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Category Archives: Privacy

Freedom in the World 2018 Democracy in Crisis

Freedom House – Freedom in the World 2018, Democracy in Crisis: “Democracy is in retreat globally and, some say, in the United States. Exacerbating the democratic backslide are authoritarian regimes such as Russia and China, which have increased both repression at home and efforts to export instability abroad. On the home front, indifference toward democratic principles is escalating, as America retreats from a historic commitment to democracy promotion…Today, it is democracy that finds itself battered and weakened. For the 12th consecutive year, according to Freedom in the World, countries that suffered democratic setbacks outnumbered those that registered gains. States that a decade ago seemed like promising success stories—Turkey and Hungary, for example—are sliding into authoritarian rule. The military in Myanmar, which began a limited democratic opening in 2010, executed a shocking campaign of ethnic cleansing in 2017 and rebuffed international criticism of its actions. Meanwhile, the world’s most powerful democracies are mired in seemingly intractable problems at home, including social and economic disparities, partisan fragmentation, terrorist attacks, and an influx of refugees that has strained alliances and increased fears of the “other.”…Democratic norms erode within the United States The past year brought further, faster erosion of America’s own democratic standards than at any other time in memory, damaging its international credibility as a champion of good governance and human rights. The United States has experienced a series of setbacks in the conduct of elections and criminal justice over the past decade—under leadership from both major political parties—but in 2017 its core institutions were attacked by an administration that rejects established norms of ethical conduct across many fields of activity. President Trump himself has mingled the concerns of his business empire with his role as president, appointed family members to his senior staff, filled other high positions with lobbyists and representatives of special interests, and refused to abide by disclosure and transparency practices observed by his predecessors…”

Bill Would Establish Cybersecurity Inspections, Impose Mandatory Penalties, and Compensate Consumers for Stolen Data

“United States Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) today introduced the Data Breach Prevention and Compensation Act to hold large credit reporting agencies (CRAs) – including Equifax – accountable for data breaches involving consumer data. The bill would give the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) more direct supervisory authority over data security at CRAs,… Continue Reading

Smart Toys and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998

Smart Toys and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 – CRS Legal Sidebar – Gina Stevens, Legislative Attorney. January 8, 2018: “A growing number of devices in American households, including televisions, appliances, security systems, and heating and cooling devices, rely on Internet connectivity to perform a range of functions. And the “Internet of… Continue Reading

California Senate to Hear EFF’s License Plate Cover Bill

EFF – “Across the country, private companies are deploying vehicles mounted with automated license plate readers (ALPRs) to drive up and down streets to document the travel patterns of everyday drivers. These systems take photos of every license plate they see, tag them with time and location, and upload them to a central database. These… Continue Reading

DHS Handbook for Safeguarding Sensitive PII

Handbook for Safeguarding Sensitive PII Privacy Policy Directive 047-01-007, Revision 3. Published by the DHS Privacy Office. December 4, 2017. This Handbook provides best practices and DHS policy requirements to prevent a privacy incident involving PII/SPII during all stages of the information lifecycle: when collecting, storing, using, disseminating, or disposing of PII/SPII. This handbook explains:… Continue Reading

Tech giants responding to massive chip vulnerability alert

Just saying – don’t throw away all the paper and the books ok. Via Axios: “A nasty series of vulnerabilities affecting decades of chip processors from Intel and others is the root of the broadest security hole to date, affecting nearly all computers, smartphones and servers. Companies including Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Google are scrambling… Continue Reading

EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Portal

“The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the most important change in data privacy regulation in 20 years – we’re here to make sure you’re prepared​. This website is a resource to educate the public about the main elements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) After four years of preparation and debate the GDPR… Continue Reading

Using deep learning and Google Street View to estimate demographic makeup of neighborhoods across US

Using deep learning and Google Street View to estimate the demographic makeup of neighborhoods across the United States. Timnit Gebrua, Jonathan Krausea, Yilun Wanga, Duyun Chena, Jia Dengb, Erez Lieberman Aidenc, and Li Fei-Feia. Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Computer Science Department, Stanford University, Stanford, CA; Vision and Learning Laboratory, Computer Science and Engineering Department, University of… Continue Reading

Face Scans at Airport Departure Gates: An Investigation

A new investigative report by the Georgetown Law Center on Privacy & Technology – Not Ready for Takeoff Face Scans at Airport Departure Gates Executive Summary [snipped]: “At Boston’s Logan International Airport, travelers at one international boarding gate will be surprised that they are being told to stop before what looks like a sophisticated camera.… Continue Reading

Supreme Court and Law Enforcement Access to Cell Phone Location Data

EFF: “Protecting the highly personal location data stored on or generated by digital devices is one of the 21st century’s most important privacy issues. In 2017, the Supreme Court finally took on the question of how law enforcement can get ahold of this sensitive information…EFF filed briefs both encouraging the court to take the case… Continue Reading

Germany – Facebook’s collection and use of data from third-party sources is abusive

Preliminary assessment in Facebook proceeding: Facebook’s collection and use of data from third-party sources is abusive. Date of issue: 19.12.2017 “The Bundeskartellamt has informed the company Facebook in writing of its preliminary legal assessment in the abuse of dominance proceeding which the authority is conducting against Facebook. Based on the current stage of the proceedings,… Continue Reading

Latest version of Firefox delays requests to tracking domains

Posting by developer Honza Bamba: “Firefox Quantum – version 57 – introduced number of changes to the network requests scheduler.  One of them is using data of the Tracking Protection database to delay load of scripts from tracking domains when possible during the time a page is actively loading and rendering – I call it… Continue Reading