Related Press Releases

White House Strikes Right Chord on Privacy and Individual Security

Today, the White House announced a new federal initiative called the Cybersecurity National Action Plan (CNAP) encompassing a substantial new cybersecurity budget request and two new Executive Orders that would establish a Cybersecurity Commission and a cross-government Privacy Council. The goal of CNAP is to “enhance cybersecurity awareness and protections, protect privacy, maintain public safety as well as economic and national security, and empower Americans to take better control of their digital security.” The Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) welcomes the President’s action, especially its inclusion of privacy provisions and individual empowerment in cybersecurity.

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Can EU-US data pact survive without surveillance reform?

Christian Science Monitor: The deal would introduce the idea of “essential equivalence” between how privacy laws are interpreted and applied in the EU and in the US, said Chris Calabrese, vice president for policy at the Center for Democracy and Technology, a tech advocacy group in Washington. But it does not eliminate the government’s authority to force American firms to disclose data under the aegis of counter-terrorism. And that could be a problem from the EU Court of Justice’s point of view, said Mr. Calabrese.

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EU and US Reach New Data-Sharing Agreement

Associated Press: “Absent reform of U.S. surveillance law, it is highly unlikely that the Privacy Shield agreement will be deemed sufficient by the (European) Court of Justice,” said Jens-Henrik Jeppesen, director of European affairs. He called on the U.S. Congress to swiftly move to reform its surveillance law and for EU member states to narrow their own surveillance laws and practices to also be more aligned with international human rights norms.

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New Privacy Deal May Not Actually Stop U.S. Snooping

“While the agreement should provide some increased privacy protections for the personal data of EU citizens, ultimately without reform of U.S. surveillance law, Privacy Shield will not be enough,” Jens-Henrik Jeppesen, the director for European affairs at the nonprofit Center for Democracy & Technology, told The Huffington Post in an email.

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Courts and Insurance Companies Need to Realize Fitness Data Can Be Spoofed

Vice Motherboard: “For that interaction within the healthcare system, security is clearly important as well as trust,” Michelle De Mooy, deputy director of consumer privacy at the Center for Democracy and Technology, wrote. “Outside of a provider relationship, in an employee wellness program, for example, the implications of a wearable device being spoofed or hacked is concerning because the data may be shared more widely and there is no accountability for such violations.”

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EU-US “Privacy Shield”: A Partial, Interim Solution

Today the European Commission outlined an EU-US agreement on a framework for transatlantic data flows – the “Privacy Shield”. The agreement is intended to replace the Safe Harbor agreement, struck down by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in October 2015. The text of the agreement was not released and is not expected to be released for several weeks. CDT offers our initial thoughts.

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5 Things Congress Should Learn From New State Privacy Bills

Wired: On Wednesday 16 states’ lawmakers, with the advice and coordination of the American Civil Liberties Union, introduced bills designed to shore up Americans’ privacy on a long list of issues that federal lawmakers have either ignored or allowed to become paralyzed in Congress’s endless gridlock. That collective legislative push, which the ACLU is calling Take CTRL, addresses everything from student and employee privacy to new police surveillance techniques.

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Yet another bill seeks to weaken encryption-by-default on smartphones

Ars Technica: “Human trafficking is obviously a major social issue that we need to address,” Gautam Hans told Ars. “However, I don’t think this is the best way to solve that issue. Weakening encryption will do a great deal of harm to the security of the Internet, and it’s not clear that it helps with the law enforcement goals. Encryption proposals that include backdoors are fundamentally insecure and would create vulnerabilities that unauthorized actors could exploit.”

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