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Intersection: Sidewalks & Public Space

Chapter by Melissa Ngo

"The Myth of Security Under Camera Surveillance"


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    Archive for the ‘Civil liberties’ Category

    Wall Street Journal: Sotomayor: Americans Should be Alarmed by Spread of Drones

    Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

    The Wall Street Journal reports on comments by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor concerning privacy and aerial drones (also known as “unmanned aerial vehicles” or “unmanned aircraft systems,” UAV or UAS). For more on drones and privacy, read this previous post. The Journal reports:

    Americans should be more concerned about their privacy being invaded by the spread of drones, Justice Sonia Sotomayor told an Oklahoma City audience on Thursday.

    Speaking before a group of faculty members and students at Oklahoma City University’s law school on Sept. 11, Justice Sotomayor said “frightening” changes in surveillance technology should encourage citizens to take a more active role in the privacy debate. She said she’s particularly troubled by the potential for commercial and government drones to compromise personal privacy.

    New York Times: With Tech Taking Over in Schools, Worries Rise

    Monday, September 15th, 2014

    The New York Times reports that there are increasing concerns about student privacy nationwide:

    At a New York state elementary school, teachers can use a behavior-monitoring app to compile information on which children have positive attitudes and which act out. In Georgia, some high school cafeterias are using a biometric identification system to let students pay for lunch by scanning the palms of their hands at the checkout line. [...]

    Now California is poised to become the first state to comprehensively restrict how such information is exploited by the growing education technology industry.

    Legislators in the state passed a law last month prohibiting educational sites, apps and cloud services used by schools from selling or disclosing personal information about students from kindergarten through high school; from using the children’s data to market to them; and from compiling dossiers on them. Read more »

    Hill: Tech giants demand vote on email privacy bill

    Friday, September 12th, 2014

    The Hill reports that technology companies including Google, Microsoft and Yahoo are pushing for Congress to vote on the E-mail Privacy Act, which would update the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act (“ECPA,” also known as Title 18 § 2511 of the United States Code).

    Google, Microsoft, AOL, Yahoo and scores of other technology titans are demanding congressional leaders allow a vote on a bill to grant new privacy protections to people’s emails.

    The companies want a vote on the Email Privacy Act, a bill that counts more than half of the House as co-sponsors. The bill has yet to move since it was introduced last summer, and a companion measure in the Senate is also awaiting action.

    The legislation would update the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act, which allows police to conduct warrantless searches of people’s emails and other information stored on the “cloud” that are more than 180 days old. Critics on both sides of the aisle say the law is antiquated and undermines people’s privacy. [...] Read more »

    Government Technology: California Protects Student Data Privacy with Two Bills

    Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

    Government Technology reports on student-privacy legislation in California — SB 1177 (pdf) and AB 1584 (pdf).

    California sent two bills to Gov. Jerry Brown last week that deal with two sides of the same coin. SB 1177 lays out privacy guidelines for operators of Internet websites, online services, online applications and mobile applications. Meanwhile, AB 1584 deals with contracts between local educational agencies and third-party technology vendors.

    These bills address a growing problem of mismanagement of student data. Federal student privacy legislation including FERPA and COPPA do address student data privacy, but educators, privacy advocates, legislators and industry members are split on whether that legislation does enough to protect privacy in the Digital Age we live in. While new federal legislation was introduced in late July, states have been stepping up to deal with the issue, with at least 83 bills in 32 states being considered this year as of April, according to the Data Quality Campaign. [...] Read more »

    Opinion at Slate: The Potemkinism of Privacy Pragmatism

    Friday, September 5th, 2014

    At Slate, the University of California at Berkeley’s Chris Hoofnagle has an opinion column about how “use regulation” affects privacy and civil liberties:

    A revolution is afoot in privacy regulation. In an assortment of white papers and articles, business leaders—including Microsoft—and scholars argue that instead of regulating privacy through limiting the collection of data, we should focus on how the information is used. It’s called “use regulation,” and this seemingly obscure issue has tremendous implications for civil liberties and our society. Ultimately, it can help determine how much power companies and governments have.

    In a use-regulation world, companies may collect any data they wish but would be banned from certain uses of the data. In U.S. law, a good example of use regulation comes from credit reporting. Your credit report can be used only for credit decisions, employment screening, and renting an apartment. Or consider your physician: Her professional norms encourage expansive data collection, but she can use medical records only to advance patient care. Read more »

    Events of Interest: DHS Data Privacy Committee Meeting (Sept. 22)

    Thursday, September 4th, 2014

    The Department of Homeland Security’s Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee will hold a public meeting on September 22, 2014. The meeting will discuss DHS cybersecurity as well as the implementation of the DHS data framework. RSVP by sending an e-mail to: privacycommittee@hq.dhs.gov

    Date: Monday, September 22, 2014 at 2 p.m. ET
    Location: 1331 F Street, NW, Suite 800; Washington, DC 20004
    For more information: www.dhs.gov/dhs-data-privacy-and-integrity-advisory-committee-meeting-information