We are living in an age of dramatic technological progress. That progress has brought us many conveniences and advantages, but one result has been a rash of new spying and surveillance technologies. These include new or greatly improved imaging devices, location-tracking technologies, communications eavesdropping systems, and new means of collecting ever-more-granular data of all kinds about individuals and their activities.
All too often, the deployment of these technologies happens faster than our social, political, educational, or legal systems can react, producing a “land rush” in which companies and government agencies deploy new privacy-invasive technologies before subjects are aware that they exist—and certainly before we have consented to their use through our democratic political system.
The ACLU promotes the preservation of privacy and other values in a manner that maximizes the advantages that such technology might bring us. In some cases, technology-specific rules might be warranted. In all cases, we would benefit from the application of basic privacy principles, such as the globally recognized Fair Information Practice Principles.
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