Four Questions Senate Should Consider Before Reconfirming FCC Chairman

This afternoon, the Senate will vote on the reconfirmation of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. During Chairman Pai’s brief term, both his policy positions and the general administration of the agency have been the subject of close scrutiny from civil society organizations, lawmakers, and industry stakeholders. The Senate’s re-confirmation vote will serve as a referendum on the short-term direction of…

Read More

Tech Talk: Good intentions, bad policy?

CDT’s Tech Talk is a podcast where we dish on tech and Internet policy, while also explaining what these policies mean to our daily lives. In this episode, we look at how attempts to address the serious issue of online sex-trafficking could unintentionally harm broader online free speech. We also take a look at a new art installation aimed at highlighting online privacy risks.

Read More

Financial Dashboards: Enhancing User Control Outside a Traditional “Privacy Dashboard”

Privacy dashboards are often put forward as a potential solution to the vexing problem of offering individuals control over their personal information. Industry actors have been iterating on the concept for years, but regulators of all stripes are well-positioned to provide useful guidance and best practices to improve dashboards as a form of user control.

Read More

NHTSA Automated Vehicles Guidance Punts Privacy to the FTC and Congress

A “streamlined” version of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)’s automated vehicle policy framework was announced last week by Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao. Unfortunately, this shorter version does not address any of the issues we raised last fall when NHTSA unveiled its initial policy framework. At the time, CDT called for more…

Read More

EU Tech Policy Brief: September 2017

This is the September issue of CDT’s monthly EU Tech Policy Brief. It highlights some of the most pressing technology and internet policy issues under debate in Europe, the U.S., and internationally, and gives CDT’s perspective on them. Copyright in the DSM: Run-up to the Parliamentary Vote in Leading Committee JURI The Legal Affairs (JURI) Committee, which leads the Copyright…

Read More

Four Questions Senators Should Ask at Tomorrow’s SESTA Hearing

Members of Congress must seriously consider the consequences of altering one of the cornerstones of the open internet in the US, the law known as Section 230. Tomorrow, the Senate Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on S.1693, the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA). CDT and many other organizations have opposed SESTA. As members Committee consider SESTA the hearing, here are several questions that they should be asking.

Read More

Privacy Protections Won’t Make You More Vulnerable To Being Hacked

Californians are very close to getting privacy protections for their web browsing history. But a dangerous new ad campaign is using misinformation to trick internet users into opposing a bill that would give them more control over their personal information. An anonymous advertiser is telling Californians that they will be more vulnerable to hacking or data breach if the legislature passes broadband privacy protections. These claims are not just false – they shamefully exploit internet users’ understandable fears about data security.

Read More

Copyright in the DSM: Good and Bad News from Member State Talks on Articles 11 and 13 Copyright in the DSM: Good and Bad News from Member State Talks on Articles 11 and 13

Before the summer, we were unimpressed with the latest developments in the European Parliament on copyright reform. In particular, we had issues with the Opinions adopted in the Committees on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) and Culture and Education (CULT). Amendments adopted by both committees would make what we already consider a bad proposal worse. Member States are now making progress in their review of the proposal, but so far the results are a mixed bag.

Read More

Ninth Circuit Issues Ruling on Spokeo: Inaccuracies Create Concrete Harms

Over seven years ago, CDT filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission against the people-search company Spokeo, alleging that the company and other data brokers were not protecting consumers as required by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). A class action lawsuit filed against Spokeo in 2011, led by lead plaintiff Thomas Robins, raised a host of new issues about the nature of privacy harms, the actual protections provided by federal privacy laws, and the use of litigation as a vehicle for protecting consumers’ privacy. According to this week’s ruling by the Ninth Circuit, the accuracy of this type of information is “directly and substantially related” to the goals of the FCRA.

Read More