At a glance.
- EU investigates Irish GDPR enforcement.
- CNIL finds risk to personal data in Google Analytics.
- Extracting data about gamers.
EU opens investigation into GDPR policing in Ireland.
In response to a complaint filed by the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) with EU ombudsman Emily O’Reilly late last year, O’Reilly has opened an inquiry into the European Commission’s alleged failure to ensure the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is properly applied in regards to big tech investigations. The ICCL claims that 98% of significant complaints filed with the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) about potential violations of the GDPR remained unsolved. As the Irish Times explains, the DPC disputes this, but O’Reilly feels it’s time to find the truth. In her letter confirming the inquiry, O’Reilly said it was “appropriate to ask the commission to provide a detailed and comprehensive account of the information that it has so far collected to inform itself as to whether the GDPR is applied in all respects in Ireland…Questions are bound to arise in the minds of citizens if different factual accounts circulate regarding the implementation of this important legislation.”
CNIL decides that Google Analytics presents risk to French data.
Reuters reports that French privacy watchdog CNIL has determined that Google Analytics is not sufficiently protecting private data transferred between the EU and the US. "These (measures) are not sufficient to exclude the accessibility of this data to U.S. intelligence services," the CNIL’s statement explains. "There is therefore a risk for French website users who use this service and whose data is exported." The decision comes in response to a case involving an unnamed French website manager, who has been given one month to comply with EU regulations. Though Google has not yet responded, the tech giant has historically claimed that Google Analytics doesn't track users and that organizations have control over what data is collected by the tool. The CNIL's ruling follows a similar recent decision by the Austrian privacy regulator in response to complaints filed by Vienna-based advocacy group NOYB, and in response, Google, Facebook, and other tech leaders have requested a new transatlantic data transfer deal.
Playing with video gamer data.
Wired explores the rising adoption of player data tracking in the video game industry, and the inherent risk to user privacy. Last year, tech conglomerate Tencent agreed to incorporate facial recognition technology into its games in China in order to adhere to the country’s stringent gaming regulation policies, and Tencent is not the first company to allow such surveillance. Inherently, video games must gather players’ physical inputs and translate them into electronic data, and the large data sets they produce have long been recognized as a resource of human physical and cognitive information – what players like, and more importantly, what they’ll spend their money on. As a result, a new industry is making middleware data analytics tools, once only available to the biggest game developers with the biggest pockets, more mainstream. The tools developed by companies like Unity, GameAnalytics, and Amazon Web Services promise to pinpoint what will motivate players to keep their hands on their controllers, all in a highly accessible package. As well, the data gathered from games has been applied in AI development, and experts speculate it could even contribute to newer tech like brain-computer interfaces (BCI) capable of reading human emotion.