Altering Faces. Data Protection And Sore Thumbs

To those that, contrary to any evidence, still believe that data protection equals privacy, this case will come as a shock: the police of Portland (Oregon – USA)  used Adobe Photoshop to remove tattoos from the picture of a suspect so that he could “blend” better in a photo-based identification. The defense of the suspect claimed that that was a way to “frame” him, while the prosecutor said that the “digital make-up” has been necessary to avoid excessive attention on the face of the suspect itself. The Court still haven’t issue a decision on the matter.

A few issues:

  • Is this a Personal Data Case? Yes. A few things but tattoos identify or make a person identifiable.
  • If happened in the EU, would had it be a GDPR Case? The GDPR doesn’t cover judicial activity and law enforcement investigation. Nonetheless, this is case where the notion of “fair processing” comes into play. Altering reality can hardly be hold as a “fair” behaviour.
  • If not the GDPR, what would have stopped this? This is a case of “reverse fairness” and “investigative malice”. Police wanted to be “fair” toward the suspect and – in the meantime – explore the “possibility” that he disguised the tattoos with a make-up. The due process right prevents (or should prevent) law enforcement from resorting to this trick.


Social Network To Privatize Geopolitical Strategies

According to Forbes, Facebook and Twitter have closed accounts of people linked to the Chinese government and used as anti-propaganda on demonstrations in Hong Kong. The decision came after unspecified “investigations”, at the end of which the two companies decided – in fact – to intervene directly by walking into in a matter of domestic policy of a sovereign state, setting a dangerous precedent. Continue reading “Social Network To Privatize Geopolitical Strategies”

A Real-Life Case of Inefficient Profiling

Amazon knows in extreme detail – thanks to the analysis of purchases – my interests and – thanks to the analysis of how I use my Kindle – my reading habits. Yet he sends me an email to suggest, on the basis of my profiling, to buy a book that I wrote.

If all a giant with a limitless computing might like Amazon is able to extract from my personal data is a suggestion to buy my own books either I’m not actually monitored or profiling just doesn’t work.

Danny Monzeroll, Youtube and Copyright

Every now and then – thank to Youtube – I discover some mind-blowing musician I didn’t know about as it just happened with Canadian, Montreal based artist Danny Monzeroll.

His Pink Floyd songs arrangement for solo classical guitar is nothing but brilliant in terms of composition, execution and recording and – yes – it is freely available on Youtube. While, then, it would have been easy to “forget” about author’s right to be compensated for his work I decided to buy the album as a way to thank Mr. Monzeroll for his masterpiece. Continue reading “Danny Monzeroll, Youtube and Copyright”

The Holy Alliance Between GDPR and Consumer Law

One of the most difficult task in the practical enforcement of the GDPR provisions is to find a fair balancement between the technicality of the legal language and the duty of simplicity settled by the data protection bylaws. Both the GDPR itself and the various “suggestions” coming from the various player are nothing more but a re-phrasing of the legal text, thus leaving the data controller as well as the data subject unable to have clear directions. Continue reading “The Holy Alliance Between GDPR and Consumer Law”