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Category Archives: Privacy

Report – Fostering The Advancement of the Internet of Things

Department of Commerce Internet Policy Task Force & Digital Economy Leadership Team report, Fostering the Advancement of the Internet of Things, January 2017.

“The Internet of Things (IoT) – in which connected devices are proliferating at an unprecedented rate–is a technological development that is transforming the way we live and do business. IoT continues the decades-long trend of increasing connectivity among devices and the Internet, bringing online everything from refrigerators to automobiles to factory inventory systems. At the same time, IoT encompasses a widening scope of industries and activities and a vastly increasing scale and number of devices being connected, thus raising the stakes and impacts of broad connectivity. The prospective benefits of IoT to personal convenience, public safety, efficiency, and the environment are clear. IoT has the potential to make our highways safer by enabling connected vehicles to interact with each other to prevent accidents, to make quality health care more accessible through remote monitoring devices and telehealth practices for those who cannot easily travel, and to reduce waste and improve efficiency both in factory supply chains and in the running of cities. It even has the potential to create new industries and consumer goods that have yet to be imagined. For the full potential to be realized, however, the necessary infrastructure and policies must be in place,including strategies to respond to the challenges raised in areas such as cybersecurity and privacy. Due to its expertise in the issues raised by IoT, as well as its economy-wide perspective, the Department of Commerce (Department) is well placed to meet these challenges and to champion the development of a robust IoT environment that benefits consumers, the economy, and society as a whole. With an April 2016 Request for Comment, “The Benefits, Challenges, and Potential Roles for the Government in fostering the Advancement of the Internet of Things,” the Department of Commerce sought to review the current technological and policy landscape relating to IoT. A broad array of stakeholders – from the private sector, academia,government, and civil society–offered perspectives in response to the request. In September 2016, the Department hosted a workshop to delve deeper into the questions raised by the Request for Comment, and to explore some of the related issues arising from the public comments. This paper represents the Department’s analysis of those comments. It also identifies key issues that can impact the deployment of IoT technologies, highlights potential benefits and challenges, and discusses what role, if any, the U.S. Government, particularly the Department of Commerce, should play in this evolving landscape.”

Human Rights Watch World Report 2017

“In the 687-page World Report, its 27th edition, Human Rights Watch reviews human rights practices in more than 90 countries. In his introductory essay, Executive Director Kenneth Roth writes that a new generation of authoritarian populists seeks to overturn the concept of human rights protections, treating rights not as an essential check on official power… Continue Reading

Call centers mining social media to respond to customers

Jeff John Roberts – “Last time you dialed a corporate call center, did the agent seem nicer than usual? That could be because companies now pull data from sites like Facebook and LinkedIn in order to select an operator who is most likely to charm you. – According to the Wall Street Journal, phone giant Sprint… Continue Reading

AALL, ALA and other advocacy groups raise privacy concerns for AG Sessions

Via CDT – January 9, 2017 – To Senator Charles Grassley, Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Dianne Feinstein, Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, Re: Nomination for Attorney General of Senator Sessions “Dear Chairman Grassley and Ranking Member Feinstein: We are writing to express our concerns about the privacy record of the President-Elect’s nominee for Attorney… Continue Reading

Boundaries of Law: Exploring Transparency, Accountability, and Oversight of Government Surveillance Regimes

Korff, Douwe and Wagner, Ben and Powles, Julia and Avila, Renata and Buermeyer, Ulf, Boundaries of Law: Exploring Transparency, Accountability, and Oversight of Government Surveillance Regimes (January 5, 2017). Global Report – January 2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2894490 “Modern information technologies have given governments an unprecedented ability to monitor our communications. This capability can be… Continue Reading

New Uber site provides anonymized data from over 2 billion trips

News release: “Every hour of every day, people use Uber to get around the more than 450 cities we serve. From Sydney to Summit, we’ve been working hard to get to know these cities, with the goal of making them cleaner, more efficient and less crowded. Along the way, we’ve found that local leaders, urban… Continue Reading

Science reports American Community Survey and Census Bureau lack funding

Jeffrey Mervis – Census: “Add the U.S. Census Bureau to the list of government agencies whose activities may be threatened by the election of Donald Trump and the new Congress. The bureau has traditionally maintained a fairly low profile among federal agencies. At the same time, it symbolizes many things that the president-elect and congressional… Continue Reading

EFF – The State of Crypto Law: 2016 in Review

Nate Cardozo – The State of Crypto Law: 2016 in Review – “This year was one of the busiest in recent memory when it comes to cryptography law in the United States and around the world…In this post, we’ll run down the list of things that happened, how they could have gone wrong (but didn’t),… Continue Reading

EFF on Shadow Internet Regulations

EFF – “Shadow Regulations are voluntary agreements between companies (sometimes described as codes, principles, standards, or guidelines) to regulate your use of the Internet, often without your knowledge. Shadow Regulation has become increasingly popular after the monumental failure of restrictive Internet laws such as ACTA, SOPA and PIPA. This is because Shadow Regulation can involve… Continue Reading

ABA Journal – Erasing the News: Should some stories be forgotten?

Erasing the News: Should some stories be forgotten? By Terry Carter – this is an extensive and well researched article. I have snipped a small portion to invite you to read it in its entirety online. Note – This article originally appeared in the January 2017 issue of the ABA Journal with this headline: “Erasing… Continue Reading

DHS/FBI issue joint report on Russian hacking of US election and subsequent govt sanctions

ABC News – Obama Issues Sanctions for Alleged Russian Hacking – “President Obama has expelled 35 Russian nationals and sanctioned five Russian entities and four individuals for an alleged cyber assault on Democratic political organizations during the 2016 presidential campaign, the White House announced today. “I have ordered a number of actions in response to… Continue Reading

Regulating Software When Everything Has Software

Ohm, Paul and Reid, Blake Ellis, Regulating Software When Everything Has Software (November 16, 2016). George Washington Law Review, Vol. 84, No. 6, 2016. Available for download at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2873751 “This Article identifies a profound, ongoing shift in the modern administrative state: from the regulation of things to the regulation of code. This shift has… Continue Reading