Committee finds CSIS continues to hold onto personal data illegally

(Jun 22, 2018) The Canadian Security Intelligence Service has continued to illegally hold onto sensitive personal data, despite a 2016 Federal Court ruling condemning the practice, The Canadian Press reports. A Security Intelligence Review Committee report determined there was no evidence CSIS changed their data retention practices following the ruling, despite taking action to destroy questionable metadata it had in its possession. CSIS said in a response within the report it will be prepared with new process... Read More

As Canada-US terror list goes into effect, privacy concerns remain

(Jun 22, 2018) A revamped data sharing agreement between Canada and the U.S. is now in effect, but some privacy-related questions remain, according to the National Post. The program, known as Tuscan, is a list of names and other information about known or suspected terrorists. Privacy Commissioner of Canada Daniel Therrien, who has previously expressed privacy concerns about the data sharing, has received a federal assessment of the updated agreement. Tobi Cohen, a spokeswoman for Therrien, said, "We will prov... Read More

Supreme Court case to weigh in on location data privacy

(Jun 21, 2018) A Fourth Amendment case, Carpenter vs. United States, currently being decided upon by the U.S. Supreme Court focuses on key digital privacy questions, and its decision has the potential to influence future location-tracking practices, Forbes reports. The case questions whether law enforcement’s warrantless access to seven months of cell tower location data, which was then used to study a defendant’s movements as part of a robbery investigation, is unconstitutional. While the government states th... Read More

Verizon to discontinue sale of some geolocation data

(Jun 19, 2018) The Associated Press reports Verizon has pledged to discontinue selling the location data it collects to so-called third-party "geolocation aggregators." Verizon is the first major U.S. wireless carrier to stop the data-sharing practice, which has drawn criticism from privacy advocates and Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. Last month, Wyden sent a letter to the four major carriers inquiring about company practices involving geolocation data. According to Verizon Chief Privacy Officer Karen Zacharia, CIPP/U... Read More

ACLU petitions Amazon to end facial recognition sales to US government

(Jun 19, 2018) Mashable reports that the American Civil Liberties Union will deliver a petition of more than 150,000 signatures to Amazon’s headquarters requesting that the company stop providing Rekognition, the company’s branded facial recognition technology, to the U.S. government. Nicole Ozer, ACLU of California technology and civil liberties director, said that had it not been for a Freedom of Information Act request, which showed the company practice of selling Rekognition to U.S. law enforcement, there ... Read More

Game developers abandon analytics program amid public outcry

(Jun 19, 2018) Amid gamer outcry, developers are abandoning the Redshell analytics program, which was used by many to monitor advertising success, Motherboard reports. Redshell helps game developers identify the source of purchase for a game by comparing computer data from an advertising link to data captured once the game is first launched. As the article points out, very few developers made consumers aware that they were capturing their data for analysis and could, as one user pointed out, be violating their... Read More

Facial-recognition system leads to arrest

(Jun 18, 2018) Police in Hagerstown, Maryland, fed an Instagram photo into the state’s facial-recognition system to correctly identify an individual who was then subsequently arrested, The Wall Street Journal reports. While an increasing number of law enforcement departments is running images through a driver’s license database as part of their investigation, the Hagerstown case is one of the few that resulted in an arrest that became public. Joseph Michael, the deputy state’s attorney in Washington County, sa... Read More

Podcast: Bedoya takes on government surveillance of religious minorities

(Jun 15, 2018) If there is one way to describe Alvaro Bedoya besides hardworking, it is that he is passionate. Nowhere is that more evident than in his work on the surveillance of minority populations, a passion fueled by Bedoya's time as chief counsel to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law. It was during that time that the Snowden revelations hit, and Bedoya was baffled by the ways in which minority populations were being surveilled and the lack of voices speaking up against t... Read More

China to begin nationwide vehicle-tracking system

(Jun 15, 2018) China is expected to begin implementing a new electronic identification system to track cars nationwide, starting July 1, The Wall Street Journal reports. Although voluntary in the beginning, the system will become mandatory at the start of 2019. While the plan is being described as helping improve public security and combating traffic congestion, others raise concern that it will lead to increased surveillance. Ben Green, a fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and So... Read More

The Privacy Advisor Podcast: Bedoya on government monitoring of religious minorities

(Jun 15, 2018) If there is one way to describe Alvaro Bedoya besides hardworking, it is that he is passionate. Nowhere is that more evident than in his work on the surveillance of minority populations, a passion fueled by Bedoya's time as chief counsel to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law. It was during that time that the Snowden revelations hit, and Bedoya was baffled by the ways in which minority populations were being surveilled and the lack of voices speaking up against t... Read More