Endangering Student Privacy in the Name of School Safety

In the wake of tragedy, there is an understandable desire by policymakers to act with urgency. Unfortunately, this can lead to untested policy that may jeopardize the very people it is intended to protect. A recent example is Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act. Policymakers and education practitioners should be mindful of the risk of amassing and integrating large amount of data without proving its effectiveness could pose to the wellbeing of children. Limited and appropriate data sharing can play a role in supporting school safety, but it should not come at the expense of the students it is intended to protect.  

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Cy Pres Awards Are an Important Tool to Protect Privacy

CDT, EFF, and the NCL filed an amicus brief before the Supreme Court in a case called Frank v. Gaos. The case asks whether it’s appropriate to distribute damages to charitable organizations working to advance the relevant interests of the class rather than attempting to divide and distribute the funds among class members.

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CDT Supports Open Platforms in Herrick v. Grindr

CDT joined EFF in filing an amicus brief in Herrick v. Grindr, which arose when Appellant Matthew Herrick’s former partner repeatedly used Grindr, a dating app, to impersonate and harass Herrick. If platforms like Grindr were held liable for harms caused by content like the posts by Herrick’s former partner, consequences for users could include platform review of all content users intend to post. Subsequently, platforms would be more likely to prevent publication of potentially controversial comments or criticism, and remove accounts whose content could draw objections—potentially far beyond the harassing content at issue in the case.

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Google: Don’t Bow to China’s Censorship Regime

Today, CDT joined civil society groups in calling on Google to not offer a censored search engine app to users in China. We believe that the offer of a censored search app is inconsistent with the commitments Google has made and with the initiatives it has taken to protect human rights. The only way to avoid the impact of the Chinese government’s restrictions on freedom of expression is to avoid offering search in China.

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Tech Talk: Hacking Elections & How the Internet Can Help Democratic Processes

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 get a firsthand report from the Voting Village at DEF CON and hear from the founder of the Center for Technology and Civic Life about how the internet can improve the democratic process.

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Double Dose of FTC Comments Discuss Remedial Measures and Algorithms in Advertising

The FTC sought comment on a wide range of issues, and for this initial go-around, CDT submitted comments on two key questions: (1) the FTC’s remedial authority to deter unfair and deceptive conduct in privacy and data security matters; and (2) the implications associated with the use of algorithmic decision tools, artificial intelligence, and predictive analytics.

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Tackling Disinformation: Proposed EU Code of Practice Should Not Lead to Politically Biased Censorship

In April 2018, the European Commission published a Communication on “Tackling Online Disinformation: A European Approach”. The Communication outlines overarching principles and objectives that should guide short and long term actions to tackle the phenomenon of disinformation. In our response to the Commission’s Communication, we cautioned against the potential risks to free expression of this self-regulatory initiative. While many of the specific commitments in the draft Code are benign, we remain concerned that the overall process is oriented toward pressuring platforms to remove or suppress content and accounts without meaningful safeguards.

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Techsplanations: Part 3, What is net neutrality?

Welcome back to Techsplanations, the series explaining the technologies surrounding us. In the next two posts we will look at the concept and principles of net neutrality and some of the ways to preserve them. Net neutrality is the idea that the internet should be neutral towards the information crossing it and should not treat some traffic differently based on what kind of traffic it is, who sent it, or who will receive it.

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