Social Networking Privacy

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Americans' Confidence in Privacy of Electronic Communications is Very Low

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 5:16pm
Pew has a new poll out on Americans’ attitudes toward privacy, and it is full of interesting findings. A New York Times blog piece on the poll focused on the so-called “privacy paradox”—people’s seeming willingness to share personal information despite their professed concern over privacy (more on that below). But for me the most striking finding is that Americans’ confidence in the privacy and security of electronic communications is very low, with over half thinking that email, text messages, chat, and social media are “not at all” or “not very secure.” In too many ways, these beliefs are well-founded, and yet these are the mediums that Americans are using more and more to communicate in their everyday lives.
Send the ACLU to SXSW!

Send the ACLU to SXSW!

What kind of content do YOU think should be featured at one of the biggest technology events of the year?

SXSW Interactive gives the public a substantial say in its programming. This past March, our panel with Edward Snowden was the festival's…

This Revolution Should Not Be Televised

This Revolution Should Not Be Televised

By Lee Rowland, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 4:10pm

(Updated below)

The Prince George's County Police Department in Maryland announced this week that it will be live-tweeting a prostitution sting. With breathless glee, the press release tells us that "PGPD's Vice Unit will conduct a prostitution…

Tech Giants Join the Fight for Our Constitutional Rights

Tech Giants Join the Fight for Our Constitutional Rights

By Gaurav Laroia, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:31pm

For years now, the ACLU and a coalition of other civil rights and civil liberties organizations have been working to roll back the NSA’s unconstitutional warrantless surveillance regime. This past summer’s revelations made the extent of this surveillance…

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…

Giving Consumers Essential Transparency on Apps

Giving Consumers Essential Transparency on Apps

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:54am

Today the ACLU publicly supported a document that we believe will prove to be an important step forward in providing privacy transparency for mobile applications. After more than a year of negotiation among industry, trade associations and consumer…

First in the Nation: Montana Requires a Warrant for Location Tracking

First in the Nation: Montana Requires a Warrant for Location Tracking

By Allie Bohm, Advocacy & Policy Strategist, ACLU at 10:15am

Montana just made history. It recently enacted the first state law in the nation (sponsored by Rep. Daniel Zolnikov (R-Billings)) requiring...

How Social Networks Short-Circuit Our Inborn Privacy Intuitions

How Social Networks Short-Circuit Our Inborn Privacy Intuitions

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 12:58pm

A few years ago, one of our ACLU state affiliates received a request for help from a man who had set up a marijuana grow operation in his home. He was apparently quite proud of what he built, because he bragged about it not only to his friends, but also to his Facebook “Friends.” Unfortunately, one of his Friends was Friends with a police officer a thousand miles away in Florida. That police officer called up his colleagues in

Do Young People Care About Privacy?

Do Young People Care About Privacy?

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 10:00am

Everywhere I go, I hear some variation of the claim that “young people today just don’t care about privacy.” This is something that people widely seem to believe is “just true.” The latest claim to this effect comes in the form of a new poll, the release of which was trumpeted with unfortunate headlines like “Millennials don’t worry about online privacy.”

In fact, the poll, which was conducted by the University of Southern California’s corporate-partnered Center for the Digital Future, showed no such thing. Although there were some differences between younger and older respondents,

The Time is Now for Do Not Track Legislation

The Time is Now for Do Not Track Legislation

By Sandra Fulton, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:53pm

While our electronic privacy laws have remained stagnant, online advertising has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry. The browsing and communications habits of online users are routinely and secretly tracked as they surf the internet. Yesterday,…

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