Related Press Releases

The White House and Equifax Agree: Social Security Numbers Should Go

Bloomberg: The Trump administration is exploring ways to replace the use of Social Security numbers as the main method of assuring people’s identities in the wake of consumer credit agency Equifax Inc.’s massive data breach. Joseph Lorenzo Hall, chief technologist at the Center for Democracy and Technology in Washington, said one possibility could be giving individuals a private key, essentially a long cryptographic number that’s embedded in a “physical token” that then requires users to verify that the number belongs to them.

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Facebook 'likes' could land immigrants, naturalized citizens in trouble with fed

Detroit Free Press: According to legal and privacy experts, a DHS policy made public on Sept. 18 could send the country into uncharted territory when it comes to immigration protocol by targeting permanent residents and naturalized citizens for their online activities. Nuala O’Connor, director of the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Democracy & Technology, said that she is deeply concerned about the scope of inquiry given the Trump administration’s actions on immigration and that it’s uncertain how the policy will play out in practice.

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Passing Through Airport Security With the Touch of a Finger

New York Times: A company called Clear is using fingerprints and iris scans to spare some passengers the first phase of the T.S.A.’s security airport screening process — the document-verification checkpoint and its line. Clear says it can speed fliers through checkpoints while maintaining tight security. But the rollout process has been slow — Clear is available only in some terminals at 24 domestic airports — an earlier iteration of the company had a data security issue.

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Positive Signals in Copyright Office’s Section 1201 Report

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.

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GOP Data Firm Accidentally Leaks Personal Details of Nearly 200 Million American Voters

Gizmodo: Although files possessed by Deep Root would be typical in any campaign, Republican or Democratic, experts say its exposure in a single open database raises significant privacy concerns. “This is valuable for people who have nefarious purposes,” Joseph Lorenzo Hall, the chief technologist at the Center for Democracy and Technology, said of the data.

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After London attacks, British prime minister calls for worldwide Internet regulations to fight terrorism

Washington Post: “May’s government now has incredible compulsory powers to do both targeted and bulk surveillance in her country,” said Michelle Richardson, deputy director of the Center for Democracy and Technology, a Washington-based think tank. “The only thing left you could seem to grab would be a complete surveillance state. If you’re proposing to go even further than the current authority, there’s not much you could do beyond that that isn’t an explicit attack on human rights.”

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