How Microsoft (and Others) Plan to Empower Users to Own and Control Personal Data

Microsoft, one of the world’s largest software makers by revenue, is currently on a blockchain streak. This time, Microsoft presented a vast blockchain-related plan: a decentralized identity (DID) network built atop of the bitcoin network, which can potentially empower users all over the internet to take control over their personal data and content. Earlier in May 2019, the United States tech giant announced its brand new Azure Blockchain Service along with Azure Blockchain Development Kit for the Ethereum blockchain. It also teamed up with Starbucks to present the first use…

Bounty UK fined £400,000 for sharing personal data unlawfully

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has fined Bounty (UK) Limited £400,000 for illegally sharing personal information belonging to more than 14 million people. An ICO investigation found that Bounty, a pregnancy and parenting club, collected personal information for the purpose of membership registration through its website and mobile app, merchandise pack claim cards and directly from new mothers at hospital bedsides. But the company also operated as a data broking service until 30 April 2018, supplying data to third parties for the purpose of electronic direct marketing. Bounty breached the…

London council fined by the ICO for disclosing sensitive personal data about alleged gang members

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has fined the London Borough of Newham £145,000 for disclosing the personal information of more than 200 people who featured on a police intelligence database. The database is known as the ‘Gangs Matrix’ and its purpose is to record information in respect of alleged gang members. An ICO investigation found that on 26 January 2017, a Newham Council employee sent an email to 44 recipients that contained both redacted and unredacted versions of the Gangs Matrix. These had previously been sent to the council by…

Why the Crypto Elite Are Increasingly Relying on Personal Security

Security is paramount in crypto. “Keep your hardware wallets safe,” we’re told. “Keep your private keys safe.” “Keep your seed words safe.” “Keep your computer safe.” This list could go on almost indefinitely, and while you might be forgiven for assuming that it contained only objects of an electronic or cryptographic constitution, you’d be wrong. Because one of the most important links in this chain of security is your own self. Yes, what good is a securely held private key if thieves force you at gunpoint to tell them what…

QuadrigaCX Imbroglio Takes a Turn After Widow Claims CEO Mixed Personal and Company Funds

The crypto community has been sitting at the edge of their seats watching the complex and nuanced situation surrounding the now defunct QuadrigaCX exchange unfold. Recently, news broke that Big Four Auditing Firm, Ernst & Young (EY), had discovered that the exchange’s cold storage wallets were nearly entirely empty, which came as a surprise to many hopeful victims of the exchange. Now, however, the situation has grown in complexity after the widow of QuadrigaCX’s now deceased co-founder and CEO, Gerry Cotton, claimed that he was mixing his personal funds with…

QuadrigaCX CEO Used Personal Money to Fund Exchange During Litigation With Bank in 2018

The late founder of Canadian crypto exchange QuadrigaCX, Gerry Cotten, was purportedly funding the exchange with his own money while it was in litigation with a major Canadian bank. Cotten’s widow Jennifer Robertson revealed details about the exchange’s financial situation in a statement published on March 13. The statement reads that Cotten was putting his own money into Quadriga to fund user withdrawals in 2018, after the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) had frozen five accounts holding $21.6 million. Robertson stated: “While I had no direct knowledge of how…

Blog: Access to serious sexual crime victims’ personal information – how much is too much?

A blog by Deputy Commissioner James Dipple-Johnstone for police, the criminal justice system and victims’ support groups.  There can be few more important areas of our lives where our wider rights and our information rights combine than in the criminal justice arena. The UK Government has recently supported recommendations made by the Justice Select Committee’s inquiry, Disclosure of Evidence in Criminal Cases on the use of personal data in criminal cases. One of these recommendations states there should be ‘clear guidelines on handling sensitive material.’ Victims of serious sexual offence…