Online privacy

The Fight Over the Fight Over California’s Privacy Future

In 2019, about a year after the California Consumer Privacy Act was passed—but before it had gone into effect— CA State Sen Bob Hertzberg, who by then was majority leader of the CA State Senate, pitched a new idea to CCPA brain-child Alastair Mactaggart. In a total reversal from his earlier stance, Hertzberg urged Mactaggart to bypass the legislative process. Instead, he should fund and draft a new ballot initiative to improve upon the CCPA. And this one wouldn’t be a bargaining chip. It would go all the way to a vote by the people of California.

Republican Senators Reintroduce Consumer Data Privacy Legislation

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Roger Wicker (R-MS), Communications Subcommittee Chairman John Thune (R-SD), Transportation Subcommittee Chairman Deb Fischer (R-NE), and Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) introduced the Setting an American Framework to Ensure Data Access, Transparency, and Accountability (SAFE DATA) Act. The legislation would provide Americans with more choice and control over their data and direct businesses to be more transparent and accountable for their data practices.

FTC Commissioner Rebeca Kelly Slaughter: "We Are Not The Political Speech Police"

Federal Trade Commissioner Rebeca Kelly Slaughter agrees with FTC Chairman Joseph Simons that political speech is outside the agency’s purview. “We are not the political speech police,” she said. Commissioner Slaughter said tech’s liability shield — Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act — is an “important area to consider reform,” but she rejects the idea that the law requires companies to be viewpoint neutral. Two of Slaughter’s colleagues have proposed the FTC use its unique research authority to conduct a study on targeted advertising. “I think it is a good idea,” she said.


Senate Commerce Committee

Wed, 09/23/2020 - 15:00

This hearing will examine the current state of consumer data privacy and legislative efforts to provide baseline data protections for all Americans. The hearing will also examine lessons learned from the implementation of state privacy laws in the U.S. and the E.U. General Data Protection Regulation, as well as how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected data privacy.   


Tech's deepening split over ads and privacy

A new fight between Facebook and Apple over the mechanics of ad tech is surfacing an industry divide over user privacy and spotlighting longstanding dilemmas about the tracking and use of personal information online. Facebook warned advertisers jAug 27 that a coming change to Apple's iOS could devastate revenue for ads that sends users straight to the App Store to install an app — an approach that's used widely by developers including mobile game makers.

Facebook Says Apple’s New iPhone Update Will Disrupt Online Advertising

Facebook says privacy changes that Apple has made to its newest operating system will cripple Facebook’s ability to serve targeted ads to iPhone users while they use outside apps. The announcement, which Facebook made in a note to app developers, will affect its Audience Network business, which connects users’ Facebook identities with their off-platform activities. That enables the company to serve them ads on apps outside of Facebook’s. The changes go into effect with Apple’s new operating system for iPhone, called iOS14, which was released in beta form to developers recently.

Customer Proprietary Network Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission

Section 222 of the Communications Act of 1934 establishes the duty of telecommunications carriers to protect the confidentiality of its customers’ proprietary information. This Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI) includes personally identifiable information derived from a customer’s relationship with a provider of telecommunications services. These regulations impose safeguards to protect customers’ CPNI against unauthorized access and disclosure.

TikTok Tracked User Data Using Tactic Banned by Google

TikTok skirted a privacy safeguard in Google’s Android operating system to collect unique identifiers from millions of mobile devices, data that allows the app to track users online without allowing them to opt out. The tactic, which experts in mobile-phone security said was concealed through an unusual added layer of encryption, appears to have violated Google policies limiting how apps track people and wasn’t disclosed to TikTok users. TikTok ended the practice in November 2019. The identifiers collected by TikTok, called MAC addresses, are most commonly used for advertising purposes.

Groups Warn of Downsides to Remote Learning

Over 100 organizations and individuals, led by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, have signed on to a letter warning about the downside of remote learning in the age of COVID-19 and beyond. As some school districts pull back on reopening in person due to spikes in the virus, privacy and other groups are warning parents and schools to "look past simplistic solutions peddled to increase EdTech profits, and find ways to limit students’ time on digital devices." Their concern is the push for remote learning will translate to EdTech companies capturing more children's data, crowd teac

NSA Warns Cellphone Location Data Could Pose National-Security Threat

The National Security Agency issued new guidance for military and intelligence-community personnel, warning about the risks of cellphone location tracking through apps, wireless networks, and Bluetooth technology.