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Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act

Privacy rights are facing enormous threats in the United States – from CBP asking for social media passwords at the border to the potential rollback of broadband privacy rules. The most recent danger to privacy advanced on Wednesday when the House Education and Workforce Committee moved H.R. 1313 forward, a bill that would strip away privacy protections for people…

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Smart Condoms Suggest More than a Day Without Women

Sex and technology both raise challenging questions about privacy and personal autonomy, and the magnitude of these challenges only increases when the two intersect. Last week, for instance, British Condoms announced the world’s first “smart condom.” The i.Con Smart Condom is a wearable ring that promises to track sexual performance and potentially detect sexually transmitted infections. The iCon is just the latest example of a wearable that appeals to the baser desires of men. For instance, the product description references the ability to track how many positions have been “conquered.” It essentially gamifies sex, and while that needn’t be a bad thing, the i.Con portrays sexuality exclusively from a male’s perspective. This seems especially important to consider given today’s “Day Without a Woman,” where CDT coincidentally finds itself under(wo)manned. I find myself not in the best position to ask my female colleagues what their thoughts are, and I have to wonder whether British Condoms did any focus testing using women.

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Tech Talk: An Executive Order Strips Privacy Rights & Who Do You Control Your Health Data?

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 address how an executive order from the White House is a blow to global privacy rights, and we hear from the author of Our Bodies, Our Data about the huge market for personal health data.

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Send CDT to SXSW 2017

In 2015 and 2016, CDT made a splash at SXSW, but we think the third time is the charm. We have five great panels in store for Austin in 2017, but we need your help to get us there. The PanelPicker is now open through September 2 — vote for CDT! Here are our submissions.

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Guidance but Not Direction: The FTC’s Tool for Mobile Health App Developers

The Federal Trade Commission released an interactive tool this week meant to help mobile health app developers determine the laws and regulations that might apply to them. The guidance is good primer for developers who want to understand basic legal compliance and it’s great that the FTC recognizes that it is as important for companies to educate themselves about privacy and security standards as it is for consumers. However, it illustrates a greater need for forward-thinking policy solutions to address gaps in protection for health data.

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Active on Health Privacy

CDT has long been active on issues in health privacy and the past few months have been especially busy. Here’s a quick snapshot of the various projects and outreach we are working on – ranging from wearables to your online porn viewing habits.

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Always On: Taking the Privacy Pulse of Today’s Digital Patient

To examine a multitude of health privacy questions, we held the 4th iteration of our “Always On” series, this time bringing together leading experts in government, academia, advocacy, and industry to explore the regulatory and social challenges we face as digital patients. Michelle details the conversations that were held, the questions that were posed, and the solutions that were considered, plus more.

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Digital India’s Impact on Privacy: Aadhaar numbers, biometrics, and more

Much of the discussion at the recent India-U.S. Information and Communications Technologies Working Group focused on the Indian government’s “Digital India” initiative to promote universal connectivity, with the goal of providing every citizen with broadband connection by December 2016. As part of a “cradle-to-grave digital identity” for its citizens, the government plans to draw on the Aadhaar program, a controversial unique identification system that has led the Indian government to create the world’s largest biometric database. Lisa discusses its privacy concerns and more.

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House Oversight Committee Questions FTC’s Enforcement Practices

The FTC’s case seemed straightforward enough: it’s not a good idea to install file-sharing software on computers that hold unencrypted medical records. That’s what LabMD, a Georgia-based medical testing facility, was accused of doing in a 2013 FTC complaint. Most companies typically settle with the Federal Trade Commission to avoid the costs of protracted litigation (and because they typically don’t have to pay any fines given the FTC’s lack of penalty authority). However, LabMD thought they were being unfairly picked on — they argue the FTC should be suing the file-sharing software maker, LimeWire, instead — so they made the FTC take them to court.

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