Tag Archives: american civil liberties union

Franken, consumer groups urge Obama to push for new online privacy rules

thehill.com writes that Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and a host of public interest groups urged the Obama administration to fight for new measures to regulate how Web companies handle users’ private data.

Franken and groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Center for Digital Democracy and Consumer Watchdog, said voluntary guidelines won’t be enough to protect privacy.

Franken, the ACLU and other groups urged NTIA to particularly focus on new rules for mobile applications and facial recognition technology.

But in their comments, companies warned NTIA to focus only on drafting voluntary guidelines, not mandatory rules.

“We believe that robust industry self-regulation coupled with consumer education is the most effective way to protect consumer privacy while fostering innovation,” wrote the Digital Advertising Alliance, which represents advertising networks and associations.

Read the whole story HERE.

As a personal comment, I believe the Digital Advertising Alliance is wrong. Technically, they ask for the continuation of a “jungle system”, in which they can do whatever they want, while data subjects have no idea they are the subject of certain practices that might as well turn them into targets for an infinite possibilities of actions.

DC Circuit Court Grants Access to Cell Phone Surveillance Records

epic.org writes that The Circuit Court for the District of Columbia has ruled that the Department of Justice must release information regarding government surveillance of cell phone location data.

Photo Source: http://cdn.techpp.com

The American Civil Liberties Union had filed a Freedom of Information Act request for information regarding current and past cases where the Department of Justice had accessed cell phone location data without a warrant.

The agency sought to keep this information secret, claiming that releasing cell phone tracking data could implicate privacy of investigation subjects.

The court, however, disagreed, stating, “The disclosure sought by the plaintiffs would inform this ongoing public policy discussion by shedding light on the scope and effectiveness of cell phone tracking as a law enforcement tool.”

I can only observe that data protection and privacy advocates start to be seriously taken into account.