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Category Archives: Privacy

Paper – Right to Be Forgotten: Much Ado About Nothing

Frosio, Giancarlo F., Right to Be Forgotten: Much Ado About Nothing (January 31, 2017). 15(2) Colorado Technology Law Journal (2017 Forthcoming). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2908993

“In the information society, the role of private sector entities in gathering information for and about users has long been a most critical issue. Therefore, intermediaries have become a main focus of privacy regulations, especially in jurisdictions with a strong tradition of privacy protection such as Europe. In a landmark case, the ECJ ruled that an internet search engine operator is responsible for the processing that it carries out of personal data which appear on web pages published by third parties. The recognition by the European Union of a so called “right to be forgotten” (RTBF) has ignited disgruntled reactions from civil society and legal scholars, especially in the United States. Meanwhile, proposals for the adoption of a similar right have appeared in several jurisdictions, including Brazil, Japan, Korea, and Russia. Supposedly, the right to be forgotten would endanger freedom of expression (FoE) and access to information. Apparently, factoids — defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “an item of unreliable information that is reported and repeated so often that it becomes accepted as fact” — dominated the recent debate surrounding the right to be forgotten. This paper will discuss and debunk these factoids, review data protection legislation in Europe, and explore the legal and policy implications of the newly emerging right to be forgotten. Finally, the idea that extra-territorial application of the RTBF might unleash a kraken that can break down the Internet will be contextualized within the present political scenario. The extra-territorial application of the RTBF follows in the footsteps of a global move towards data protectionism against the de facto market dominance of US Internet conglomerates. Global blocking governed by a nationality principle — as suggested by CNiL and other EU institutions — would put to rest these protectionist concerns.”

Is your browser safe against tracking?

“When you visit a website, online trackers and the site itself may be able to identify you – even if you’ve installed software to protect yourself. It’s possible to configure your browser to thwart tracking, but many people don’t know how. Panopticlick will analyze how well your browser and add-ons protect you against online tracking… Continue Reading

Open Data Privacy Playbook

Berkman Klein Center – A data privacy playbook by Ben Green, Gabe Cunningham, Ariel Ekblaw, Paul Kominers, Andrew Linzer, and Susan Crawford. “Cities today collect and store a wide range of data that may contain sensitive or identifiable information about residents. As cities embrace open data initiatives, more of this information is available to the… Continue Reading

Many ‘password challenged’ internet users don’t take steps that could protect their data

“In today’s digitally connected world, where accessing medical records, ordering groceries and paying taxes can all be done online, many internet users find it daunting to keep up with all the various passwords associated with their online accounts. One consequence is that a significant minority of users settle for less secure passwords they can more… Continue Reading

Disruptive and investigatory powers: HM government transparency report

HM government transparency report 2017: disruptive and investigatory powers Ref: ISBN 9781474140942 Cm9420 PDF 1.2MB, 110 pages, “Information on the use, regulation and oversight of a wide range of disruptive and investigatory powers. Annual transparency report on the work of our intelligence, security and law enforcement agencies. This report covers: the range of powers used to… Continue Reading

Nuts and Bolts of Encryption: A Primer for Policymakers

Nuts and Bolts of Encryption: A Primer for Policymakers, Edward W. Felten, Center for Information Technology Policy. Department of Computer Science, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, version of February 20, 2017. An up-to-date version of this paper will be available at https://www.cs.princeton.edu/~felten/encryptionprimer.pdf “This paper offers a straight for ward introduction… Continue Reading

Letters to Regulators 17 Organizations Comment on CFPB Request for Information Regarding Consumer Access to Financial Records

Americans for Financial Reform – Letters to Regulators: 17 Organizations Comment on CFPB Request for Information Regarding Consumer Access to Financial Records, February 21, 2017. “…Thank you for this opportunity to respond to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (“CFPB”) request for information regarding consumer-permissioned access to financial account and account-related data in usable electronic form.… Continue Reading

That One Privacy Guy’s Guide to Choosing the Best VPN

“The following is intended to be a detailed guide to answer the question, “How do I choose the best VPN (for me)?” The reason this is a hard thing to help people with, is that their needs and level of technical knowledge vary greatly – there is no one perfect VPN, they all have at… Continue Reading

Cybersecurity: Actions Needed to Strengthen U.S. Capabilities

Cybersecurity: Actions Needed to Strengthen U.S. Capabilities, GAO-17-440T: Published: Feb 14, 2017. Publicly Released: Feb 14, 2017. “GAO has consistently identified shortcomings in the federal government’s approach to ensuring the security of federal information systems and cyber critical infrastructure as well as its approach to protecting the privacy of personally identifiable information (PII). While previous… Continue Reading

Microsoft Corporation v. DOJ on sneak-and-peek searches

Via Bloomberg – “Microsoft Corp. persuaded a judge not to let the U.S. government out of a lawsuit alleging the company’s free-speech rights are violated by a law that blocks it from alerting users to the clandestine interception of their e-mails. The judge said Microsoft has at least made a plausible argument that federal law… Continue Reading

The Right Tools: Europe’s Intermediary Liability Laws and 2016 General Data Protection Regulation

Keller, Daphne, The Right Tools: Europe’s Intermediary Liability Laws and the 2016 General Data Protection Regulation (February 8, 2017). Available for download at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2914684 “The so-called “Right to Be Forgotten” established by the Court of Justice of the European Union in 2014 is about to change. The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, which goes… Continue Reading

Animal welfare information wiped from USDA website

Washington Post, February 3, 2017:  “The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday abruptly removed inspection reports and other information from its website about the treatment of animals at thousands of research laboratories, zoos, dog breeding operations and other facilities. In a statement, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service cited court rulings and privacy laws for the decision, which… Continue Reading