Blog of Rights

Civil Liberties in the Digital Age: Weekly Highlights (11/18/2011)

By Caitlin O'Neill, Criminal Justice and Drug Policy Associate, ACLU of Northern California at 4:00pm

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.

Judge to Feds: To Track Cell Phones, Get a Warrant [ACLU Blog of Rights]
In a victory for the privacy rights of everyone with a cell phone, a court has held that law enforcement agents must get a warrant to access cell phone location records.

Judge Declares Law Governing Warrantless Cellphone Tracking Unconstitutional [Wall Street Journal]
“In a succinct one-page ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Lynn N. Hughes of the Southern District of Texas declared that the law authorizing the government to obtain cellphone records without a search warrant was unconstitutional.”

Verizon Wireless Will Watch Everything You Do If You Don't Opt Out [Consumerist]
“Verizon Wireless is sending emails to customers this week informing them that the company will now begin storing their browsing history, location, app usage data and more, in the name of providing ‘more relevant’ mobile ads.”

The Social Network is Stalking You [ACLU Blog of Rights]
A new web feature by USA Today details the ways that Facebook stalks you around the Internet – even when you’re not logged in.

Google now allows you to opt out of Wi-Fi location database, but it’s not pretty [The Next Web]
“Google has announced a way for owners of wireless networks to opt out of being indexed by its location database by appending ‘_nomap’ to their network’s name (SSID)…”

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