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.

Facebook Is Abiding By Its Own Rules, Great! Now How About Good Rules For Everybody?

Facebook Is Abiding By Its Own Rules, Great! Now How About Good Rules For Everybody?

By Chris Conley, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California Technology and Civil Liberties Project at 3:16pm
Today, Facebook agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charges that it deceived customers by failing to uphold privacy promises. The FTC announced today that the social networking site “deceived consumers by telling them they could keep their information on Facebook private, and then repeatedly allowing it to be shared and made public. The proposed settlement requires Facebook to take several steps to make sure it lives up to its promises in the future, including giving consumers clear and prominent notice and obtaining consumers' express consent before their information is shared beyond the privacy settings they have established.”

Gibberbot Wins Inaugural Develop for Privacy Challenge

By Chris Conley, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California Technology and Civil Liberties Project at 5:00pm

The Develop for Privacy Challenge, organized by the ACLUs of Northern California and Washington, the Tor Project, and the Information & Privacy Commissioner’s Office of Ontario, was launched to highlight some of the best privacy-enhancing…

LinkedIn Links You to Brands and Products Without Your Consent

By Chris Conley, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California Technology and Civil Liberties Project at 4:33pm

If you’re using LinkedIn, you’re probably doing so to connect with peers and colleagues, explore new business relationships, or even network for your next career move. Chances are you didn’t join LinkedIn so you could tell your…

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,…

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.

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