Blog of Rights

Civil Liberties in the Digital Age: Weekly Highlights (6/8/2012)

By Anna Salem, ACLU of Northern California at 2:50pm

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.

ACLU Phone App Lets You Shoot the Cops [Wired – David Kravets]

"The New York chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has released an Android application allowing mobile-phone users to easily capture police patdowns on video, which is then automatically uploaded to the rights group’s servers."

Your iPhone calendar isn't private—at least if you use the LinkedIn app [ars technica – Jacqui Cheng]

"According to security researchers Yair Amit and Adi Sharabani, the app then transmits this information to LinkedIn's servers without any clear indication to the user that this is hapening—a throwback to the Path controversy that revealed the social networking app (among many others) had been transmitting users' contact lists to a remote server without explicit user consent."

See Also LinkedIn investigating reports that 6.46 million hashed passwords have leaked online [The Verge – Aaron Souppouris]

See Also LinkedIn’s Leaky Mobile App Has Access to Your Meeting Notes [New York Times – Nicole Perlroth]

How the Tech Industry’s Anti-SOPA Tactics Changed Politics [Read Write Web – Antone Gonsalves]

"The tactics used in the massive online protests that helped convince Congress to axe the controversial SOPA and PIPA bills earlier this year brought new weight to Internet-based activism."

30,000 secret surveillance orders approved each year, judge estimates [ars technica – Nate Anderson]

"A federal judge estimates that his fellow federal judges issue a total of 30,000 secret electronic surveillance orders each year—and the number is probably growing."

Ad Networks Bypass iPhone Privacy Rules [Wall Street Journal - Joel Schectman and Jessica E. Vascellaro]

"To avoid the limits of Apple's rules, ad networks that serve advertisements within mobile apps have started using new identifiers that collect information like location and preferences as the user moves across apps."

SceneTap Bars Tap Into Patron Outrage by Failing to Consider Privacy Concerns [ACLU – Chris Conley]

When a number of bars in San Francisco agreed  to install facial detection cameras to collect and broadcast demographic information about the bar’s patrons, the local community lashed out – not only at SceneTap, the developer of the service, but also at the bars who agreed to use it.

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