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Category Archives: Privacy

ODNI Announces Transition to New Telephone Metadata Program

News release: “Beginning Sunday, November 29, the government is prohibited from collecting telephone metadata records in bulk under Section 215, including of both U.S. and non-U.S. persons. And, while under the prior program NSA collected metadata in bulk and sought court approval for individual queries, the USA FREEDOM Act requires that the government must now base any application for telephone metadata records under FISA on a “specific selection term”—a term that specifically identifies a person, account, address, or personal device in a way that limits the scope of information sought to the greatest extent reasonably practicable. This further ensures that collection of information for intelligence purposes is appropriately focused and targeted, and is limited to information that telephone service providers have historically used for their internal billing and operational needs. Moreover, under the Act, the Government will report annually to Congress and to the public, among other things, the total number or orders issued under this authority and the number of targets of such orders. As previously stated, NSA analytic access to the historical metadata collected under Section 215 has ceased. However, NSA has requested limited access to historical Section 215 metadata until February 29, 2016, limited to technical personnel and solely for the purpose of verifying that the new targeted production mechanism authorized by the USA FREEDOM Act is working as intended. The FISC is currently considering this request…”

New Technology, New Information Privacy: Social-Value-Oriented Information Privacy Theory

Chang, Chen-Hung, New Technology, New Information Privacy: Social-Value-Oriented Information Privacy Theory (September 30, 2015). Available for download at SSRN: “Today’s innovative technologies offer remarkable advantages in our daily lives, but they also give rise to concerns that these technological advancements will adversely impact individuals’ privacy. The traditional notions of information privacy were based onContinue Reading

GAO Reports – Electronic Monitoring, DHS Biosurveillance

Electronic Monitoring: Draft National Standard for Offender Tracking Systems Addresses Common Stakeholder Needs, GAO-16-10: Published: Oct 26, 2015. Publicly Released: Nov 25, 2015: “OTS is an electronic monitoring technology consisting of hardware, such as an ankle bracelet, used for collecting Global Positioning System (GPS) signals to determine an individual’s location, and software for analyzing dataContinue Reading

Google – European privacy requests for search removals

Google Transparency Report [snipped] – “In a May 2014 ruling, Google Spain v AEPD and Mario Costeja González, the Court of Justice of the European Union found that individuals have the right to ask search engines like Google to remove certain results about them. The court decided that search engines must assess each individual’s requestContinue Reading

FAA issues report on creating process to register drones

FAA – Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Registration Task Force (RTF), Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) Task Force Recommendations, Final Report, November 21, 2015. “The stated objective of the Task Force was to develop recommendations for the creation of a registration process, which ultimately would contribute to an enforceable rule imposed by the FAA. The FAA statedContinue Reading

23andMe Transparency Report

Along with other companies that provide paid services to customers that comprise the collection and identification of sensitive PII specific to health and genealogy issues, such as, there is increasing focus on how this information can impact individuals at work, for security reasons, and when attempting to qualify for various types of insurance. 23andMeContinue Reading

GAO Report on IRS Financial Audit

Financial Audit: IRS’s Fiscal Years 2015 and 2014 Financial Statements, GAO-16-146: Published: Nov 12, 2015. Publicly Released: Nov 12, 2015. “In GAO’s opinion, the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) fiscal years 2015 and 2014 financial statements are fairly presented in all material respects. However, in GAO’s opinion, IRS did not maintain effective internal control over financialContinue Reading

Google – An Empirical Analysis of Email Delivery Security

Neither Snow Nor Rain Nor MITM…An Empirical Analysis of Email Delivery Security “The SMTP protocol is responsible for carrying some of users’ most intimate communication, but like other Internet protocols, authentication and confidentiality were added only as an afterthought. In this work, we present the first report on global adoption rates of SMTP security extensions,Continue Reading

NGOs Reject “Safe Harbor 2.0,” Urge EU and US to Protect Fundamental Rights

EPIC – NGOs Reject “Safe Harbor 2.0,” Urge EU and US to Protect Fundamental Rights – Leading human rights and consumer organizations have issued a letter to urge the US and the EU to protect the fundamental right to privacy. After the Schrems decision the parties are now renegotiating the invalidated Safe Harbor arrangement. TheContinue Reading

Emerging Cyber Threats Report 2016 – Impact of The Internet of Things

Georgia Institute of Technology Cybersecurity Summit 2015– “The intersection of the physical and digital world continued to deepen in 2015. The adoption of network- connected devices and sensors — the Internet of Things — accelerated and was expected to reach nearly 5 billion devices by the end of the year. The collection and analysis ofContinue Reading

Pew – Apps Permissions in Google Play Store

“Analysis of over 1 million apps in Google’s Android operating system in 2014 shows apps can seek 235 different kinds of permissions from smartphone users. The average app asks for five permissions.” “The findings in this study pertain specifically to apps running on the Android operating system. Pew Research Center examined the Android platform becauseContinue Reading

Cell Phone Location Tracking Laws By State

ACLU: “Location records can reveal an enormous of information about a person, especially with the proliferation of smartphones that constantly track our whereabouts. Because privacy laws haven’t kept up with advances in technology, police have long claimed the authority to access this information from cell phone companies without warrants. That’s changing. While Congress and theContinue Reading