Personal Data

When Data Collection Becomes a Threat

MSF Spotlight SeriesThe MSF Spotlight Series aims at bringing experts and stakeholders together to exchange knowledge about a variety of socio-political, humanitarian, and public health issues that are relevant locally, regionally and globally. On April 8, MSF hosted its first Spotlight session on the importance of data protection in a humanitarian context with speakers Lama …

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DAEM, a “Social Safety Net” or a Data Collection Net?

In September 2021, the Ministry of Social Affairs and IMPACT, the Central Inspection’s e-governance platform, launched DAEM, a program that aims to financially support struggling families in Lebanon. Following its launch, SMEX conducted a surface technical security and privacy analysis on the platform and found crucial vulnerabilities.  The platform asks for too much identifying personal …

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The National Poverty Targeting Program Risks Lebanese Citizens’ Data

As our mission is to protect Lebanese citizens’ right to digital privacy, we ran a technical security and privacy analysis on the government-owned platform corresponding to the National Poverty Targeting Program (NPTP), nptp.gov.lb. Our findings reveal crucial vulnerabilities that would compromise the personal data collected on the website. NPTP was launched by the Lebanese Ministry …

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Lebanon: Your Data is Not Secure on MoPH’s GrabAJab Platform

Update— IMPACT responded to our concerns by suspending Grabajab’s access to patients’ data pending the resolution of security issues. Nonetheless, we are yet to learn the kind of data accessed by GrabAJab and how it was used and processed. Grabajab.com, a vaccination platform launched by the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), was reported to …

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Google Cloud’s Data Center in KSA raises data privacy concerns in the region

In a decision to expand their global network with new cloud regions, Google announced in December 2020 that Google Cloud will deploy and operate a Cloud region in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). This decision is a result of an agreement between Aramco (Saudi Petroleum giant) and Google, after two years of discussions. They …

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Device Seizures in Lebanon: Assessing the Legal Framework concerning device seizures [Report]

We have witnessed in the last couple of years a striking increase in the number of devices seized by security agencies in Lebanon, a phenomenon that became more pronounced following the October 2019 uprising. When it comes to these seizures, the legal framework is vague and often exploited or circumvented since it is subject to …

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A New (Non-)Privacy Policy from WhatsApp? [A comparison between messaging applications]

Tech and media companies are exploiting free, popular apps to increase their access to  personal data; and WhatsApp has just followed suit. The app has been sending notifications about an odd update to its privacy policy. The latest policy grants Whatsapp permission to share users’ data with its parent company, Facebook—as well as its subsidiaries. …

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How To Open Your Data: SMEX Is Here To Help

In the wake of the August 4th explosion in Beirut, there was a significant response from civil society trying to help in every way possible. Some NGOs undertook the task of distributing essential and urgent humanitarian aid, while others prepared for the reconstruction phase. The organizations working on all these tasks require data about the …

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Ministry of Information Application Threatens Citizens’ Privacy

 Feature image via national news agency, June 2018: Minister of information Melham Riachy launching the Eye Police Application . Eye Police, the Ministry of Information’s new mobile application which serves as a platform for users to report issues in Lebanon, poses a serious threat to users’ privacy and does not take adequate measures to protect …

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