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Category Archives: Privacy

FBI Says Biometric Database has Reached “Full Operational Capability”

“The FBI announced that the Next Generation Identification system, one of the largest biometric databases in the world, has reached “full operational capability.” In 2013, EPIC filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit about the NGI program. EPIC obtained documents that revealed an acceptance of a 20% error rate in facial recognition searches. Earlier this year, EPIC joined a coalition of civil liberties groups to urge the Attorney General Eric Holder to release an updated Privacy Impact Assessment for the NGI. The NGI is tied to “Rap Back,” the FBI’s ongoing investigation of civilians in trusted positions. EPIC also obtained FOIA documents revealing FBI agreements with state DMVs to run facial recognition searches, linked to NGI, on DMV databases. EPIC’s recent Spotlight on Surveillance concluded that NGI has “far-reaching implications for personal privacy and the risks of mass surveillance.” For more information, see EPIC: EPIC v. FBI – Next Generation identification.”

A day in the life of a data mined kid – report

Adrienne Hill: “Education, like pretty much everything else in our lives these days, is driven by data. Our childrens’ data. A whole lot of it. Nearly everything they do at school can be — and often is — recorded and tracked, and parents don’t always know what information is being collected, where it’s going, or how it’sContinue Reading

Treasure Map: The NSA Breach of Telekom and Other German Firms

Spiegel Online - Andy Müller-Maguhn, Laura Poitras, Marcel Rosenbach and Michael Sontheimer:  [Treaure Map] “is the mandate for a massive raid on the digital world. It aims to map the Internet, and not just the large traffic channels, such as telecommunications cables. It also seeks to identify the devices across which our data flows, so-called routers. Furthermore, every single endContinue Reading

Radical Librarianship: how ninja librarians are ensuring patrons’ electronic privacy

Via Boing Boing, by Alison Macrina and April Glaser: “Librarians in Massachusetts are working to give their patrons a chance to opt-out of pervasive surveillance. Partnering with the ACLU of Massachusetts, area librarians have been teaching and taking workshops on how freedom of speech and the right to privacy are compromised by the surveillance of onlineContinue Reading

EPIC, Legal Scholars, Technical Experts Urge Federal Appeals Court to Safeguard Telephone “Metadata”

“EPIC has filed an amicus curiae brief, joined by 33 technical experts and legal scholars, in support of a challenge to the NSA telephone record collection program. The case, Smith v. Obama will be heard by the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit this fall. Earlier this year, a lower court ruled that the Fourth Amendment does not protectContinue Reading

Cyberthreats in past year impact 93% of financial services organizations

“Cyberattacks targeting financial services firms are on the rise, but are these organizations doing enough to protect business and customer data? According to a Kaspersky Lab and B2B International survey of worldwide IT professionals, 93% of financial services organizations experienced various cyberthreats in the past 12 months. And while cyber-attacks targeting financial services firms are on the rise, nearly oneContinue Reading

The Crypto-democracy and the Trustworthy

Sebastien Gambs, Samuel Ranellucci, and Alain Tapp (Submitted on 8 Sep 2014).  Cite as: arXiv:1409.2432 “In the current architecture of the Internet, there is a strong asymmetry in terms of power between the entities that gather and process personal data (e.g., major Internet companies, telecom operators, cloud providers, …) and the individuals from which this personal data is issued. InContinue Reading

International Law and Secret Surveillance: Binding Restrictions upon State Monitoring of Telephone and Internet Activity

CDT: “In the year that has followed Edward Snowden’s first disclosures concerning secret US and UK surveillance practices, many governments, human-rights groups, and UN bodies have debated—and at times disagreed sharply—about whether the Internet and telephone surveillance practices that governments employ today are consistent with international law. With a view to informing these discussions, thisContinue Reading

EPIC (Finally) Obtains Memos on Warrantless Wiretapping Program

“More than eight years after filing a Freedom of Information Act request for the legal justification behind the “Warrantless Wiretapping” program of President Bush, EPIC has now obtained a mostly unredacted version of two key memos (OLC54)and (OLC85) by former Justice Department official Jack Goldsmith. EPIC requested these memos just four hours after the New York Times broke the story about theContinue Reading

Regulating Law Enforcement’s Use of Drone: The Need for State Legislation

Smith, Michael L., Regulating Law Enforcement’s Use of Drone: The Need for State Legislation (September 5, 2014). Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2492374 “The recent rise of domestic drone technology has prompted privacy advocates and members of the public to call for the regulation of the use of drones by law enforcement officers. Numerous states haveContinue Reading

Newly Revealed NSA Program ICREACH Extends the NSA’s Reach Even Further

EFF:  Turns out, the DEA and FBI may know what medical conditions you have, whether you are having an affair, where you were last night, and more—all without any knowing that you have ever broken a law. That’s because the DEA and FBI, as part of over 1000 analysts at 23 U.S. intelligence agencies, have the abilityContinue Reading

Usage-Based Insurance and Telematics

National Association of Insurance Commissioners: “Usage-Based Insurance (UBI) is a recent innovation by auto insurers that more closely aligns driving behaviors with premium rates for auto insurance. Mileage and driving behaviors are tracked using odometer readings or in-vehicle telecommunication devices (telematics) that are usually self-installed into a special vehicle port. The basic idea of telematicContinue Reading