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.

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 your privacy: now other users can easily find out which applications you use, whether that’s a popular game, a dating app, or our Facebook quiz. Just like the changes that made Friends Lists and Fan Pages part of your “Publicly Available Information” (PAI) that could not be restricted or made private in any way (though Facebook later relented and allowed you to hide your Friends List on your profile—but only if you hide it from everyone!), this takes information that was hard to find and puts it front and center.

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 Flunks Privacy 101

By Chris Conley, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California Technology and Civil Liberties Project at 12:00am

We recently blogged that Facebook's default privacy settings allow quizzes and other applications to peer into your profile - even if it's your friend, and not you, who takes the quiz!

But don't take our word for it. If you're a Facebook user,…

Quiz: What Do Facebook Quizzes Know About You?

By Chris Conley, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California Technology and Civil Liberties Project at 4:29pm

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

Ever whiled away five minutes on a Facebook quiz, finding out what cartoon character is your look-alike or how your IQ stacks up? These quizzes may seem like…

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.

How Private is Private Browsing?

By Chris Conley, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California Technology and Civil Liberties Project at 1:46pm

(This post originally appeared on the ACLU of Northern California's technology blog, Bytes and Pieces.)

'Tis the season for private browsing, or so it seems. Apple's Safari Web browser led the pack in introducing a "private browsing mode" in…

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