Pregnancy club Bounty UK Limited has been fined £400,000 for illegally sharing and selling information belonging to 14 million individuals without their explicit consent.
The fine was imposed by the UK’s data protection watchdog, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
Personal data relating to pregnancy, new mothers, mothers-to-be, and the birth dates & sex of children were shared.
The ICO said the data was collected from those who were “potentially vulnerable.”
Information was collected through membership registration in both the club’s website and mobile application, as well as by the hospital bedsides of new mothers through merchandise claiming cards, free samples, and vouchers.
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The ICO launched an investigation into Bounty and found that the company was not just gathering data for the purposes of the club. Bounty was, in fact, also operating as a data broker service which supplied this information to third-parties for direct electronic marketing purposes.
The ICO says that between June 2017 and April 2018, 34.4 million records were illegally shared with 39 organizations including Acxiom, Equifax, Indicia, and Sky.
It is not illegal to be a data broker in such a manner, but it is illegal under both the Data Protection Act 1998 and the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation to improperly share personal data without clear, explicit user consent.
Bounty’s online privacy notices had a “reasonably clear description” of groups that information may be shared with, but the UK watchdog noted that none of the four largest participants were mentioned.
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Steve Eckersley, ICO’s Director of Investigations, branded the firm’s data handling as “careless” and “appear[s] to have been motivated by financial gain.”
Bounty no longer acts as a data broking service, having stopped the practice in April 2018. The pregnancy club “acknowledged” the ICO’s findings and have now made changes to its data collection and handling models.
See also: Heathrow Airport fined £120,000 over USB data breach debacle
In addition, Bounty now keeps fewer records and has ended all relationships with data brokers, the BBC reports. An independent data specialist is due to be hired to perform an annual survey to ensure that Bounty does not cross the line when it comes to user data and privacy again.
Previous and related coverage
Managing Vulnerabilities in a Cloud Native World
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Security Tools Help Bring Dev and Security Teams Together
Software development teams are increasingly focused on identifying and mitigating any issues as quickly and completely as possible. This relates not only to software quality but also software security. Different organizations are at different levels when it comes to having their development teams and security teams working in concert, but the simple fact remains that there are far more developers out there than security engineers.
Those factors are leading organizations to consider security tooling and automation to proactively discover and resolve any software security issues throughout the development process. In the recent report, “GigaOm Radar for Developer Security Tools,” Shea Stewart examines a roundup of security tools aimed at software development teams.
Stewart identified three critical criteria to bear in mind when evaluating developer security tools. These include:
- Vendors providing tools to improve application security can and should also enhance an organization’s overall security posture.
- The prevailing “shift-left” mindset doesn’t necessarily mean the responsibility for reducing risk should shift to development, but instead focusing on security earlier in the process and continuing to do so throughout the development process will reduce risk and the need for extensive rework.
- Security throughout the entire software development lifecycle (SDLC) is critical for any organization focused on reducing risk.
Figure 1. How Cybersecurity Applies Across Each Stage of the Software Development Lifecycle *Note: This report focuses only on the Developer Security Tooling area
Individual vendors have made varying levels of progress and innovation toward enhancing developer security. Following several acquisitions, Red Hat, Palo Alto Networks, and Rapid7 have all added tooling for developer security to their platforms. Stewart sees a couple of the smaller vendors like JFrog and Sonatype as continuing to innovate to remain ahead of the market.
Vendors delving into this category and moving deeper into “DevSecOps” all seem to be taking different approaches to their enhanced security tooling. While they are involving security in every aspect of the development process, some tend to be moving more quickly to match the pace of the SDLC. Others are trying to shore up existing platforms by adding functionality through acquisition. Both infrastructure and software developers are now sharing toolsets and processes, so these development security tools must account for the requirements of both groups.
While none of the 12 vendors evaluated in this report can provide comprehensive security throughout the entire SDLC, they all have their particular strengths and areas of focus. It is therefore incumbent upon the organization to fully and accurately assess its SDLC, involve the development and security teams, and match the unique requirements with the functionality provided by these tools. Even if it involves using more than one at different points throughout the process, focus on striking a balance between stringent security and simplifying the development process.
Read more: Key Criteria for Evaluating Developer Security Tools, and the Gigaom Radar for Developer Security Tool Companies.
The post Security Tools Help Bring Dev and Security Teams Together appeared first on Gigaom.
Key Criteria for Evaluating User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA)
Cybersecurity is a multidisciplinary practice that not only grows in complexity annually but evolves nearly as quickly. A survey of the security landscape today would reveal concerns ranging from the classic compromised servers to the relatively new DevSecOps practices aimed at securing the rapid deployment of new code and infrastructure. However, some things remain constant no matter how much change is introduced. While technology evolves and complexity varies, there is almost always a human component in
risks presented to an organization.
User Behavior Analysis (UBA) was designed to analyze the actions of users in an organization and attempt to identify normal and abnormal behaviors. From this analysis, malicious or risky behaviors can be detected. UBA solutions identify events that are not detectable using other methods because, unlike classic security tools (an IDS or SIEM for example), UBA does not simply pattern match or apply rule sets to data to identify security events. Instead, it looks for any and all deviations from baseline user activity.
As technology advanced and evolved, and the scope of what is connected to the network grew, the need to analyze entities other than users emerged. In response, entity analysis has been added to UBA to create UEBA or User and Entity Behavior Analysis. The strategy remains the same, but the scope of analysis has expanded to include entities involving things like daemons, processes, infrastructure, and so on.
How to Read this Report
This GigaOm report is one of a series of documents that helps IT organizations assess competing solutions in the context of well-defined features and criteria. For a fuller understanding consider reviewing the following reports:
Key Criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact that key product features and criteria have on top-line solution characteristics—such as scalability, performance, and TCO—that drive purchase decisions.
GigaOm Radar report: A forward-looking analysis that plots the relative value and progression of vendor solutions along multiple axes based on strategy and execution. The Radar report includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector.
Solution Profile: An in-depth vendor analysis that builds on the framework developed in the Key Criteria and Radar reports to assess a company’s engagement within a technology sector. This analysis includes forward-looking guidance around both strategy and product.
The post Key Criteria for Evaluating User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA) appeared first on Gigaom.
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