Here’s a look at what some digital privacy experts view as standouts in legislative online privacy efforts at the state level, and some of the sticking points in those and federal proposals.
One of the most important privacy cases you’ve never heard of is being litigated right now in a federal district court in Maine. ACA v. Frey is a challenge by the nation’s largest broadband Internet access providers to a Maine law that protects the privacy of the state's broadband Internet users.
After years of criticism about how it keeps a record of what people do online, Google said it would start automatically deleting location history and records of web and app activity as well as voice recordings on new accounts after 18 months. The limited change comes after Google introduced an option last year to allow users to automatically delete data related to their web searches, requests made with the company’s virtual assistant and their location history.
Appointment of Michael Pack as CEO of US Agency for Global Media has put internet freedom projects in crisis mode
One of the US government’s strongest forces for internet freedom is in danger, and supporters are calling on the public for help. The Open Technology Fund (OTF), a small US organization devoted to protecting digital speech across the world, has helped support nearly all of the most prominent encryption projects at various points — including Signal, Tails, Qubes, and the Tor Project. But after the abrupt firing of the fund’s entire leadership team, current recipients say their contractually promised funding is now at risk.
Contact tracing done wrong threatens privacy and invites mission creep into adjacent fields, including policing. Government actors might (and do) distort and corrupt public-health messaging to serve their own interests. Automated policing and content control raise the prospect of a slide into authoritarianism. But most critics have focused narrowly on classic privacy concerns about data leakage and mission creep—especially the risk of improper government access to and use of sensitive data.
This report lays out a roadmap in which all stakeholders play a role in advancing a safer, more equitable digital world, one which will lead to a brighter and more prosperous future for all. Based on recommendations from the Secretary-General’s High-level Panel for Digital Cooperation convened from 2018-2019, and further informed by a series of roundtable discussions with key stakeholders the following set of actions are envisaged:
The Federal Trade Commission announced that the fifth annual PrivacyCon event, scheduled for July 21, 2020, will now take place online due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
PrivacyCon 2020 will bring together a diverse group of stakeholders, including researchers, academics, industry representatives, consumer advocates, and government officials, to discuss the latest research and trends related to consumer privacy and data security.
The protests continuing around the country are historic displays of social action. For political operatives, the mass gatherings are also a unique opportunity to harvest data on potential voters. Advocacy and voter-registration groups are gathering a trove of data from protests by tracking the cellphones of participants and sending them messages about registering to vote or taking other actions. The tactics, which one user called “deeply spooky yet extremely helpful,” are the latest example of ways political groups are using cellphone data to target voters.
The digital future has long been talked about but the pandemic has brought it a big step closer. For millions, technology has been a lifeline in a new, socially-distanced reality. Please use the sharing tools found via the share button at the top or side of articles. For the companies, the crisis has not only cemented their market power but provided an opportunity to show that they can be responsible corporate citizens.