Free Future

FTC Proposes Changes to Privacy Law That Collide With Free Speech

FTC Proposes Changes to Privacy Law That Collide With Free Speech

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:59am
Back in the waning years of the Clinton administration, Congress quietly enacted an important internet privacy bill (the passage of which was overshadowed by other, more salacious developments). The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”) requires any website “target[ing]” children under the age of 13 to notify a child’s parent and receive verifiable consent before collecting personal information from that child. A lot of COPPA is about controlling online marketing activities involving young children, who may not appreciate the dangers in disclosing sensitive personal information to commercial entities.
Lie Detection, Special Treatment at the Airport, and Recursive Cameras (Friday Links Roundup)

Lie Detection, Special Treatment at the Airport, and Recursive Cameras (Friday Links Roundup)

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 4:26pm

Salon has a nice piece on how research shows the difficulty of detecting lies—the impossibility, really—and how people consistently overestimate their ability to do so. And, how people consistently misidentify signs of stress (from a variety…

Keeping the Government Out of Your Smartphone

Keeping the Government Out of Your Smartphone

By Chris Soghoian, Principal Technologist and Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 11:48am

Smartphones can be a cop's best friend. They are packed with private information like emails, text messages, photos, and calling history. Unsurprisingly, law enforcement agencies now routinely seize and search phones. This occurs at traffic stops,…

New Public Safety Broadband Network: Tool For A Domestic Secret Police?

New Public Safety Broadband Network: Tool For A Domestic Secret Police?

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 6:19pm

Police in Tampa used smartphones and tablets to spy on protesters at the Republican National Convention, according to a report today from the National Journal.

Smartphones have proven to be an excellent tool for empowering individuals faced…

Twitter Forced to Hand Over Occupy Wall Street Protester Info

By Naomi Gilens, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 5:28pm

This morning, faced with the threat of criminal and civil contempt, Twitter turned over information about Occupy Wall Street protester Malcolm Harris to a New York criminal court judge. This development follows Twitter’s months-long effort to…

Is the ACLU Inconsistent on Regulation of Speech and Privacy?

Is the ACLU Inconsistent on Regulation of Speech and Privacy?

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 3:02pm

Adam Thierer of the libertarian Mercatus Center posted a thoughtful critique of my recent piece on online tracking and consumer “choice.” I wrote about a new paper on behavioral advertising and how it “demonstrates the absurdity of…

Apple, Drone Strikes, and the Limits of Censorship

Apple, Drone Strikes, and the Limits of Censorship

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 2:55pm

Wired reported last week that the Apple App Store has rejected an app that compiles news reports in order to map overseas U.S. drone strikes, and provide users a pop-up notification whenever a drone strike has been reported.

Apple rejected…

Twitter Appeals Ruling in Battle Over Occupy Wall Street Protester’s Information

By Aden Fine, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 12:44pm

Twitter just filed its brief appealing a June decision by a New York criminal court judge requiring the company to give the Manhattan District Attorney detailed information on the communications of Twitter user Malcolm Harris, an Occupy Wall Street…

First Amendment Violations to Watch for at the RNC and DNC

First Amendment Violations to Watch for at the RNC and DNC

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 12:11am

We know that photographers have been having problems all over the country with police harassment, and that demonstrators’ free speech rights have also been under assault. But with the Democratic and Republican political conventions coming up,…

Video Analytics: A Brain Behind the Eye?

Video Analytics: A Brain Behind the Eye?

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 10:14am

One of the central elements in last week's Trapwire story involves the application of “behavioral recognition,” also known as “video analytics,” to camera feeds. What are we to make of this technology?

In essence, video…