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Social media data shared by spy agencies

UK spy agencies are collecting citizens’ social media and medical data, a court has heard. The details emerged in a case brought by Privacy International, looking at the legality of mass data collection. It said it was concerned that the information could have been shared with foreign governments and corporate partners. The body which oversees UK surveillance did not know that highly sensitive data was being shared, it emerged. Facebook said it did not provide “any government with access to people’s data”. The long-running legal case was brought by Privacy…

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Facebook 'fully committed' to sharing Russian ad data

Facebook is “fully committed” to providing detailed information about ads bought in Russia during the US election, says Sheryl Sandberg. The ads, pages they linked to and who they were targeted at have been given to investigators, said Ms Sandberg. The ads and the fake accounts used to get them on Facebook had been found and removed, she said. However, she added, if the ads had been placed by real accounts, Facebook would not have removed them. Bad actors “Things happened on our platform in this election that shouldn’t have…

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Australia jet and navy data stolen in 'extensive' hack

Sensitive information about Australia’s defence programmes has been stolen in an “extensive” cyber hack. About 30GB of data was compromised in the hack on a government contractor, including details about new fighter planes and navy vessels. The data was commercially sensitive but not classified, the government said. It did not know if a state was involved. Australian cyber security officials dubbed the mystery hacker “Alf”, after a character on TV soap Home and Away. The breach began in July last year, but the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) was not alerted…

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Equifax data hack affected 694,000 UK customers

The beleaguered credit reference agency Equifax has now admitted that 694,000 customers in the UK had their data stolen between May and July this year. The firm’s original estimate of its UK cyber-theft victims, made last month, was fewer, at nearly 400,000. Equifax now says that it will contact its affected UK customers by letter to offer them help. It admits they may be at risk of “possible criminal activity”. Patricio Remon, Equifax’s chief European executive, said: “Once again, I would like to extend my most sincere apologies to anyone…

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Yahoo 2013 data breach hit 'all three billion accounts'

Yahoo has said that all of its three billion user accounts were affected in a hacking attack dating back to 2013. The company, which was taken over by Verizon earlier this year, said an investigation had shown the breach went much further than originally thought. The stolen data did not include passwords in clear text, payment card or bank account data, it added. Previously the internet giant had said “more than one billion” of its accounts had been hit. Yahoo said that while its latest announcement did not represent a…

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Technology 

Fresh twist in Facebook data transfer row

The Irish High Court has referred a case about the way Facebook transfers user data across the Atlantic to the US to the EU’s highest court. The outcome, which could take months to be resolved, could affect thousands of companies who use similar systems. It is the latest twist in a long-running legal dispute between Austrian law student Max Schrems and the social-media giant. One expert said that there was “much at stake” in the case. This particular part of what has become the fiendishly complex case of Facebook v…

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Equifax raises the impact of US data breach

Equifax has revealed 2.5 million more Americans than previously thought may have had information compromised in a huge cyber security breach at the firm. The credit report giant said on Monday about 145.5 million of its US customers might have been affected, up from a previous estimate of 143 million. The update came a day before former boss Richard Smith testifies in Congress about the attack. Mr Smith apologised ahead of the hearing for the firm’s failings. Critics say the company failed to take proper steps to guard information –…

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