Data privacy

The big picture

Tech's deepening split over ads and privacy

A new conflict between Apple and Facebook is spotlighting privacy concerns that stem from online advertising.

Aug 27, 2020 - Technology
EU-U.S. privacy rift leaves businesses in disarray

Thousands of firms are scrambling to figure out how to get data over from Europe without exposing themselves to legal risks.

Aug 12, 2020 - Technology
What companies know about you

An Axios series on what information different companies have on you.

Feb 3, 2020 - Technology
Deep Dive: The end of anonymity

Data that might once have gone unnoticed can now be detected, analyzed and logged in real time.

Sep 7, 2019 - Technology
Cities are the new data guzzlers

A smart city can vacuum up details like your location or daily habits.

Jun 29, 2019 - Technology
Deep Dive: Inside the mass invasion of your privacy

Our lackadaisical approach to safeguarding data has made a handful of companies extremely powerful.

Updated Mar 9, 2019 - Technology

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How the U.S. got boxed in on privacy

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The federal government's failure to craft a national privacy law has left it to be squeezed on the issue by the EU on one side and California on the other.

Why it matters: Companies are stuck trying to navigate the maze of EU and state laws, while legislators in Washington have no choice but to use those laws as de facto standards.

Jun 8, 2021 - Technology

Key tech vendor for Congress latest victim of ransomware attack

Photo: Liu Jie/Xinhua via Getty Images

iConstituent, a tech vendor that provides constituent outreach services to many House offices, is the latest major target of a ransomware attack, Punchbowl News reports.

Why it matters: For several weeks, nearly 60 House offices have been unable to receive constituent information as a result of the attack, according to Punchbowl.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Jun 6, 2021 - Technology

Roblox CEO: Human reviewers are key to keeping the metaverse safe

Photo: Axios on HBO

Roblox CEO David Baszucki says in an "Axios on HBO" interview that he is confident that his company can keep kids safe even as adults and children mix in increasingly complex digital worlds.

Why it matters: Roblox is among the companies trying to create a Ready Player One-like "metaverse," while trying to avoid the dystopian future often associated with such virtual environments.

Jun 2, 2021 - Technology

Hackers breached New York's transit agency systems in April

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

A hacking group with supposed ties to the Chinese government breached the computer systems of New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority in April, the New York Times reported Wednesday, citing MTA documents.

Why it matters: The revelation comes amid a surge of cyberattacks. "The breach was the third — and most significant — cyberattack on the transit network, North America’s largest, by hackers thought to be connected to foreign governments in recent years," the Times writes.

Updated Jun 1, 2021 - Technology

Top meat supplier is the latest victim of a cyberattack

Photo: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Major meat supplier JBS USA was the latest victim of an organized cybersecurity attack, with servers in North America and Australia impacted, the company said Sunday.

Why it matters: JBS USA is the largest producer of beef in the country, The Hill notes, and is a major supplier of poultry and pork. JBS’s five biggest beef plants — which collectively manage a total of 22,500 cattle per day — have paused processing after the weekend attack, according to JBS. The hack has led to one-fifth of U.S. beef production being wiped out, Bloomberg reports.

May 17, 2021 - Technology
Column / Tech Agenda

The new digital extortion

Shoshana Gordon/Axios

If you run a hospital, a bank, a utility or a city, chances are you'll be hit with a ransomware attack. Given the choice between losing your precious data or paying up, chances are you'll pay.

Why it matters: Paying the hackers is the clear short-term answer for most organizations hit with these devastating attacks, but it's a long-term societal disaster, encouraging hackers to continue their lucrative extortion schemes.

Granholm on Colonial Pipeline: "These hacks are not going to stop"

Photo: Axios

Hacks such as this week's breach of the Colonial Pipeline will continue to occur and pose risks in the future, warned Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm at an Axios Event on Thursday.

Why it matters: It was announced on Wednesday that the pipeline will be restarting operations, after a five-day-long gas crisis gripped many states in the southeast U.S.

Businesses fall into transatlantic privacy hole

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

U.S. companies have begun to face costly problems abroad while they wait for American and European partners to hammer out a new privacy deal after the EU voided a key international pact last year.

What they're saying: U.S. businesses that operate internationally say they've lost "tens of millions" of dollars thanks to the legal logjam, according to Jules Polonetsky, CEO of the Future of Privacy Forum, an industry-backed nonprofit. "European companies are being cautious and not going ahead with transactions until there is clarity."

Ina Fried, author of Login
Apr 7, 2021 - Technology

Apple's stricter rules on digital tracking to take effect soon

Photo: Eva Hambach/AFP via Getty Images

Beginning with iOS 14.5, due out in the next couple of weeks, iPhone apps will have to ask users for permission to track their digital activity.

Why it matters: Only if a user gives permission will apps have access to the unique advertising identifier assigned to each device. Apple will also take action against apps that try to fingerprint individual devices via other methods.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Updated Apr 5, 2021 - Technology

ACLU says it shares user data with Facebook, a frequent target of criticism

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifying to a House panel. Photo: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The American Civil Liberties Union is raising eyebrows after updating its privacy policy to note that it is sharing data with Facebook, one of the companies whose policies it often criticizes.

Why it matters: The move shows that even many organizations that don't like Facebook nonetheless find it an effective way to reach people online.

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