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This is a giant camera in the sky for any government to use at any time...

- Jennifer Lynch, General Counsel, Electronic Frontier Foundation

Welcome to Snippets ūüĎč While concerns about eyes in the sky are nothing new, recent innovations in satellite technology, which allow for lower altitude orbits and higher resolution imagery, have rekindled conversations about the issue.

Plus, Mozilla released a new study about the privacy pitfalls of romantic AI chatbots, 2024 may be a tipping point for facial recognition in airports, the US Congress continues to move towards significant COPPA and KOSA updates, and more. 


New low altitude satellites worry privacy experts



Satellite developer Albedo Space‚Äôs new class of satellites, whose cameras are powerful enough to pick out objects as small as 10cm on the ground, has re-ignited a longstanding privacy concern‚ÄĒbeing spied on from the skies.
  • While high altitude imagery can aid in city planning, natural disaster prevention, and detecting human rights abuse, it can also intrude into private areas like people‚Äôs homes and backyards.
  • The picture quality of commercial satellite surveillance has improved immensely in past years. Albedo‚Äôs cameras can discern items on a flatbed truck, identify vehicles, and differentiate children from adults.
  • Though CEO Topher Haddad claims the technology can‚Äôt identify individuals, experts note the pictures could be used by governments without civilians‚Äô knowledge.

Expand your network in 2024 ūü§Ě

Privacy Pulse is an invite-only community where privacy professionals can crowdsource solutions to their biggest challenges, share or find a new role, and expand their professional network.

To make sure our community is valuable, thriving, and safe, we ask that everyone submit a brief application to join. All applications will be reviewed within 24 hours.


Romantic AI chatbots found to be ‚Äėprivacy-not-included‚Äô


Screenshots from EVA AI Chat Bot & Soulmate

A Mozilla Foundation study on 11 romantic AI chatbots, with 100 million downloads between them, has uncovered significant privacy concerns, including undisclosed data collection, weak user protections, and unlisted ownership.
  • Many chatbots in the study push users to overshare‚ÄĒgathering vast amounts of data, which is often then sent to Big Tech, Russian and Chinese companies, and more.
  • Data collection aside, many of the apps also had weak security protections and password controls, with one service accepting single character passwords.
  • Another service, Romantic AI, which allows users to create their own AI girlfriend, claimed to not sell user data in their privacy policy, but deployed 24,354 ad trackers in one minute of use.


How facial recognition technology is altering air travel



With facial recognition tech becoming increasingly prevalent in airports across the US, privacy experts are questioning how these systems are evaluated, what privacy protections are in place, and whether the risks outweigh the benefits.
  • Biometric technology can expedite security screening, baggage check-in, and flight boarding, with TSA claiming the tech shaves off 30 seconds per person in baggage drop-off time and 15 seconds at security check.
  • In a recent study, 90% of airports were shown to be investing in biometric identification‚ÄĒwith travel analyst Henry Harteveldt stating 2024 could be a ‚Äútipping point‚ÄĚ for this technology.
  • Despite the efficiency gains and the steady creep of biometrics into daily life, experts note its widespread use raises concerns about bias, discrimination, and government surveillance.

  • TikTok faces EU investigation over advertising breaches.
  • Your guide to finding the best mobile VPN.
  • The EU was urged to challenge Meta‚Äôs no-ads subscription.
  • Rashida Richardson talks women in AI.
  • Why the fight for privacy is far from over.


What the revised KOSA means for online platforms



Following updates to three proposals that will influence COPPA 2.0 and the Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA), Cobun Zweifel-Keegan, Managing Director at IAPP, examines how the new measures, if passed, would affect online content.
  • The new regulations would require any online platform that publishes shareable, user-generated content to be transparent about their algorithms‚Äô ranking criteria.
  • Platforms the KOSA deems ‚Äúreasonably likely to be used‚ÄĚ by minors, such as video games, messaging apps, and streaming services, are obligated to limit design features that encourage overindulgence and harmful behavior.
  • All platforms will be required to implement safeguards for personalized recommendation systems, communication with minors, and options to limit screen time.


Not even VPNs can offer privacy if eIDAS passes, experts warn



The European Union’s proposed eIDAS 2.0 regulation has come under fresh criticism, with privacy experts warning not even VPNs could preserve Europeans’ online anonymity if the law passes.
  • The revised eIDAS aims to introduce an identifier app, called the EU ID Wallet, to change browser security and web authentication.
  • If authorized, it will give EU states the authority to issue root certificates proving secure connection between the browser and server, while also preventing browsers from revoking the certificate in case of malicious activity.
  • Privacy experts note the authority will allow governments to intercept all internet traffic directly through the web browser rather than the network connection, rendering a VPN useless.

CPRA Compliance Checklist for 2024 ‚úÖ

The California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) is in effect and, after a surprise overturn of the 2023 enforcement delay, the California Privacy Protection Agency can start enforcement immediately.

To help your company prepare, Brandon Wiebe, Transcend's General Counsel & Head of Privacy, outlines a detailed checklist for 2024 CPRA compliance in the guide below.

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