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Collection of Biometric Data Poses Serious Privacy and Personal Security Risks

Fingerprints. Iris scans. Blood samples. These types of data, referred to as biometric identifiers, are some of the most sensitive forms of identification in existence. Once biometric data is breached, improperly shared, or used for tracking, it’s very difficult for an individual to regain control and prevent misuse. Regulatory proposals that require the collection of biometric samples need to be re-evaluated in an era in which such data is collected from many more individuals — and in which that data is much more vulnerable.

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Finding Solutions to Privacy and Security Challenges in the On-Demand Economy

Many of the companies that are pioneers in the “on-demand” space are proving popular around the globe, but as these companies enter into traditionally regulated spaces, questions about the user privacy and security are cropping up – for both providers and consumers. Importantly, these companies often have far more data on consumers than traditional entities. As a result of this mass amount of new data, a number of vital questions must be addressed.

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A Major Win for Privacy: California ECPA Signed into Law

Yesterday, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the California Electronic Communications Privacy Act (CalECPA), which enshrines into law a warrant requirement for digital information — including content, location information, and metadata — for California law enforcement agencies. This is a historic win for privacy; we hope that other states and Congress take up the call to modernize protections for electronic data.

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6

Facebook Should Reform Its “Real Name” Policies

CDT, along with several other advocacy organizations, sent a letter to Facebook urging them to reconsider their “real name” policy that has led to criticism from a variety of groups. While Facebook’s policy is an attempt to correlate one’s online identity with an objective, non-constructed self, you don’t need a doctorate in sociology to understand that in our world, all identities are constructed.

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7

CDT Brief in Spokeo v. Robins Supports Individual Claims for Privacy Violations

If Congress grants you legal protections and a remedy when they are violated, can the courts step in and remove those rights if they don’t believe there’s an actual harm? Today, CDT filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court case Spokeo v. Robins to answer that very question and support the ability of private individuals to file claims for violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). In the brief, we argue that the private right of action is a vital part of FCRA now more than ever, and that limiting private claims could lead to an increase in inaccurate data.

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9

Changes to Short-Term Rental Laws Must Include Privacy and Free Speech Protections

This week, the California Senate and the City of San Francisco are contemplating changes to the laws governing short-term rentals, which allow for individuals to host guests in their homes, using platforms like Airbnb and VRBO. We have serious concerns about the implications of these proposals, specifically on how they will affect individual privacy, security, and free speech.

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Civil Agencies Want More Consumer Data — Will They Keep Privacy in Mind?

It’s not surprising that civil agencies, including transportation commissions, health departments, and housing authorities, may want access to the data that service providers collect on behalf of their users. But balancing the needs of government agencies and the privacy of individuals will be vital in order to ensure that any use of such data doesn’t infringe upon individual rights.

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