For many Americans looking to protect their online privacy, virtual private networks, or VPNs, are a good option. However, a popular free VPN, Hotspot Shield, promises to protect its users’ privacy but has undisclosed data sharing and traffic redirection practices that violate that promise. As a result, CDT has asked the FTC to investigate the data security and data sharing practices of Hotspot Shield Free Virtual Private Network (VPN) services, which we believe should be considered unfair and deceptive trade practices.
Today, Senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced the ECPA Modernization Act of 2017, legislation that would modernize the privacy laws that protect the digital communications of all Americans. The bill, which would fundamentally reform the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, is more comprehensive than previous reform efforts. CDT has been a leading advocate for major ECPA reform to protect privacy in the digital age and strongly supports this bipartisan legislation.
The U.S. Copyright Office released its report on its study of Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Reform of Section 1201, which prohibits circumvention of technological protection measures, is essential for cybersecurity researchers working to make software more secure. There were a number of welcome recommendations on reform of Section 1201 in the report, although many of the proposed changes require congressional action.
ABC News: A vending machine software firm recently implanted about four dozen of its employees with Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) microchips that it says will allow the employees to navigate the office more conveniently. But the move has raised concerns about potential ethical and security issues.
Teen Vogue: “Internet access could be reduced to a cable package where users are forced to pay a toll to the ISP for access to specific websites or services,” said Ferras Vinh, policy counsel at the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT).
VICE Motherboard: “These locks provided no real cybersecurity or anti-piracy benefits, and they ultimately only served to lock consumers into using a single telecom carrier,” Ferras Vinh, of the Center for Democracy and Technology, told Motherboard.