Guidance but Not Direction: The FTC’s Tool for Mobile Health App Developers

The Federal Trade Commission released an interactive tool this week meant to help mobile health app developers determine the laws and regulations that might apply to them. The guidance is good primer for developers who want to understand basic legal compliance and it’s great that the FTC recognizes that it is as important for companies to educate themselves about privacy and security standards as it is for consumers. However, it illustrates a greater need for forward-thinking policy solutions to address gaps in protection for health data.

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How To Read A Privacy Policy: Advice from CDT Experts

Most of the information about a company’s practices is listed in a privacy policy; these policies are one of the few glimpses we have into what is happening to our personal information. While their usefulness to consumers is limited — research has demonstrated that users are usually overwhelmed by these documents — advocates can use policies to parse what companies are actually doing. CDT’s experts read privacy policies a lot, so we asked them to provide some clarity on what privacy policies actually say, and what to look for.

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With Workplace Privacy, Have a Policy and Follow the Policy

Technology has allowed for more novel and expansive employee surveillance and workplace monitoring. State legislators are looking to formalize and unify the legal landscape of employee privacy. And CDT is working to intervene and create strong privacy-protections for individuals at both the public and corporate level in the increasingly technologically advanced workplace.

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DMCA blog post

CDT Comments to Copyright Office Focus on Preserving Balance and Cooperation in the DMCA

CDT and the R Street Institute filed comments in response to the Copyright Office’s Notice of Inquiry regarding Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Section 512 protects the conduits, websites, cloud storage providers, and search engines from statutory damages and other liability for copyright infringement based on works posted by users so long as service providers comply with certain requirements. CDT very much hopes that the Office does not lose sight of the importance of that flexibility and balance as it evaluates the many proposals for change it will receive.

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What’s Next in the Apple/FBI Debate: All Eyes Turn to New York

The end of the Apple/FBI case in California is a win for cybersecurity and privacy – but a temporary one. It’s only a matter of time before another judge considers whether or not the All Writs Act can be used to force Apple or another company to weaken the security of their devices. In fact, less than a month ago, a New York magistrate judge faced a similar legal question; his answer was an emphatic “no.” Here’s what you need to know about what the decision says and what it could mean for the potentially hundreds of other cases that will follow it.

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Strong Encryption Wins Again, Time to End the Debate On Government Backdoors

Yesterday, the Department of Justice asked a California District Court to vacate a motion compelling Apple to draft new code that would weaken the security of its iPhone. The government’s motion is a clear affirmation that government mandated backdoors, or weaknesses in technology, are not necessary. Yet again, encryption came out on top in this debate, which is a very good thing for our personal and national security.

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Why Broadband Customer Choice Matters

The FCC will hold its open meeting on March 31, where it will vote on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on broadband privacy currently being circulated to the full Commission. This rulemaking will seek to clarify the privacy obligations of ISPs under Title II. The Chairman is right to give special attention to customer choice for this rulemaking. Meaningful consumer controls must be a component of the proposed rules.

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Making SXSW Attendees More Digitally Secure

At SXSW Interactive 2016, CDT partnered with CSM Passcode to develop a quiz for attendees of the trade show to assesses their online security practices. As we are most vulnerable to hacks and attacks when traveling, the 10-question quiz was written from the perspective of someone on an international trip. The quiz helped the more than 1,500 people who took it to better understand strong cybersecurity practices for their personal devices and accounts.

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Cybersecurity Insurance: Promoting Good Hygiene for "Those that Know" and "Those That Don’t Yet Know"

As the frequency and severity of cyber attacks increase, companies need to know what they should be doing to decrease their risk, as well as how they can mitigate their costs if (and when) a cyber attack occurs. Cybersecurity insurance could potentially be a way to do both, which is why the House Homeland Security Cybersecurity Subcommittee held a hearing this week to explore the market-based incentives that insurance can bring to the table when it comes to managing cyber risk. Although the prospect of cyber insurance looks promising, the nascent industry still has a long way to go.

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The 411 on Tech Prom

CDT’s Annual Dinner, Tech Prom, is two weeks from today! As always, a huge thank you to our honoree and sponsors. To help you get the most out of the event, please take a few minutes to review the logistical details below, including the schedule for the event, tips for attending, and directions to the venue.

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