Violations

Blackouts, Social Media Bans, Digital Surveillance Continue to Rise Across Africa

News update |

Governments are getting increasingly sophisticated in squashing internet rights. But Gambia’s progress gives some hope.

Late in the night of November 30, 2016, citizens of the small West African nation, The Gambia, noticed their internet had gone down. Ordinarily, it might have been considered a technical fault somewhere in the system, but on the eve of a general election under…

Face Recognition Is So Toxic, Facebook Is Dumping It

News Update |

Facebook announced it is, for now, shutting down its face recognition program, which created face prints of users and automatically recognized them in uploaded photos. The decision to end the program comes at a time when face recognition technology is receiving push back, criticisms, and legislative bans across the United States, and the globe. Close to 20 U.S. cities, including…

Stalking the messenger: Ending impunity for illegal surveillance

Opinion |

We know that the issues around digital surveillance are complicated. The tech side of the tools used and the means to circumvent them are complicated. Drawing a hard line between what may be acceptable to help ensure our personal security and what pushes our societies into Orwellian territory is also complicated.

As the revelations of the Pegasus Project show us, illegal surveillance…

Garbage Out, Garbage In: How Europe’s E-Waste Problem Is a Burden on Africa

Updates |

ACCRA, GHANA – This story puts the spotlight on the dumping of e-waste, particularly discarded colling appliances by Europe’s e-waste exporters in Africa in contravention of EU’s law and the Basel Convention while port officials in Europe turn a blind eye to the shipment of these discarded appliances.

It shows how several e-waste recycling organizations in Europe, particularly in the United…

WhatsApp asked to pay a whopping $267 million fine for breaking privacy laws

TL;DR

WhatsApp has been slapped with a record fine for breaking privacy and data protection laws in the EU.
It’s the largest ever fine by the Irish regulator.
The messaging platform will appeal the “disproportionate fine.”

 In a record fine doled out to Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp, EU regulators have asked the company to cough up €225 million (~$267 million) for breaking the General Data…

A Call on TECNO to Uphold Users Privacy and Security

Open Letter |

Strengthening the digital security of at-risk groups and organisations amidst growing digital rights attacks in Africa has become increasingly crucial. However, inadequate device security is undermining such efforts.

Investigations by Privacy International have revealed that TECNO – a phone manufacturer with an estimated 47% market share in East Africa and widely used across other regions on the continent – is putting users’ privacy and security…

Google Says It’s Working Hard to Curb Misinformation and Fake News

Google News Update |

Google says it takes down 80% of harmful content before it is viewed.

Technology giant Google says it is working hard to curb misinformation and fake news on its platforms. The company also says it takes down 80% of harmful content before it is viewed.

Google appeared before Parliament’s Communications Portfolio Committee on Tuesday.

The tech giant says it’s on…

Facial Recognition Beats the Covid-mask Challenge

By James Clayton |
Anyone with a smartphone that uses facial recognition will know it does not really work with a mask on.

That can be frustrating – but although masks have undoubtedly thwarted the facial-recognition industry, the technology has also adapted.

It may sound strange but wearing a mask does not necessarily stop a computer from identifying someone.

And there are even…

Civil Society Organisations Call For a Full Integration of Human Rights in The Deployment of Digital Identification Systems

Press Release |

The Principles on Identification for Sustainable Development (the Principles), the creation of which was facilitated by the World Bank’s Identification for Development (ID4D) initiative in 2017, provide one of the few attempts at global standard-setting for the development of digital identification systems across the world. They are endorsed by many global and regional organizations (the “Endorsing Organizations”) that…

Celebrating the First Anniversary of The Contract For the Web

News Update |

It’s been over a year since we launched the Contract for the Web — a global plan of action to make our online world safe and empowering for everyone, not just a privileged few. To mark this milestone, on November 17 we gathered the community of Contract for the Web endorsers to celebrate what we’ve achieved together so far and to look…