The EQ Data Debrief 04.02.19

Find out about how Chrome might block ad blockers, Facebook's war against fake news and post-brexit data flows in this weeks EQ Data Debrief.

Jamie Acutt

Google Chrome updates could make it harder for users to block ads and online tracking

Google may be making changes to its Chrome engine APIs which could impact the way third-party ad blocker extensions work on the site, meaning only basic filtering ad blockers will be supported. Google has said that potential tweaks to the Chrome Extensions Platform will make for a better User Experience, enhanced security and individual control over extensions, since these add-ons use individual data to stop pop-up ads. However, the ad-blocking developer, Ghostery, has announced their concerns for user data privacy stating that the changes would destroy, “ad blocking and privacy protection” and leave users with “limited ways to prevent third parties from intercepting their surfing behaviour or to get rid of unwanted content”. Ghostery is considering making an anti-trust complaint if Google implements the changes.

Facebook wages war with dedicated team to combat fake news ahead of EU elections

Facebook is gearing up to combat misinformation ahead of the EU elections with a purpose-built ‘war room’ in Dublin, as announced by the company’s global communications head, Nick Clegg. The war room team will bring together Facebook experts across, “threat intelligence, data science, engineering, research, community operations and legal teams”, to stop fake news according to The Guardian. Facebook trialled this tactic ahead of the US midterm elections and the Brazilian presidential elections last year, with teams using advanced technology such as real-time software to handle misinformation on the platform. The announcement comes as the Irish Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) has requested an ‘urgent briefing’ on how Facebook will be integrating WhatsApp and Instagram platforms and managing any data sharing.

Government publishes guidance on protecting data flows post-Brexit

This week the Government announced some guidance for organisations sharing personal data with businesses in the European Economic Area (EEA), in the case of a no-deal Brexit. Organisations sharing any sensitive individual information from names to employee payroll details will be able to continue sharing out to the EEA as normal, however the reverse transfer will be subject to restrictions once the UK leaves the EU. With the uncertainty around the fine print of data-sharing post-Brexit, businesses are urged to review their GDPR safeguarding with EEA businesses and make any necessary adjustments. The ICO has also created an information checklist to help companies prepare their data protection compliance once leaving the EU.

Jamie Acutt Head of Marketing at Equiniti Data
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