Civil Liberties in the Digital Age

In the digital age that we live in today, we are constantly exposing our personal information online. From using cell phones and GPS devices to online shopping and sending e-mail, the things we do and say online leave behind ever-growing trails of personal information. The ACLU believes that Americans shouldn’t have to choose between using new technology and keeping control of your private information. Each week, we feature some of the most interesting news related to technology and civil liberties that we’ve spotted from the previous week.
California Social Media Privacy Laws Give Students, Employees Online Rights

California Social Media Privacy Laws Give Students, Employees Online Rights

By Chris Conley, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California Technology and Civil Liberties Project at 11:15am
On Thursday California Governor Jerry Brown signed two bills into law that will protect the privacy of employee and college student social media accounts in the state of California. While these bills aren’t perfect, they are an important first step towards recognizing that our rights—including our fundamental right to privacy—apply just as much in the online world as in the offline.
Breaking the Law, Videotaping Suspicious Characters, and Seeing Through Walls (Friday Links Roundup)

Breaking the Law, Videotaping Suspicious Characters, and Seeing Through Walls (Friday Links Roundup)

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 5:28pm

Reports circulated this week that Facebook’s new Timeline was placing private messages into people’s public Timeline displays. Facebook said it was certain that was not happening. According to a statement from Facebook:

Our engineers…

Civil Liberties in the Digital Age: Weekly Highlights (9/28/2012

Civil Liberties in the Digital Age: Weekly Highlights (9/28/2012

By Anna Salem, ACLU of Northern California at 2:51pm

In the digital age that we live in today, we are constantly exposing our personal information online. From using cell phones and GPS devices to online shopping and sending e-mail, the things we do and say online leave behind ever-growing trails of…

New Justice Department Documents Show Huge Increase in Warrantless Electronic Surveillance

New Justice Department Documents Show Huge Increase in Warrantless Electronic Surveillance

By Naomi Gilens, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 1:32pm

Justice Department documents released today by the ACLU reveal that federal law enforcement agencies are increasingly monitoring Americans’ electronic communications, and doing so without warrants, sufficient oversight, or meaningful accountability.

The…

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…

When Privacy Gets Personal For Policymakers

When Privacy Gets Personal For Policymakers

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 11:21am

Data from license plate readers in Minnesota was obtained by a St. Paul car dealer using open-records laws, and used to repossess at least one car, according to a recent article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The article included this amusing tidbit:

When…

Civil Liberties in the Digital Age: Weekly Highlights (9/14/2012)

Civil Liberties in the Digital Age: Weekly Highlights (9/14/2012)

By Anna Salem, ACLU of Northern California at 2:48pm

 In the digital age that we live in today, we are constantly exposing our personal information online. From using cell phones and GPS devices to online shopping and sending e-mail, the things we do and say online leave behind ever-growing trails…

Hacking Cars, Chipping Kids, and Fingerprinting at Disney (Friday Links Roundup)

Hacking Cars, Chipping Kids, and Fingerprinting at Disney (Friday Links Roundup)

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 5:34pm

A disgruntled worker at a Texas auto dealership hacked into a vehicle-immobilization system and disabled more than 100 vehicles. Our automobiles are getting more and more computerized, so the threat of hacking vehicles is being taken increasingly seriously,…

Civil Liberties in the Digital Age: Weekly Highlights (9/7/2012)

Civil Liberties in the Digital Age: Weekly Highlights (9/7/2012)

By Anna Salem, ACLU of Northern California at 3:01pm

In the digital age that we live in today, we are constantly exposing our personal information online. From using cell phones and GPS devices to online shopping and sending e-mail, the things we do and say online leave behind ever-growing trails of…

Apple’s Persistent Device ID is a Threat to Privacy

By Chris Soghoian, Principal Technologist and Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 7:14pm

Today, a group known as Antisec released a collection of one million UDIDs—serial numbers associated with Apple mobile devices, such as iPhones and iPads—which they claim came from a trove of 12 million UDIDs pilfered from an FBI agent’s…

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