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Category Archives: Privacy

U.S.-EU Data Privacy: From Safe Harbor to Privacy Shield

Via FAS – CRS report, U.S.-EU Data Privacy: From Safe Harbor to Privacy Shield, Martin A. Weiss, Specialist in International Trade and Finance; Kristin Archick; Specialist in European Affairs. May 19, 2016.
“Both the United States and the European Union (EU) maintain that they are committed to upholding individual privacy rights and ensuring the protection of personal data. Nevertheless, data privacy and protection issues have long been sticking points in U.S.-EU economic and security relations, in part because of differences in U.S. and EU data privacy approaches and legal regimes. In the late 1990s, the United States and the EU negotiated the Safe Harbor Agreement of 2000 to allow U.S. companies and organizations to meet EU data protection requirements and permit the legal transfer of personal data between EU member countries and the United States. The unauthorized disclosures in June 2013 of U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance programs and subsequent allegations of other U.S. intelligence activities in Europe renewed and exacerbated European concerns about U.S. data privacy and protection standards. The alleged involvement of some U.S. Internet and telecommunications companies in the NSA programs also elevated European worries about how U.S. technology firms use personal data and the extent of U.S. government access to such data. As a result, a number of U.S.-EU data-sharing accords in both the commercial and law enforcement sectors have come under intense scrutiny in Europe…”

FAA Releases Drone Registration Location Data

“The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) posted [May 18, 2016] a large database showing the city, state and zip code of each registered drone owner. Release of the database responds to a number of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests submitted since the new unmanned aircraft registration system began operating on December 21, 2015. The FAAContinue Reading

Study identifies metadata mining of telephone data by NSA

“Privacy protections against government surveillance are often scoped to communications content and exclude communications metadata. In the United States, the National Security Agency operated a particularly controversial program, collecting bulk telephone metadata nationwide. We investigate the privacy properties of telephone metadata to assess the impact of policies that distinguish between content and metadata. We findContinue Reading

Federal Acquisition Regulation – Basic Safeguarding of Contractor Information Systems

Final Rule by the Defense Department, the General Services Administration, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration on 05/16/2016 – “DoD, GSA, and NASA are issuing a final rule amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to add a new subpart and contract clause for the basic safeguarding of contractor information systems that process, store orContinue Reading

MIT and Oxford researchers document availability of Twitter user location data

Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office May 17, 2016: “Researchers at MIT and Oxford University have shown that the location stamps on just a handful of Twitter posts — as few as eight over the course of a single day — can be enough to disclose the addresses of the poster’s home and workplace to aContinue Reading

The Intercept announces greater access to Snowden archive

Via The Intercept: The Intercept Is Broadening Access to the Snowden Archive. Here’s Why – “Today, The Intercept is announcing two innovations in how we report on and publish these materials. Both measures are designed to ensure that reporting on the archive continues in as expeditious and informative a manner as possible, in accordance with theContinue Reading

Report – 75 percent of requests to be forgotten denied by Google

Report: 2 years in, 75 percent of Right to Be Forgotten asks denied by Google More than 50 percent of requests come from Germany and the UK. Greg Sterling, Search Engine Land: “Google refuses roughly 70 percent to 75 percent of requests, according to the data. The chart reflects the most common categories or justificationsContinue Reading

FCW – OPM’s sensitive data on feds still not encrypted

Federal Computer Week, Adam Mazmania, May 13, 2016 – “More than a year after a hack of Office of Personnel Management systems compromised more than 22 million records, the agency has not been able to encrypt all the sensitive data on 4 million federal employees, including Social Security numbers. “There are still elements of OPMContinue Reading

Sixth Annual Benchmark Study on Privacy & Security of Healthcare Data

“The Sixth Annual Benchmark Study on Privacy and Security of Healthcare Data by the Ponemon Institute, finds that criminal attacks are the leading cause of half of all data breaches in healthcare.  Employee mistakes, third-party snafus, and stolen computer devices—are the root cause of the other half of data breaches. The study also found thatContinue Reading

Lack of Trust in Internet Privacy and Security May Deter Economic and Other Online Activities

National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA): “Every day, billions of people around the world use the Internet to share ideas, conduct financial transactions, and keep in touch with family, friends, and colleagues. Users send and store personal medical data, business communications, and even intimate conversations over this global network. But for the Internet to growContinue Reading

ODNI – Collection, Use, and Retention of Publicly Available Social Media Information in Personnel Security Background Investigations and Adjudications

Via FAS – Collection, Use, and Retention of Publicly Available Social Media Information in Personnel Security Background Investigations and Adjudications, Security Executive Agent Directive 5, May 12, 2016. “…Social media”: Websites, applications, and web-based tools that allow the creation and exchange of user generated content. Through social media, people or groups can engage in dialogue,Continue Reading

If These Canadians Lived in the United States, How Would They Protect Their Privacy?

Regan, Priscilla M. and Bennett, Colin and Bayley, Robin, If These Canadians Lived in the United States, How Would They Protect Their Privacy? The Functional Equivalence of Privacy Redress Mechanisms in Canada and the US (May 10, 2016). 2016 Privacy Law Scholars Conference, George Washington University, June 2-3, 2016. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2778070 “Recent commentaryContinue Reading