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Category Archives: Privacy

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 telematic auto insurance is that a driver’s behavior is monitored directly while the person drives. These telematics devices measure a number of elements of interest to underwriters: miles driven; time of day; where the vehicle is driven (GPS); rapid acceleration; hard breaking; hard cornering; and air bag deployment. The insurance company then assesses the data and charges insurance premiums accordingly. For example, a driver who drives long distance at high speed will be charged a higher rate than a driver who drives short distances at slower speeds. With UBI, premiums are collected using a variety of methods, including utilizing the gas pump, debit accounts, direct billing and smart card systems…

  • UBI programs offer many advantages to insurers, consumers and society. Linking insurance premiums more closely to actual individual vehicle or fleet performance allows insurers to more accurately price premiums. This increases affordability for lower-risk drivers, many of whom are also lower-income drivers. It also gives consumers the ability to control their premium costs by incenting them to reduce miles driven and adopt safer driving habits. Fewer miles and safer driving also aid in reducing accidents, congestion, and vehicle emissions. 
  • The practice of tracking mileage and behavior information in UBI programs has raised privacy concerns. As a result, some states have enacted legislation requiring disclosure of tracking practices and devices. Additionally, some insurers limit the data they collect. Although not for everyone, acceptance of information sharing is growing as more mainstream technology devices (such as smartphones, tablets, and GPS devices) and social media networks (such as Facebook and My Space) enter the market.”

The executive order that led to mass spying, as told by NSA alumni

Cyrus Farivar - Ars Technica: [Executive Order] 12333 is used to target foreigners abroad, and collection happens outside the US,” whistleblower John Tye, a former State Department official, told Ars recently. “My complaint is not that they’re using it to target Americans, my complaint is that the volume of incidental collection on US persons is unconstitutional.” The document, known inContinue Reading

Drones at Home: Domestic Drone Legislation – A Survey, Analysis and Framework

Zoldi, Dawn M. K., Drones at Home: Domestic Drone Legislation — A Survey, Analysis and Framework (July 9, 2014). Available at for download SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2486259 “Can the government employ drones domestically without running roughshod over personal privacy? In an effort to preemptively rein in potential government overreach, most states have proposed legislation that restricts or forbidsContinue Reading

Investigative Report – NSA created ‘google-like search’ engine – shared access with other agencies

“Data available through ICREACH appears to be primarily derived from surveillance of foreigners’ communications, and planning documents show that it draws on a variety of different sources of data maintained by the NSA. Though one 2010 internal paper clearly calls it “the ICREACH database,” a U.S. official familiar with the system disputed that, telling The Intercept that while “itContinue Reading

Social Media and the ‘Spiral of Silence’

“A major insight into human behavior from pre-internet era studies of communication is the tendency of people not to speak up about policy issues in public—or among their family, friends, and work colleagues—when they believe their own point of view is not widely shared. This tendency is called the “spiral of silence.” Some social media creatorsContinue Reading

European Facebook Users Privacy Lawsuit Moves Forward

EPIC: “A group of over 25,000 European Facebook users may proceed with their lawsuit against Facebook. The users, led by privacy activist Max Schrems, sued Facebook in a court in Vienna. The users charge Facebook with violating EU privacy law by improperly handling users’ data. Now that the court has approved the class action suit, Facebook must respond toContinue Reading

How a Chinese National Gained Access to Arizona’s Terror Center

ProPublica:  The un-vetted computer engineer plugged into law enforcement networks and a database of 5 million Arizona drivers in a possible breach that was kept secret for years. by Ryan Gabrielson, ProPublica and Andrew Becker, Center for Investigative Reporting, August 26, 2014. “LIZHONG FAN’S DESK WAS AMONG A CROWD of cubicles at the Arizona Counter Terrorism InformationContinue Reading

The transfer of personal data to third countries and international organisations by EU institutions and bodies

European Data Protection Supervisor - The transfer of personal data to third countries and international organisations by EU institutions and bodies. Position paper. Brussels, 14 July 2014. “This paper provides guidance to EU institutions and bodies on how to interpret and apply the rules laid down in Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 in the context of international transfers of personalContinue Reading

New on LLRX – Four Part Series on Privacy and Data Security Violations

Via LLRX.com – fours new articles by law professor Daniel J. Solove on privacy, data protection and the harm caused by breaches. Privacy and Data Security Violations: What’s the Harm? - Daniel J. Solove is a Law professor at George Washington University Law School, an expert in information privacy law, and founder of TeachPrivacy, a privacy and securityContinue Reading

Security Experts: EPIC Correct About Body Scanners-Invasive and Ineffective

“The first independent analysis of backscatter x-ray body scanners corroborate the claims EPIC and others have made for several years: The scanners are invasive and ineffective. In a detailed report published in 2005, EPIC warned that the x-ray body scanners amounted to a virtual strip search and were an ineffective means of airport security. Freedom of Information Act documents later obtainedContinue Reading

The Scope and Potential of FTC Data Protection

Hartzog, Woodrow and Solove, Daniel J., The Scope and Potential of FTC Data Protection (July 1, 2014). 83 George Washington Law Review, 2015, Forthcoming; GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 2014-40; GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2014-40. Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2461096 “For more than fifteen years, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)Continue Reading

Preliminary Draft of Proposed Amendments Federal Rules of Appellate, Bankruptcy, Civil, and Criminal Procedure

“On August 15, 2014, the public comment period opens for proposed amendments to: Appellate Rules 4, 5, 21, 25, 26, 27, 28.1, 29, 32, 35, and 40, and Forms 1, 5, 6, and New Form 7; Bankruptcy Rules 1010, 1011, 2002, 3002, 3002.1, 3007, 3012, 3015, 4003, 5009, 7001, 9006, and 9009, and New RuleContinue Reading