See Summaries and Links to Top Ten Privacy Stories in 2018 Below


#10 — Brazil data protection Law

GDPR matchup: Brazil's General Data Protection Law

The Brazilian law, LGPD, has a different normative technique when compared to the GDPR. It is less prescriptive and has no recitals as guidelines to interpret the legal text. For example, LGPD left room to consider subjective factors to conclude if a data subject is no longer identifiable.

#9 Internet companies & healthcare

How Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft are shaking up healthcare — and what it means for the future of the industry

Healthcare disruption is no longer looming — it's here, and it's necessary. As the population continues aging, health organizations and providers are struggling to keep up with growing demand for care, while consumers are facing astronomical costs — often for subpar service.

#8 India’s data breach affecting 1billion

A security biometric-data breach in India has left a billion people at risk of identity theft

Over a billion Indian citizens may be vulnerable to identity theft and intrusions of privacy a due to a security breach in the country’s vast biometric database used to support the biometric ID program called Aadhaar.

Aadhaar, is one of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship policies in his crusade against corruption. However, it has become a way for citizens to prove their identity and access government and financial services.

#7 Insurance & wearables

Strap on the Fitbit: John Hancock to sell only interactive life insurance.

John Hancock, the 156-year-old insurer and one of the largest North American insurer, will stop underwriting traditional life insurance.

The company will instead sell only interactive policies that track fitness and health data through wearable devices and smartphones.

#6 DNA-Testing DATA At Risk

DNA-testing company 23andMe has signed a $300 million deal with a drug giant.

Popular spit-in-a-tube genetics-testing companies like Ancestry and 23andMe can — and frequently do — sell your data to drugmakers.

But one of those partnerships just became much more explicit, when the pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline announced it was acquiring a $300 million stake in 23andMe.

#5 SMART HOME SPEAKERS & Privacy Rights

Alexa and other smart speakers may endanger privacy rights

Citizens are increasingly concerned over the implications of having voice-enabled speakers — which are always listening in one way or another — in homes.

The issue came to a fore recently in Portland, Ore., when an Echo recorded a couple’s conversation and emailed the audio to an acquaintance in Seattle.

Although the Constitution does not explicitly spell out a right to privacy, consumers have a reasonable expectation of privacy inside their home thanks to laws based on the Fourth Amendment’s outlawing of unlawful search and seizure, as well as federal and state electronic recording and wiretap statutes.

#4 Supreme Court Decision on Cell Phone Tracking

Supreme Court: Warrant generally needed to track cell phone location data

It is a loss for the Justice Department, which had argued that an individual has diminished privacy rights when it comes to information that has been voluntarily shared with someone else.

The opinion, which was limited to cell-site location data, continues a recent trend at the court to boost privacy rights in the digital era and clarifies court precedent as it applies to data held by a third party.

#3 California’s Date Protection Law

California Governor signs toughest data privacy bill in the US into law: The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018

Companies that store large amounts of personal information — including major players like Google and Facebook — will be required to disclose the types of data they collect, as well as allow consumers to opt out of having their data sold.

#2 Cambridge Analytica Scandal

Cambridge Analytica and Facebook: The Scandal and the Fallout So Far 

Cambridge Analytica used data improperly obtained from Facebook to build voter profiles. The news put Cambridge under investigation, thrust Facebook into its biggest crisis ever, and implied the potential violation of American election law.


G.D.P.R., a New Privacy Law, Makes Europe World’s Leading Tech Watchdog

European Union on Friday enacts the world’s toughest rules to protect people’s online data. And with the internet’s borderless nature, the regulations are set to have an outsize impact far beyond Europe.