Data Mining

Senate Homeland Security Committee Misses the Mark with Statement on DHS “Fusion Center” Program

Senate Homeland Security Committee Misses the Mark with Statement on DHS “Fusion Center” Program

By Kara Dansky, Senior Counsel, ACLU Center for Justice at 2:35pm
Last week, the Senate Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Investigations issued a report criticizing the Department of Homeland Security for its failure to ensure proper oversight over state and local “fusion centers.”  Shortly thereafter, the committee issued a statement denouncing the report and lauding fusion centers as playing a “significant role in many recent terrorism cases.”
What to Make of the TrapWire Story

What to Make of the TrapWire Story

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 4:34pm

Some of the Wikileaks-fueled swirl of stories about the TrapWire program appear to have been overhyped, as my colleague Kade Crockford of the ACLU of Massachusetts noted in her excellent roundup of the story yesterday. Others writing about the program…

Step One in Data-Mining America: Build a Big Database

Step One in Data-Mining America: Build a Big Database

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 5:14pm

A few days ago, we highlighted the drastic privacy implications of new guidelines issued to govern data-mining by the National Counterterrorism Center (“NCTC”). Yesterday, we testified to Congress about the problems with the guidelines,…

The Biggest New Spying Program You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

The Biggest New Spying Program You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:18pm

Update: Since this piece was posted, the ACLU has filed FOIA requests seeking more information on data-mining by the NCTC. Read more »

What if a government spy agency had power to copy and data mine information about ordinary Americans…

Big Data: NSA, Facebook—and My University?

Big Data: NSA, Facebook—and My University?

By Bennett Stein, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 12:51pm

On Sunday, the New York Times published an extensive piece surveying the ways American universities are using their access to students’ information to tailor their college experiences. Universities collect a huge amount of data on their students—course…

Friday Links Roundup

Friday Links Roundup

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 3:30pm

The New York Times and Propublica jointly published an editorial last week entitled, “That’s Not My Phone, It’s My Tracker.” The authors review the sorry state of cell phone location privacy, raise and dismiss privacy-protecting…

Will We Mold Ourselves To Match Our Data?

Will We Mold Ourselves To Match Our Data?

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 3:42pm

I recently came across a very nice essay on “The Stupidity of Computers” by David Auerbach, which is really much more interesting than that truism of a headline might suggest.

Auerbach starts with the observation that computers…

Thoughts on British Airways and Enterprise Amnesia

Thoughts on British Airways and Enterprise Amnesia

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 3:18pm

British Airways made headlines in Britain last week with reports that it is planning to do internet searches on customers in order to provide them with a “personal touch.” As a BA spokesperson explained,

We’re essentially…

Privacy, Computers, and Consequences (Computers vs. Humans Part 2)

Privacy, Computers, and Consequences (Computers vs. Humans Part 2)

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 1:09pm

In a post yesterday I discussed the belief that as long as our behavior and communications are only scrutinized by a computer, our privacy has not been invaded. Many people have that sense because computers are so much dumber than human beings.

But…

Computers vs. Humans: What Constitutes A Privacy Invasion?

Computers vs. Humans: What Constitutes A Privacy Invasion?

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 12:37pm

The NSA is refusing to tell two U.S. Senators how many Americans the agency has eavesdropped upon. According to a letter obtained by Wired, the NSA claims that “dedicating sufficient additional resources” to gather that information “would likely…

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