Consumer Privacy

Senate Report Opens a Window Into Hidden World of Data Aggregators

Senate Report Opens a Window Into Hidden World of Data Aggregators

By Sandra Fulton, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:51pm
Today, the powerful Senate Commerce Committee issued a damning report on the invasive practices of the online data broker industry. The Committee’s report is the result of a year-long investigation targeting nine of the biggest data aggregators, including Acxiom, Experian, and Datalogix. It discusses some of the information companies are collecting, questions their business practices, and reveals the real harms such practices can cause.
Why Won’t the IRS Deploy Basic Web Security?

Why Won’t the IRS Deploy Basic Web Security?

By Katie Haas, Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project & Chris Soghoian, Principal Technologist and Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 10:45am

This tax season, when you visit the IRS’s website seeking tax information, can you be certain that no one else is monitoring which pages you browse?

Unfortunately, right now the answer to that question is “no.” Unlike Facebook, Twitter,…

The ACLU’s Pizza Video: 10 Years Later

The ACLU’s Pizza Video: 10 Years Later

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 2:48pm

In 2004, the ACLU produced a satiric video called “Ordering Pizza in 2015” that has become the single most-downloaded piece of content we’ve ever produced (at least we believe in the absence of complete stats). I won’t describe…

iPhone by Karlis Dambrans

Apple Throws Down Privacy Gauntlet

By Chris Soghoian, Principal Technologist and Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 5:37pm

Apple made big news today by announcing that they are no longer able to extract data from iOS devices for law enforcement agencies. The company had, for several years, offered a popular service for police in which it would extract data from seized…

Lessons From the Celebrity iCloud Photo Breach

Lessons From the Celebrity iCloud Photo Breach

By Chris Soghoian, Principal Technologist and Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 12:14pm

Based on initial media reports, it seems that intimate, private photographs from several celebrities' online accounts have been accessed without their consent and widely shared on the Internet. For now, many details about the breach (or breaches) remain…

The Hazards of Uncontrolled Data Collection

The Hazards of Uncontrolled Data Collection

By Joe Silver, Washington Legislative Office, ACLU at 3:32pm

Leaks of classified and highly secretive information from U.S. government databases by the likes of Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning have naturally garnered massive press attention, exposing some deeply problematic U.S. military and national security…

Data Brokers Release Information About Their Operations In Response to Congressional Inquiry

Data Brokers Release Information About Their Operations In Response to Congressional Inquiry

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 5:18pm

Yesterday Reps. Ed Markey (D, Mass.) and Joe Barton (R, Texas) released a batch of important details about the operation of the nation’s largest data broker companies. The information came in responses from nine data broker companies to a list of questions posed by a group of Members led by Markey and Barton seeking details of their operation in light of the privacy sensitivity of what they do. The responses released yesterday provide a good snapshot and reminder of what it is these companies are doing.

Crop of image by luc legay via Flickr

An Important Review of Big Data

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:41am

Yesterday John Podesta, the president’s senior adviser, released a highly anticipated report addressing how the administration should tackle the challenges of big data in coming years. So how’d he do? Pretty well, actually. The report recognizes…

Crop of photo by Thomas Hawk via Flickr

To Protect Privacy, Utah Attorney General Gives Away Some of His Power

By Kade Crockford, Director, ACLU of Massachusetts Technology for Liberty Project at 6:10pm

In February 2014, the attorney general for the state of Utah did something remarkable, something that law enforcement officials hardly ever do: He willingly gave away some of his power. The power was too great, he said, and the potential for abuse…

Who Should be in Charge of Privacy in the 21st Century?

Who Should be in Charge of Privacy in the 21st Century?

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Joe Silver, Washington Legislative Office, ACLU at 2:23pm

An effort is underway to significantly set back even the limited amount of government privacy oversight that currently takes place over commercial privacy in the United States. Tuesday the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing…

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