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CBP Letter Prompts the Question: Is DHS Criminalizing Compassion and Association?

Authorities at the U.S. border are arguing that journalists who report on asylum seekers, and the lawyers and activists who advise them, are legitimate targets for investigation under 8 U.S. Code §1324 for the crime of illegally “encouraging” aliens to cross the border unlawfully. This alleged crime justifies the targeting of these individuals for surveillance, and may be tied to the search and detention of their electronic devices at ports of entry. That’s the message U.S. Customs and Border Protection delivered in a May 9th letter to the Center for Democracy & Technology, which responded to the coalition letter we sent the Department of Homeland Security about a pattern of enforcement activity that appears to target journalists, lawyers and activists associated with asylum seekers.

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Congress is Writing a Privacy Law. It Must Address Civil Rights.

CDT has repeatedly told Congress that privacy proposals that do not address unfair and discriminatory data practices are inadequate and squandered opportunities. Unfortunately, privacy discussions too often ignore the lived experiences of marginalized groups, and many proposed solutions to address privacy problems do not tackle some of the hardest issues impacting these communities.

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The Three P’s of Supporting Military Children: Purple, Portability, and Privacy

The Month of the Military Child is celebrated with “Purple Up Days,” during which people wear their best purple in support of these important members of the community. However, purple is not the only P that matters when it comes to supporting military-connected students. Data Portability and privacy are also incredibly important to this group of often transient students.

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De-Identification Should be Relevant to a Privacy Law, But Not an Automatic Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Card

Stakeholders recommend exempting de-identified data, which includes anonymized, pseudonymized, and aggregated information, from the scope of privacy legislation. However, completely exempting these types of data is not just untenable; it is dangerous. In some cases de-identification fails to hide individual identities, and does not always prevent harms to groups of people. So what is the policy solution? In this post, we make three key recommendations.

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The GDPR's Impact on Innovation Should Not Be Overstated

Protecting individuals’ privacy is far too often pitted against innovation and economic interests. However, this doesn’t have to be the case: strong privacy laws can establish clearer ground rules that level the playing field for businesses large and small and protect individuals from unfair, surprising, and privacy-invading practices. Thus far, the evidence that GDPR has hurt small- and medium-sized businesses is anecdotal and ultimately inconclusive.

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