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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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California ECPA Coalition Looks to Modernize Email Privacy

CDT, in partnership with a diverse coalition of companies and advocacy groups, announced its support of a bill authored by California state legislators designed to enshrine strong privacy protections for electronic communications in California law. The California Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) would create a warrant standard for electronic communications, requiring police to obtain a warrant before gathering electronic communications information from service providers.

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White House Data Breach Legislation Must be Augmented to Improve Consumer Protection

As we’ve observed for years, federal data breach legislation has been frequently suggested following high profile data breaches, but has yet to make significant traction in Congress. In fact, the President called for data security legislation as recently as October 2014, to no avail. This time, the White House has released its own legislative language (based on its 2011 cybersecurity proposal) — the Personal Data Notification & Protection Act.

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CDT to NYC Taxi Commission: Consider Privacy When Revising Rules

Today, CDT sent a letter to the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC), urging the TLC to protect individual privacy when considering proposed revisions to its rules governing cabs and dispatchers. The proposed regulations are in response to the increased use of smartphones to order cabs and are intended to protect drivers and promote public safety, according to the TLC. This is a laudable goal, of course; however, by mandating bulk transmission of data, individual privacy interests are implicated.

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CDT Files Brief in Wyndham Supporting FTC Regulation of Data Security

CDT, along with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, filed an amicus brief in the long-running FTC v. Wyndham litigation, highlighting a few points that demonstrate why the FTC should regulate data security. Moreover, we believe the FTC should be a “cop on the beat” and seek enforcement actions against companies like Wyndham that don’t adequately protect their consumers.

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Always On: The Digital Consumer

In an age when cars interact more than actual humans and we enthusiastically attach small tracking devices to our bodies in the name of health and fitness, it’s clear the boundaries of personal privacy need to be re-examined and re-affirmed for consumers and policymakers. In the third of our “Always On” series, CDT and our co-host TRUSTe investigated these and other issues that arise from widespread use and implementation of the Internet of Things, exploring ways to responsibly realize the full potential of IoT without sacrificing individual control over personal information sharing.

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Facebook Releases Broad Research Guidelines

Facebook notified its users of changes that it was making to its research activities. This is a welcome development given the concern that arose recently around user testing and online research. Earlier this year, many users were surprised and angry regarding allegations that Facebook had experimented on users to see if emotions were “contagious” on the site. Similar concerns were raised last year about another study of “self-censorship” on Facebook.

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