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UK and EU regulators to probe Facebook for anti-trust violation 

In what may be a new stage of coordination to bring Big Tech in line, the UK and EU announced plans to coordinate their investigation of Facebook, making it harder for the company to avoid serious penalty. This follows last week's move by NOYB and other privacy groups uniting to oppose Clearview's data infringements. 

--Susan Raab, Editor

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UK and EU regulators make same day announcements, possibly signaling coordinated probe

Facebook being investigated for antitrust violations

The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and EU's Competition Commission are investigating whether Facebook is misusing ad data to gain unfair advantage over competitors. They plan to coordinate efforts and look into use of data for classified ads and online dating. This heightens the risk for Facebook. 

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Android adds privacy protection by zeroing out ID value

Google to erase Ad IDs for Android users who opt out of personalized ads

While Apple forced apps ask permission for 3rd-party tracking, Android will wait for them to opt-out before automatically erasing the Ad ID field.  It's a step towards greater privacy but will also hinder analytics and fraud detection.   Google has said that it will provide an analytics and fraud detection alternative in July.  The company also plans to offer users more privacy options.  

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IT'S THE LAW                                   

Maryland and Montana are first in the U.S. to restrict police use of DNA matching. The new laws are consistent with increasing privacy concerns about use of consumer genetic data. Maryland's new law will require a judge's sign-off before DNA markers from a crime scene can be matched against genealogy data. Montana will require investigators to have a search warrant before being allowed to use a consumer DNA database - unless the individual's right to privacy has been waived.

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Corporate investment in privacy shows significant growth in 2021: TrustArc survey

Cybersecurity, data breach and compliance are driving privacy software spending, according to TrustArc's 2021 Global Privacy Benchmark Report. Of the more than 1,600 senior executives and privacy officers surveyed, 82% had a dedicated privacy office, 28% planned to spend $1M or more annually on privacy, and 73% believed their company needed to do more. Nearly half favored using privacy management or GRC software over other alternatives. 

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Game market ads shift to Android following120% spike in Apple install costs 

Apple's IDFA changes have prompted mobile game marketers to experiment with and increase ad campaigns. Android saw a 120% increase in cost per install (CPI), and iOS increased by 47% CPI, according to Liftoff's report on the Casual Gaming industry. This, coupled with the impact of the pandemic where many more users were playing and spending money on Casual Games, resulted in a 45.2% increase in CPIs overall in the past year. Playable ads saw the most growth with a 113% rise.

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TikTok to begin collecting more face and voice data, but doesn't say why, or how it will be used

Users have been alerted to privacy policy changes that indicate TikTok plans to collect more personal data from U.S. users, including voiceprints and faceprints. This may also include object recognition (identifying scenery and images within photos), and location identification. While TikTok hasn't commented how it plans to use this material, it may be partly in response to new state privacy laws in the U.S. 

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In Brief: 

Google employees admitted system design made it nearly impossible to turn off location data. Unredacted documents in a lawsuit showed that corporate executives and engineers knew about and even facilitated the issue by pressuring phone manufacturers into hiding settings to keep them inaccessible to users. Read More

Imperva reports a 224% global increase in compromised data since 2017 with 75.9% of data stolen being personal data. Based on trends, they estimate 3 times more records are stolen each year. Read More

Data intelligence company Alaton gains $110 in Series D funding, pushing the company's market valuation to $1.2B. Investment will go into marketing and new product offerings.  Read More

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