PRG News Roundup, December 1, 2021

The Privacy Law Scholars Conference is inviting submission of abstracts for its 15th annual conference (PLSC 2022), which will be held in person on Thursday and Friday, June 2 and 3, 2022 at Northeastern University in Boston, MA. Abstracts are due by 5 PM ET on January 31, 2022.

This week, Twitter announced that it is banning users from posting pictures of “private individuals” against their wishes. Such private individuals, a classification that does not include public officials, will be able to request takedowns of content that features them. Such requests will be weighed along with context, newsworthiness, and other factors. 

The European Council Presidency and Members of European Parliament informally agreed this week on the Data Governance Act (DGA), which would boost data sharing to start-ups and businesses to stimulate innovation. The DGA aims to increase trust in data sharing, creates new EU rules on the neutrality of data marketplaces and facilitates the reuse of certain data held by the public sector, such as certain health, agricultural or environmental data. It sets up common European data spaces in strategic domains, such as health, environment, energy, agriculture, mobility, finance, manufacturing, public administration and skills. However, the European Data Protection Board and the  European Data Protection Supervisor have raised concerns about the DGA’s compatibility with European personal data protection laws.

Last week, Apple filed a lawsuit against Israeli technology firm NSO Group for its surveillance and targeting of Apple users. The complaint provides new information on how NSO Group infected victims’ devices with its Pegasus spyware, which has been abused to target journalists, activists, dissidents, academics, and government officials. Apple is seeking a permanent injunction to ban NSO Group from using any Apple software, services, or devices.

A recent Intercept examination of Uber’s patents revealed that the company has been experimenting with predictive algorithms to identify risky drivers. In the name of rider safety, Uber has filed patents for systems that would make deeply consequential decisions using digital processes that might be difficult or impossible to untangle.

(Compiled by Student Fellow Kathryn Taylor)