Back to News & Commentary

Civil Liberties in the Digital Age: Weekly Highlights (4/9/2012)

Anna Salem,
ACLU of Northern California
Share This Page
April 9, 2012

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.

Police Are Using Phone Tracking as a Routine Tool [New York Times]
"Law enforcement tracking of cellphones, once the province mainly of federal agents, has become a powerful and widely used surveillance tool for local police officials, with hundreds of departments, large and small, often using it aggressively with little or no court oversight, documents show."

ACLU-NC and ALC Help Teach Free Speech Civics Lesson to Local H.S. Principal [ACLU of Northern California]
With the help of the ACLU of Northern California and the Asian Law Caucus, three high school seniors in San Francisco recently gave their principal a basic civics lesson: students have free speech rights, online and off.

Why cell-phone tracking should require a warrant [SF Gate]
"The American Civil Liberties Union released a troubling report this past weekend demonstrating that law enforcement agencies around the nation routinely track personal cell phones, often without warrants. Conspicuously absent from the survey was information about the tactics of Northern California police departments."

Consumer Comments to the NTIA on "Multistakeholder Process To Develop Consumer Data Privacy Codes of Conduct" [Consumer Union]
"…71% of respondents were 'very concerned' about companies selling or sharing their information about them without their permission. In addition, 65% of smartphone owners were 'very concerned' that smartphone apps can access their contacts, photos, location and other data on their devices without their permission."

Air Force Chief: It'll Be 'Years' Before We Catch Up On Drone Data [Wired]
"The Air Force has more drones and more sensors collecting more data than it has humans to interpret what the electronic tea leaves say."

Learn more about dotRights: Sign up for breaking news alerts, follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

Learn More About the Issues on This Page