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Civil Liberties in the Digital Age: Weekly Highlights (5/18/2012)

Anna Salem,
ACLU of Northern California
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May 18, 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.

To Warrant or Not to Warrant? ACLU, Police Clash Over Cellphone Location Data [Wired – Kim Zetter]
“A bill requiring law enforcement agents to obtain a warrant to collect an individual’s geolocation data from cellphone carriers would be burdensome to criminal investigators and prevent them from gathering the evidence they need to make a case, according to law enforcement witnesses at a hearing on Thursday.”
See Also In Congress Today: Testifying in Support of Geo-Privacy [ACLU – Catherine Crump]

Twitter confirms support for Do Not Track [ars technica – Casey Johnston]
“Twitter will officially support the Do Not Track feature in browsers, Ed Felten, chief technology officer for the Federal Trade Commission, announced on Thursday.”
See Also Twitter accused of ‘tracking’ users across the Web [ZDNet – Zack Whittaker]

School officials’ Facebook rummaging prompts mom’s privacy crusade [MSNBC – Bob Sullivan]
“A mother who says her middle-school daughter was forced to let school officials browse the 13-year-old girl’s private Facebook page is speaking out against the practice because, she says, ‘other parents are scared to talk about it.'”

On Facebook, deleting an app doesn’t delete your data from their system [ars technica – Casey Johnston]
“This implies that, even if you change Facebook’s privacy settings since beginning to use a third-party service, or no longer user the service at all, the service may keep your data on hand unless directly asked to delete it.”
See Also Facebook to Let Users Vote On Its Privacy Policies [Read Write Web – Dave Copeland]
See Also Facebook: $100 Billion IPO. Almost 1 Billion Users. You Do the Math. [Chris Conley – ACLU]

Facebook & your privacy [Consumer Reports]
“We dug into private, academic, and government research, as well as Facebook’s labyrinthian policies and controls. And we surveyed 2,002 online households, including 1,340 that are active on Facebook, for our annual State of the Net report

Justice Dept. Defends Public’s Constitutional ‘Right to Record’ Cops [Wired – Kim Zetter]
“As police departments around the country are increasingly caught up in tussles with members of the public who record their activities, the U.S. Justice Department has come out with a strong statement supporting the First Amendment right of individuals to record police officers in the public discharge of their duties.”
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