Related Press Releases

Realizing the potential of drones, yet preserving our privacy

CDT’s Nuala O’Connor and AUVSI’s Brian Wynne in TechCrunch: Drones, much like smartphones and tablets before them, have the potential to revolutionize our lives in many ways. However, as with any new technology, some people have concerns. In the case of drone technology, one we hear often is the possible invasion of privacy. That’s why stakeholders from the UAS industry, civil liberties organizations and government agencies have been working together to help facilitate the safe, responsible and ethical use of drones, while still supporting the growth and development of this cutting-edge technology.

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How Phones Can Help Predict Thunderstorms

Atlantic: In the last five years, however, the number of pressure sensors in the world has exploded because smartphone manufacturers have started putting them in their phones, mainly to help determine a device’s altitude for location tracking. “Altitude is potentially as sensitive as other geolocation information, which is highly sensitive,” said Joseph Lorenzo Hall, chief technologist at CDT.

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There's No Such Thing as Innocuous Personal Data

Slate: When you think about which of your devices and apps contain your most sensitive data, you probably think about your text messages, Gchats, or Reddit account. The fitness tracking device you’re sporting right now may not immediately come to mind. After all, what can people really learn about you from your heart rate or your step count? More than you might think.

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Court Hands Microsoft Major Win, Rules US Warrants Don’t Reach Data Outside the Country

In a unanimous decision, the Second US Circuit Court of Appeals handed Microsoft a complete victory in its challenge to the US government’s demand that Microsoft turn over emails stored in Ireland. The Court of Appeals held that a US warrant does not reach data stored outside of the United States. CDT filed an amicus brief in support of Microsoft in the case and the ruling tracks closely with CDT’s arguments.

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Companies Should Do Better Than Weak NTIA “Best Practices” on Facial Recognition

Over the last two and a half years, the NTIA convened a multi-stakeholder process to develop best practices for companies using facial recognition technology. The resulting document, “Privacy Best Practice Recommendations for Commercial Facial Recognition Use,” was finalized today and lacks both guidance for businesses and protection for individuals. CDT, along with other civil society groups, withdrew from the process when it became clear that the process would not result in meaningful guidelines.

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A Win for Net Neutrality as Court Upholds FCC Order

The D.C. Circuit released its opinion today in US Telecom v FCC, handing a historic victory to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), net neutrality advocates, and consumers. In a 2-1 decision, the Court of Appeals upheld reclassification for both fixed and mobile broadband services, preserving the FCC’s ability to ensure that carriers treat equally all traffic crossing their networks.

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Privacy and Civil Liberties Protections at Heart of NTIA Best Practices for Drones

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) shared a consensus set of voluntary best practices for for commercial and private use of unmanned aircraft systems or drones. The Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) participated in the multistakeholder process that resulted in the guidelines, which reflect input from civil society organizations, industry, and government entities.

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