific announces data leak: 9.4 million passengers affected

25. October 2018

As the Hong Kong airline Cathay Pacific announced on October 24, unauthorised access to a system containing data of up to 9.4 million passengers has been discovered. The data leak was detected during a routine check and immediately reported to the authorities and the police. As reported by the airline, no personal information has been misused.

According to Cathay Pacific CEO Rupert Hogg, the airline immediately initiated a thorough investigation with the support of a cybersecurity firm and wants to further strengthen their IT security measures.

Among the concerned data are: passenger names; nationalities; phone numbers; passport numbers and identity card numbers. But “no –one’s travel or loyalty profile was accessed in full, and no passwords were compromised”, said Hogg.

In its statement, Cathay Pacific underlined that the systems concerned are completely separate from the flight operating system and that flight safety is not affected.

400,000€ fine for a Portuguese hospital

24. October 2018

The Portuguese data protection supervisory authority CNPD (Comissão Nacional de Protecção de Dados) recently announced that the hospital Barreiro Montijo is to pay a fine of 400,000€ for incompliancy with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This is the first time that a high fine has been imposed in Europe based on the new GDPR framework of fines.

According to Portuguese newspaper Público, the hospital has violated the GDPR by allowing too many users to have access to patient data in the hospital’s patient management system, even though they should only have been visible to medical doctors. In addition, too many profiles of physicians have been created in the hospital system. The CNPD discovered that 985 users with the access rights of a medical doctor were registered, although only 296 physicians were employed in 2018.

The hospital now wants to take legal action against the fine.

Yahoo agreed to pay US$ 85 million after data breaches in 2013 and 2014

As part of a court settlement filed Monday, Yahoo agreed to pay $50 million in damages and to provide two-years of free credit monitoring for services to 200 million people.

Around 3 billion Yahoo accounts were hacked in 2013 and 2014 but the company, which is now owned by Verizon, did not disclose the breach until 2016. Affected are U.S. and Israel residents and small businesses with Yahoo accounts at any time from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2016. Apart from usernames and email addresses, millions of birthdates and security questions and answers were stolen. Not among the stolen information were passwords, credit card numbers and bank account information.

According to the settlement, the fund will compensate accountholders who paid for email services, who had out-of-pocket losses or who already have credit monitoring services. A refund of $25 per hour will be made for the time spent handling issues caused by the breach. Those with documented losses can ask for up to 15 hours of lost time ($375) whereas those who cannot document losses can ask for up to 5 hours ($125).

A hearing to approve the preliminary settlement is scheduled for November 29.

India publishes draft of a data protection bill

14. September 2018

After the Hon’ble Supreme Court declared in its landmark decision that privacy is a “guaranteed fundamental right”, the Sikrishna Committee drafted a Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018.

In contrast to the terms “data subjects” and “controllers” chosen in the GDPR, the Indian draft designates the individuals whose personal data is processed “data principals” and the organisations responsible for the processing “data fiduciaries”.

With the new data protection bill, data principals have a variety of rights such as rights to access, rectification or the right to be forgotten. In order to ensure data compliance, the concept of an annual data audit, which will be carried out by organisations through independent data auditors, was also introduced. In addition to data fiduciaries who are based in India, the regulations also apply to those who systematically offer goods and services to data principals in India, or those whose work involves profiling of Indian data principals.

The new data protection bill also introduces the figure of the Data Protection Officer (DPO) for India. Organisations must appoint a DPO if they are “significant data fiduciaries”, i.e. if they are involved in high-risk processing activities, or if they are not present in India but covered by the bill. Those organisations shall appoint a DPO who is based in India. In contrast to the GDPR there is however no requirement of the independence of the DPO.

For cross-border data transfers, it is required that at least one copy of personal data is stored on servers or data centres located in India. Data classified as “critical personal data” may only be processed in a server or data centre located in India.

According to the Sikrishna Committee, the draft could be seen as a template for developing countries all over the world.

Category: India · Personal Data
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Singapore: Collecting NRIC numbers will be prohibited for organisations

5. September 2018

From September 2019, there will be stricter rules for the protection of personal data in Singapore hence the collection, use and disclosure of NRIC numbers of individuals and making copies of their NRIC cards will be illegal for organisations.

In the past years, it was not unusual for shopping malls and other places to collect the NRIC number of a customer for instance when registering for memberships.

From the unique section of numbers and letters of the Singapore National Registration Identification Card (“NRIC”) an individual can be precisely identified. Therefore, the NRIC number is considered personal data. Besides the number, the physical NRIC card contains the individual’s full name, photograph, thumbprint and residential address.

Apart from the prohibition of collecting, using and disclosing of NRIC numbers it will also be generally forbidden to collect, use or disclose individual’s birth certificate numbers, foreign identification numbers and work permit numbers. Exemptions are regulated in the new PDPC guidance (issued 31 August 2018) and will only apply where it is required by law or when it is necessary to verify an individual’s identity ”to a high degree of fidelity” (e.g. transactions involving healthcare).

If an organisation already collected those data they should proof whether they need to retain the numbers or not. In case they need to keep the data they have to ensure that there is adequate protection or they should anonymise the NRIC. The new regulation does not apply to the government or public agencies or organisations acting on its behalf, but organisations can be fined up to $ 1 million for disobeying the act.

Turkey – Starting dates for registration obligation for processing data has been announced

3. September 2018

The data protection authority in turkey has announced in his decision 2018/88 starting dates to register as a data controller on VERBIS prior to processing personal data, the online registration system VERBIS can be found on the homepage of the Turkish data protection authority. 

Earliest starting date for the registration process will be the 1st of October 2018.

 

Following start dates have been announced

a) 1st of October 2018 – 30th of September 2019, for data controllers that employ more than 50 employees and whose annual financial statement exceeds TRY 25 million

b) 1st of October 2018 – 30th of September 2019, for data controllers established outside of Turkey

c) 1st of January 2019 – 31st of March2019, for data controllers that employ less than 50 employees, whose financial statement does not exceed TRY 25 million, but whose core business includes the processing of sensitive data

d) 1st of April – 30th June, for public institutions and organizations that act as data controllers

 

Data controllers should take the necessary action and register with VERBIS during the applicable period.

Database operators in Sweden exempt from GDPR

24. August 2018

With the GDPR coming into effect, enterprises in Sweden will also be subject to complying with the European principles and adhering to the GDPR.

However, new amendments and changes to the country’s constitution will be required to harmonise existing laws.

Due to the fact that Sweden emphasizes freedom of press and speech, it will initially make exemptions in cases where elements don’t comply with its Freedom of the Press Act of 1766.

As a consequence, current laws give database operators a broad freedom to gather and release personal data enabling them to collect and distribute personal information from a broad range of sources, including the national tax office.

The database operators and online publishers Eniro, Ratsit and Hitta are some of the companies that will be exempt until an expert group has drafted new and stricter legislation regarding the processing of personal data by these.

It is expected that the relevant laws will be amended in the first half of 2019.

Teenager hacked Apple’s internal network

22. August 2018

A 16-year-old boy from Melbourne, Australia broke into Apple‘s internal computer systems and downloaded 90GB of data, as reported by Australian newspaper The Age. The teenager acquired possession of “authorised keys“ and had access to Apple’s network for approximately a year.

Last year Apple reported the incident to the FBI who then pointed it out to the Australian Federal Police (AFP). They found the sensitive documents in a computer folder named “hacky hack hack“. Apple succeeded to keep this incident out of media until the court proceedings last week.

The 16-year-old boy has pleaded guilty. According to his lawyer, the teenager broke into the network because he is a huge apple fan who wants to work for the company in the future. A verdict is expected at the end of September.

Apple is now trying to reassure its customers. According to a spokesman of the company, no personal data was compromised.

Data of patients disclosed in Singapore’s largest data breach in history

30. July 2018

A cyberattack has impacted data of 1.5 Mio patients of SingHealth clinics by stealing name, ID Card number, address, gender, race and date of birth as reported by ARN Net.

Due to “operational security reasons”, the authorities haven’t disclosed the identity of the responsibles behind the attack.

Even Singapore’s Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, “had his personal particulars stolen as well as his outpatient dispensed medicines record.”

The report further states that all patients, whether or not they were affected will receive an SMS notification over the next five days, with patients also able to access the Health Buddy mobile app or SingHealth website to check if they are affected by this incident.

According to Channel Asia the SingHealth IT system was compromised through an initial breach on a particular front-end workstation, gaining privileged account credentials to gain access to the database.

It is believed that the attack began on June 27th, 2018 and was detected on July 4th, 2018. Apparently, no further illegal exfiltration has been detected since and all Patient records in SingHealth’s IT system remain intact.

Several measures have been taken in terms of IT-security such as controls on workstations and servers, resetting user and systems accounts and installment of additional system monitoring controls.

New Zealand: Privacy after death does matter

27. July 2018

Data protection rights generally refer to living persons only. Among others, the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) explicitly mentions in its Recital 27 that the Regulation does not apply to the personal data of deceased persons.

However, the Recital also contains an opening clause for the EU Member States, stating that these may provide for specific rules for such cases. The GDPR hereby acknowledges that there might be cases that need to be tackled individually.

For example, requests can be made in order to find out whether the deceased had suffered from a hereditary disease. This information is not to be seen as protected for the offspring that might be affected by it.

Consequently, there will be situations that contain mixed information on both the deceased and the requestor.

The Privacy Commissioner’s Office (OPC) of New Zealand has now released a statement regarding the privacy of deceased persons on July 24th, 2018 taking up this exact issue.

Whereas the Privacy Act of New Zealand also defines an individual as a “natural person, other than a deceased person”, the OPC states that “sometimes it will be inappropriate to release the personal information of the dead”.

The OPC further says that “some information is inherently sensitive, for example mental or sexual health information. It could be unfair to release such information to those who are just curious and have no good reason to see it.”

Ultimately, it will often be necessary to balance the rights and elaborate case by case, also taking into consideration the wishes of the deceased person to some extent.

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