Infographic: Data and the Connected Car

(Jun 28, 2017) The Future of Privacy Forum has published an infographic that "represents devices that may be employed in today's connected cars," to coincide with an U.S. Federal Trade Commission workshop on connected cars, happening today.  The image offers information on types of wireless connectivity, the types of data that may be shared, the other devices and services that may receive the data, and the devices within cars that transmit and receive data. While "no single vehicle will have all of these featu... Read More

Illinois Houses pass Geolocation Privacy Protection Act

(Jun 28, 2017) The Illinois House and Senate have passed the Geolocation Privacy Protection Act. The act states an entity may not “collect, use, store, or disclose geolocation information from a location-based application on a person's device” unless first receiving express consent. Anyone affected under the act can recover the greater sum between liquidated damages suffered, or $1,000, and reasonable attorney’s fees and costs. Under an amendment from the House, the definition of “geolocation information” mean... Read More

Snapchat's Snap Map feature raises privacy concerns

(Jun 26, 2017) The Verge reports on the privacy concerns surrounding a new feature on the Snapchat app. Snap Map is an opt-in function that allows users to share their location on a map, particularly when they share a post to the public Our Story feature. Snapchat does not tell users it will display their exact location to their friends every time they open the app, not just when they share to Our Story. A Snapchat representative said the app will periodically ask users if they are comfortable with the feature... Read More

Carpenter v. United States: 'Most important privacy case in a generation'

(Jun 19, 2017) In a column for Motherboard, Stephen Vladeck analyzes a forthcoming Supreme Court case that will decide whether law enforcement will need a warrant before tracking an individual's cellphone location, calling the case "the most important privacy case in a generation." Carpenter v. United States "raises a specific question about whether Americans have an expectation of privacy in historical 'cell-site location information,'" he writes. The 6th Circuit, on appeal, affirmed that the defendant did no... Read More

FTC reportedly probing Uber privacy practices

(Jun 15, 2017) Recode reports the Federal Trade Commission is looking into some of Uber's data-handling practices. According to "four sources familiar with the matter," the agency may be looking into "data-handling mishaps," potentially "including employees' misuse of 'god view,'" a tool that had previously let employees closely track individual riders, such as politicians and celebrities. It is not clear whether an official investigation is underway, but "the scrutiny could easily blossom into a full-fledged ... Read More

Egypt aims for ride-sharing data localization law

(Jun 12, 2017) The New York Times reports on moves by the Egyptian government to gain more access to ride-sharing data from companies like Uber and Careem. The legislation is expected to go before the nation's parliament and would require ride-sharing companies to place servers inside the country and "link their data to 'relevant bodies' in government — a recipe, some worry, for intrusive and sweeping surveillance," the report states. The government's security forces already can track Egyptians via cellphones.... Read More

US Supreme Court to hear cellphone location privacy case

(Jun 6, 2017) The Supreme Court of the United States will settle a major location privacy case in its upcoming term, Reuters reports. Justices have agreed to hear a criminal appeal involving a series of armed robberies, in which police used historical cellphone location data to convict a suspect. The defendant claimed the use of his location records without a warrant was a Fourth Amendment violation. Though cellphone location records have become increasingly important for law enforcement investigations, SCOTU... Read More

Snap purchases consumer location analytics platform

(Jun 6, 2017) The parent company of Snapchat has purchased Placed, a consumer location analytics platform, GeekWire reports. Snap Inc. allegedly purchased the Seattle-based startup for more than $200 million, but a report from Bloomberg Technology puts the value of the deal at about $125 million. Placed measures the location of millions of consumers who agree to opt-in to share their whereabouts. The company analyzes the data to determine everything from the effects TV ads have on in-store traffic to Amazon’s... Read More

Senate subcommittee hearing tackles law enforcement's access to data overseas

(May 25, 2017) At a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism Wednesday, witnesses debated what kinds of rules are needed to ensure the U.S. government can investigate crimes at home and abroad, as well as work with foreign governments looking to do the same. The problem, some witnesses testified at "Law Enforcement Access to Data Stored Across Borders: Facilitating Cooperation and Protecting Rights," is twofold: the effect the Microsoft Corp. v. United States decision has... Read More

Trump campaign alters website's privacy policy over location collection

(May 11, 2017) After CBS News inquired about language within President Donald Trump’s new campaign website, its language was quickly altered. The site’s privacy policy stated users agreed to let the campaign collect their location data based on their proximity to beacons. The privacy policy was changed only hours after CBS News emailed the Trump campaign’s digital director, Brad Parscale, about the intended use of the beacons. Similar privacy policies are still in effect on the Trump Organization, Trump Intern... Read More