Blog of Rights

Chris
Conley

Chris Conley is the Technology and Civil Liberties staff attorney at the ACLU of Northern California, where his work focuses on the intersection of privacy, free speech, and emerging technology. As a lawyer and technologist, he has worked extensively on the connection between consumer products and individual rights, particularly concerns about third party "apps" that have access to social network or mobile device data without adequate controls or transparency. He has presented on technology and civil liberties issues before the Federal Trade Commission and at various conferences including SXSW Interactive and DEF CON, and has developed his own Facebook and mobile apps giving users greater transparency into the types and amount of personal data these apps can access.

 

Prior to joining the ACLU of Northern California, Chris was a Fellow with the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, where his research explored international Internet surveillance. He has previously worked as a software engineer and data architect for various corporations and non-profits. Chris holds a B.S.E. in Electrical Engineering from The University of Michigan, a S.M. in Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

You've Been Tagged on Facebook—But Now You’re In Control

You've Been Tagged on Facebook—But Now You’re In Control

By Chris Conley, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California Technology and Civil Liberties Project at 6:27pm
This morning, Facebook announced its latest set of changes to its privacy controls that will start rolling out on August 25. The upcoming changes are intended to make it easier for you to understand and choose who can see both content you post yourself and tags created by other users. Allowing you to pre-approve tags and giving you better tools to manage your own profile is a positive step, and we encourage Facebook to turn settings like these on by default and to continue to develop and improve features and tools that give you control over your own personal information.

Facebook Addresses Several Privacy Problems

By Chris Conley, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California Technology and Civil Liberties Project at 2:25pm

Facebook has come under withering fire recently for its recent string of privacy-unfriendly practices, from its “privacy transition” that took away privacy controls to “instant personalization” that instantly shares personal…

Is Facebook Having Another Privacy Disconnect?

By Chris Conley, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California Technology and Civil Liberties Project at 5:48pm

The very first sentence on Facebook's privacy guide page states: "You should have control over what you share."

That seems fairly simple, doesn't it?

But many of Facebook's recent actions, such as its much-criticized "privacy…

Google's New Transparency Tool: A Window Into Government Surveillance

By Chris Conley, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California Technology and Civil Liberties Project at 4:55pm

We've known for a long time that electronic privacy law is woefully outdated. But what we haven't known is how often the government is taking advantage of this fact to engage in a shopping spree in the treasure trove of personal information being…

Is Facebook Unliking Privacy?

By Chris Conley, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California Technology and Civil Liberties Project at 5:46pm

(Originally posted on the ACLU of Northern California's Bytes and Pieces blog.)

Today, Facebook released proposed changes to its privacy policy and its Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. Facebook's newest changes seem to be designed…

Is Facebook’s Application Dashboard Missing a Privacy Gauge?

By Chris Conley, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California Technology and Civil Liberties Project at 10:27am

Facebook is once again rolling out changes to its user interface, including new Applications and Games Dashboards that it says will “mak[e] it easier for you to find and interact with applications.” And, once again, these changes affect…

Quiz Facebook: Will We Have Control over Our Own Information?

By Chris Conley, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California Technology and Civil Liberties Project at 5:32pm

Today, in response to an inquiry by the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Facebook announced plans to enhance user privacy over the next year. Some of these plans address third party applications, like quizzes and games, that have access to a lot of…

Facebook's Latest About-Face

By Chris Conley, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California Technology and Civil Liberties Project at 1:01pm

(Originally posted on the ACLU of Northern California's technology blog, Bytes and Pieces.)

Facebook, hardly a stranger to controversy, set off yet another firestorm recently when it changed its Terms of Use. The previous terms of service explicitly stated that Facebook’s license to use user-created content expired as soon as the user deleted the content or cancelled her account:

You may remove your User Content from the Site at any time. If you choose to remove your User Content, the license granted above will automatically expire, however you acknowledge that the Company may retain archived copies of your User Content.

The new terms, however, removed this sentence, suggesting that Facebook retained a license to user-created or uploaded content forever, whatever the user might do. This small change triggered a storm of outrage, eventually leading Facebook to reverse course and withdraw the new Terms of Use.

The Facebook/FTC Settlement Proposal: What's New, What's Not

The Facebook/FTC Settlement Proposal: What's New, What's Not

By Chris Conley, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California Technology and Civil Liberties Project at 3:14pm

Earlier this week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a proposed settlement with Facebook, addressing its assertion that Facebook deceived users by failing to uphold its privacy promises. As we said elsewhere, the proposed settlement has…

D.C. Judge: Government Doesn't Need a Warrant to Demand Cell Phone Location Information

D.C. Judge: Government Doesn't Need a Warrant to Demand Cell Phone Location Information

By Chris Conley, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California Technology and Civil Liberties Project at 10:39am

Can the government demand location information records from your carrier without a warrant? Unfortunately, a D.C. District Court judge thinks so.

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