Online privacy

Association of National Advertisers: California Privacy Rules Threaten Financial Health of Journalism

The Association of National Advertisers says that the new browser obligations in the proposed implementing regulations of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) are "a regulatory hammer blow against the anvil of the pandemic-driven pullback in the broader ad market." That came in a letter to Rep Adam Schiff (D-CA) in response to a letter from the congressman on a related subject, keyword filtering.



Wed, 06/03/2020 - 19:00 to 20:00

Cambridge Analytica, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and the California Consumer Privacy Act propelled federal privacy legislation to unprecedented momentum at the outset of the 116th Congress. Legislative proposals from both sides of the aisle, including Sen. Maria Cantwell’s (D-Wash.) Consumer Online Privacy Rights Act and Sen. Roger Wicker’s (R-Miss.) United States Consumer Data Privacy Act, showed promising development and consensus on many provisions.

Right to Privacy Extends to Foreign Internet Users, German Court Rules

Privacy rights enshrined in Germany’s Constitution extend to foreigners living abroad and cover their online data, the country’s highest court ruled, ordering Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government to overhaul a law governing the foreign intelligence agency. The decision by the Constitutional Court found that parts of a 2016 law governing the country’s foreign intelligence agency, known by its German abbreviation BND, in part violated the universal right to privacy in communication.

ACLU Demands Student Privacy Protections, Equal Remote Learning Access

Even during a pandemic, governments have a legal obligation to provide all students equal access to an adequate education, the American Civil Liberties Union and over 25 ACLU state chapters warned in letters to state and local leaders nationwide. To help meet this obligation during the COVID-19 pandemic, the ACLU is demanding Congress and state and local governments ensure all students have equal access to the technologies that make effective remote learning possible, and that strong and uniform privacy safeguards are in place to protect students in the virtual classroom.

Limits on FBI access to search histories fails by one Senate vote

An effort to protect Americans' browsing and search histories from warrantless government surveillance failed by a single vote in the Senate on May 13. The privacy measure, sponsored by Sens Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Steve Daines (R-MT) got 59 votes, one vote fewer than was needed to overcome a filibuster. The vote was over a section of federal surveillance law that was originally part of the USA Patriot Act in 2001. That provision, known as Section 215, gave the FBI the power to obtain "any tangible thing," including "books, records, papers, documents, and other items," without a warrant.

What's on the FTC's Radar During COVID-19

Federal Trade Commission Chairman Joe Simons told House lawmakers that the agency is “very, very closely” watching how contact tracing efforts by Google, Apple and other tech companies affect Americans’ privacy. “We are all over that,” Chairman Simons said during a call with House Commerce Committee lawmakers, adding that the FTC has been talking to the companies involved. Chairman Simons noted that one of the major players in the effort, Google, is already under an FTC order to uphold certain privacy standards.

Our digital privacy is at stake in the Senate

An amendment to the Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Act (FISA) by Sens Steve Daines (R-MT) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) would broaden a prohibition on warrantless surveillance by the government, from our online searches to our geolocation history. The appropriateness of allowing the government to warrantlessly surveil our every move and action is the issue Sens Wyden and Daines are forcing the Senate to examine. It is clear we cannot trust the intelligence bureaucracy to keep from colliding with the Constitution. Congress must provide stronger guardrails and splash them with fluorescent paint.

Senator Markey Leads Bipartisan Call for the FTC to Launch Major Children’s Privacy Investigation

Sens Ed Markey (D-MA), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) wrote to the Federal Trade Commission urging it to use its authority under the FTC Act to launch an investigation into children’s data practices in the educational technology and digital advertising sectors.

Republican Senate Commerce Committee Members Introduce COVID-19 Consumer Data Protection Act

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Sens John Thune (R-SD), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Jerry Moran (R-KS), and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) introduced the COVID-19 Consumer Data Protection Act. The legislation would provide all Americans with more transparency, choice, and control over the collection and use of their personal health, device, geolocation, and proximity data. The bill would also hold businesses accountable to consumers if they use personal data to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 Consumer Data Protection Act would:

Facebook’s $5 Billion Privacy Settlement Wins Court Approval

A judge approved Facebook’s $5 billion settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over privacy violations—overruling objections that the deal didn’t adequately punish the company. Judge Timothy Kelly of the US District Court for the District of Columbia greenlighted the deal reached in the summer of 2019, which included the $5 billion fine, restrictions on some aspects of Facebook’s business decisions, and ongoing oversight of the social media giant.