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Biggest Data Breach Ever Recorded in the UK

We’re in for more shock - anyone surprised?
News about data breaches and how the UK Government is implicit in allowing data to be collected and sold for profit. The Brave team has released a new report on how UK government websites are handling citzens’ data. The report reveals that there is widespread surveillance being conducted in the United Kingdom by private companies. 
The Brave team studied data collection conducted by private companies and discovered that users on UK local council websites related to addiction, disability and poverty had their data collected without their knowledge or permission. The total number of compromised accounts appears to be 6.9 million, all linked to data broker LiveRamp, which has sold data to the maligned Cambridge Analytica. 
The specifics are worrying, especially given the fact that we have learnt the extent to which private companies exploit sensitive data to further their own interests. It appears that almost every council website lets at least one company “learn about people’s behaviour”.
London Borough, Enfield Council, which serves over 330,000 people.
TWENTY ONE data collectors have been discovered within the code of web pages. What is particularly worrying because this is a government website! - Every member of the public would expect that official websites would do better to protect its citizens. 
Brave Enfield London Data
The worst occurance of reported data breaches: RTB, or “Real-Time Bidding”. RTBs are essentially advertising auctions where companies bid for advertisement displays while the page loads. Under GDPR investigation. This data collecterd is simply broadcast to any number of companies. 198 councils permit this real-time bidding by not preventing such code to be included within their web pages.
The data made available through RTBs includes location, interest, what someone is watching or reading. Google is by far the biggest culprit of this system, serving 196 council websites.

Politicians and Council officers seem to be either, complicit in this or unaware of how Gov website code is used to capture data from unsuspecting members of the public.

UK Allows Private Companies to Snoop on Disabled Children and Their Parents 

Ads targeting Disability
These systems have been used to target disabled children and their parents. 21 companies have been collecting data on a GOVERNMENT website that apparently has 1 million unique visits per month - collecting data on people just reading about their child’s disability.
Data is being SOLD. UK Gov websites are supposed to be available to help people, not to make profit. If this kind of thing is escaping politicians, civil servants or Council officers administering Government websites, what can helpless citizens do?

Not for profit. Of course, Politicians, Civil Servants and Council Officers will deny they have anything to do with earning revenue from these embedded website codes. So, they clearly do not understand how this code works or what data is being collected on private individuals. WHICH IS EVEN MORE WORRING"

How Google Takes the Most Out Of It

Ads targeting poverty
It should come as no surprise that the report states that Google owns all five of the top embedded elements on these websites. On top of this, it is also responsible for serving 196 websites with its RTB, all the while not knowing whose data goes where. 
Google itself has been the subject of the Brave team’s examination, as last year Brave Chief Policy and Industry Relations Officer Johnny Ryan pointed out to the Irish Data Protection Commission, Google's lead regulator in Europe, how vulnerable personal data is. The findings claimed that Google had circumvented GDPR regulations.

How Can You Protect Yourself?

Use Brave. Get it here
It’s as simple as that. 
In an age where we have become increasingly dependent on the internet and online services, the protection of our data is more important than ever. 
Besides the fact that sensitive information that is stored and collected, this act also gives monopolies additional power, allowing them to further cement their position as a market leader. Accountability must be a priority for such practices, an idea that has only slowly come to the fore. Still, despite this realization, not enough has been done.
However, users can themselves ensure the safety of their personal information by using a browser like Brave, which prevents any form of surveillance from being conducted, and actively encourages users to build a better digital advertising ecosystem through its cryptocurrency and various features like optional advertisements. Users can choose to view ads and actually pay for their viewing attention (hence the name). No data whatsoever is collected.
With Brave, the user is in full control of their privacy and data. We need more of this in all our tech systems. How to get Brave today

The original article can be found here


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