Consumer Reports Study uses authorized agents, but still finds big opt-out challenges

In a clear demonstration of how difficult it can be for consumers to exercise their privacy rights, Consumer Reports found that even trained agents could not get many requests done successfully. Utilizing California’s “authorized agent” provision, 124 Consumer Reports agents reached out to 21 companies, including Airbnb, Amazon, Comcast, Home Depot and Starbucks to use Data Subject Access Requests (DSAR) and other company privacy preference mechanisms to make account changes.

What they found were: 1) some companies claimed the opt-out didn’t apply to them, 2) some added steps to the opt-out process or only partially complied, 3) and while 57% ultimately confirmed they stopped selling all or some data in response, 24% claimed not to sell data and 14% never confirmed that opt-outs had been processed.

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Cyberattacks and tracing app concerns are key drivers for new health policy

February 9, 2021

Emergency U.S. legislation proposed for healthcare privacy protection Looking to safeguard data not protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Democrats in the U.S. House and Senate reintroduced the Public Health Emergency Privacy Act that was first proposed last spring. It is meant to address security issues related to COVID-19 response.

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Meta Releases Lying, Offensive AI and Pretends to Be Surprised

November 23, 2022

Like trouble, bad behavior by Meta shows up whether you look for it or not.  The latest is an open-source language model that was supposed to provide reliable search results because it was trained on academic papers.  Alas, it was quickly withdrawn after reviewers found that it returned results that were grammatical and plausible but also incorrect, not to mention filled with “antisemitism, homophobia, and misogyny.”  How can this be a surprise?

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