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State Department Should Abandon Its Plan to Collect Social Media Information From 14.7 Million Visa Applicants

In March the State Department issued a notice proposing that all immigrant and nonimmigrant visa applicants be required to provide their social media identifiers “for identity resolution and vetting purposes.” CDT filed comments opposing this latest social media information request, and highlighted that it would chill free speech, fail to detect threats, and lead to unintentionally incomplete applications, adverse determinations, and problematic algorithmic screening.

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Tech Talk: Privacy Past and Present

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 look at the impact the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation will have on global privacy, and we hear from a historian about how the concept of privacy in the U.S. has evolved over time.

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GDPR: Avoiding Harms and Expanding Risk

Meaningful protections for individuals’ dignity and personal autonomy demand a broader understanding of privacy risk that considers user expectations and concerns. Privacy risks are not hypothetical, and over and over again, the emergence of these risks are the byproduct of companies discounting the expectations of users while seeing only benefits for themselves. European privacy law flips that script.

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When Online Dating Met Facebook

At this week’s Facebook Developer Conference, or F8, the social network company announced that it will begin introducing online dating features onto its platform. Its plans are especially intriguing because it effectively merges traditional dating with technology; Facebook can harness social signals used in offline dating – mutual friends, family connections, or school, work, and church networks – while also providing would-be daters the same frictionless experience and abundance of potential choices that characterize the online dating ecosystem. Facebook is promising more information in the months ahead, but incorporating a dating service directly into an existing social network platform raises some privacy and safety questions.

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Ethically Scraping and Accessing Data: Governments Desperately Seeking Data

As cities get smarter, their appetite and access to information is also increasing. The rise of data-generating technologies has given government agencies unprecedented opportunities to harness useful, real-time information about citizens. But governments often lack dedicated expertise and resources to collect, analyze, and ultimately turn such data into actionable information, and so have turned to private-sector companies and academic researchers to get at this information. As the maze of partnerships among public officials, private companies, academics, and independent researchers becomes more tangled, a clear path out of the status quo may be challenging. On-demand platforms, as they continue to disrupt local economies, continue to be a significant flashpoint.

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