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The American AI Initiative: A Good Start, But Still A Long Way to Go

This week, President Trump signed an executive order titled the “American AI Initiative.” While this order lays out some useful first steps toward a larger national policy and course of action for artificial intelligence, the administration will need to do more to ensure its goal of maintaining American leadership in AI technologies. Although the order’s broad “policies and principles” section includes calls to preserve civil liberties, privacy, and American values, it is not entirely clear what those values are or whether they might conflict with the other priorities listed in the order. In this post, we’ll talk about what the order does and does not do.

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A “Smart Wall” That Fails to Protect Privacy and Civil Liberties Is Not Smart

Congress needs to be smart about this “smart wall.” CBP’s history of grossly mismanaging technology projects, and its liberal use of surveillance tools beyond the physical border, caution against a hands-off approach. Any funding Congress provides to invasive border surveillance technologies should be conditioned on efficacy requirements and limitations on use that are designed to preserve the human and civil rights of those against whom they will be used.

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The Washington Privacy Act Raises Important Considerations for Comprehensive Privacy Proposals

As states across the country grapple with how to enshrine meaningful privacy protections into law, SB 5376 — the Washington Privacy Act — is a serious proposal to require companies to use data in equitable and legitimate ways. While many states have introduced consumer privacy legislation modeled after the California Consumer Privacy Act, Washington state legislators have offered a positive alternative approach that still has room for improvement. In this post, we highlight five key areas of SB 5376 that are potentially problematic and deserve additional attention from lawmakers.

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Student Privacy Lessons From a Recovering Bureaucrat

Looking back on my time in government, there are tools and resources that I wish I’d had. I recently joined the Student Privacy Project here at CDT to create some of these, and today, we’re releasing a new resource about why education leaders need chief privacy officers to protect student data. Once a chief privacy officer is hired, what can ensure their success? Based on my experiences, here are some tips, tricks, and rules of the road.

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Techsplanations: Travel Tech

Over this holiday season, many of us are traveling to visit family and loved ones. To help you take control of your online data as part of your 2019 New Year’s resolutions, we have compiled a “naughty and nice” list featuring privacy and security enhancing steps that CDT staff rely upon during their travels.

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