Online privacy

The US is now playing by China's internet rules

President Trump's crackdown on TikTok suggests that the US government is starting to see the internet more like China does — as a network that countries can and should control within their borders. Today's global internet has split into 

Joint Statement Of Representative Yvette Clarke And Commissioner Geoffrey Starks On Tracking Americans To Protests And Places Of Worship

For communities of color, Internet access has been a crucial tool for amplifying our narratives and mobilizing Americans for change. And smartphones have allowed us to shine a spotlight on tragedies like the killing of George Floyd. Because we believe so strongly in the power of connectivity, we must speak up when bad actors use those tools to threaten Americans’ privacy and First Amendment rights.


Public Knowledge

Wed, 07/29/2020 - 17:30 to 19:00

While everyone agrees that we need federal privacy legislation, how it should work is another story. Oftentimes legislation relies on companies getting consent before collecting, using, or selling data. Consent mechanisms place the burden on consumers to figure out what uses of data are beneficial or harmful.

In this webinar, we’ll discuss why consent doesn’t protect consumers and propose other frameworks that could be used in federal privacy legislation.


Senator Sherrod Brown


An update on Twitter's security incident

At this time, we believe attackers targeted certain Twitter employees through a social engineering scheme. What does this mean? In this context, social engineering is the intentional manipulation of people into performing certain actions and divulging confidential information. The attackers successfully manipulated a small number of employees and used their credentials to access Twitter’s internal systems, including getting through our two-factor protections. As of now, we know that they accessed tools only available to our internal support teams to target 130 Twitter accounts.

Does Buying Groceries Online Put SNAP Participants At Risk?

A pilot program designed to enable the tens of millions of Americans who participate in the US Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to buy groceries online is exposing them to a loss of their privacy through increased data collection and surveillance, as well as risks involving intrusive and manipulative online marketing techniques. Online grocers and retailers use an orchestrated array of digital techniques—including granular data profiling, predictive analytics, geolocation tracking, personalized online coupons, AI and machine learning —to promote u

Top EU court ruling throws transatlantic digital commerce into disarray over privacy concerns

The European Union's top court threw a large portion of transatlantic digital commerce into disarray, ruling that data of EU residents is not sufficiently protected from government surveillance when it is transferred to the United States. The European Court of Justice ruled that a commonly-used data protection agreement known as Privacy Shield did not adequately uphold EU privacy law. US security authorities have far-reaching access to personal data stored on US territory that “are not circumscribed” in a way that is equivalent to EU rules, the court ruled. The court said that it was

OTI Issues 2020 Party Platform Recommendations

In comments submitted to the Republican National Committee and the Democratic National Committee as they develop their party platforms for 2020, New America’s Open Technology Institute (OTI) made recommendations on the following:

Africa/internet access: the cloud above

Floating 12 miles above the earth, high above commercial aircraft, internet balloons offer the possibility of online connection for hundreds of millions of people living in emerging markets. Loon, a subsidiary of Google’s parent company Alphabet, has launched its first commercial project in Kenya. Success will lead more countries to seek a deal. Loon has already proved that its polyethylene, solar-powered helium balloons work by providing internet access to hurricane-hit Puerto Rico. Kenya is a test of whether the service can be profitable.

‘Colorblind’ Tech is Killing Us: Why COVID-19 Tech Must Focus on Equity

As states began to more systematically document the demographics of those falling ill, it quickly became clear that Black and Latinx communities were far more likely to suffer the lethal impact of the virus. But, today, most technological innovations remain strangely ‘colorblind’ to the reality that racial inequalities play a significant role in where COVID-19 makes the most significant impact.

Maine judge rejects broadband industry’s preemption and First Amendment challenges to broadband privacy law

The broadband industry has lost a key initial ruling in its bid to kill a privacy law imposed by the state of Maine. The top lobby groups representing cable companies, mobile carriers, and telecoms —ACA, CTIA, NCTA, and USTelecom — sued Maine in Feb, claiming the privacy law violates their First Amendment protections on free speech and that the state law is preempted by deregulatory actions taken by Congress and the Federal Communications Commission.