Illinois Bill Repealing Biometric Protections is an Unnecessary Privacy Loss

Biometric information — data that pertains to an individual’s biological characteristics, like facial recognition patterns, DNA, fingerprints, and iris scans — is some of the most sensitive data about each of us, in part because it is generally immutable. You can get a new email address, but getting a new genome is a lot harder. It’s for these reasons that we’ve consistently argued for limited collection of biometric information, and strong protections for its use and retention. Illinois, which has one of the the country’s strongest state biometric privacy laws on the books, may soon significantly weaken its protections. We hope the Illinois Legislature doesn’t take such a misguided step.

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European Commission Online Platform Proposals Puts Onus on Companies

The European Commission has published a set of proposals and documents under the umbrella of its Digital Single Market strategy. Among them is a Communication on ‘Online Platforms and the Digital Single Market Opportunities and Challenges for Europe’. There are positive messages in the document, but also some problematic ones. CDT has consistently pushed back on proposals that would endanger the internet as an enabler of free expression, public debate, and access to information.

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European Law Enforcement Say Breaking Encryption Disproportionate, Backdoors Dangerous

In an unexpected move the European Police Office (EUROPOL) and the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) have issued a joint statement setting out their views on encryption and police hacking. The agencies have come out against breaking encryption, which is a welcome development in the heated public debate on privacy and encryption.

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CDT and Berkeley Research Reveals Important Insight into Fairness in Online Personalization

Personalization is the gold standard of modern business models. These days, every service aims to provide an individually tailored experience that anticipates the preferences and needs of customers (and potential customers), hoping to establish loyalty in a competitive environment for consumer attention. Advertisements, search results, and even prices are among the content altered to maximize relevance for each user…

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Local Proposals to Regulate Short-Term Housing Raise Section 230 Problems

Much of the internet’s success has been due to Section 230, the federal law that has encouraged the development of user-generated content platforms for more than twenty years. Unfortunately, as technology companies begin to operate in spaces traditionally regulated by states and cities, we have seen many instances in which they attempt to regulate service providers, some of whom fall within Section 230’s protections.

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Why the IANA Transition Matters and Must Not Be Delayed

A number of concerns continue to be raised in the media, on Capitol Hill and elsewhere about the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) transition to the multistakeholder community. CDT offered our thoughts on these unfounded concerns in a statement we submitted for the record of the Senate Commerce Committee hearing today and we debunk a number of these concerns in this post.

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Google Appeals French DPA’s Demand to Modify Search Results Worldwide

Today marked another salvo in the on-going battle over the “right to be forgotten”, with Google filing an appeal to the Conseil d’État of the fine levied by the French data protection authority against the company for failing to modify search results according to French law for searches conducted outside of France. CDT is glad to see Google push back against this expansive application of national law.

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Spokeo Ruling Gives Few “Concrete” Answers on Privacy Rights

It may be a truth that in Supreme Court cases, tricky issues lead to tricky opinions. That was certainly the case in yesterday’s decision in Spokeo v. Robins, which concerned “standing” — the legal doctrine detailing when people get to file lawsuits. But at oral argument last November, it became clear how many other issues were implicated. The ruling left many of these issues unaddressed.

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The British are Campaigning for a Digital Bill of Rights

This past week saw the launch of a cross-party campaign with the ambitious aim of crowdsourcing a Digital Bill of Rights for the UK. The ‘Peoples Charter of Digital Liberties’, as the bill is to be known, is intended to be completed in time for the next session of Parliament. It is likely to propose new rights, extensions of existing rights, and new ways of protecting existing rights online.

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