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Civil Liberties in the Digital Age: Weekly Highlights (9/27/2011)

A sinister internet graphic.
A sinister internet graphic.
Caitlin O'Neill,
Criminal Justice and Drug Policy Associate,
ACLU of Northern California
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September 27, 2011

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.

US net neutrality rules finalized, in effect November 20 [Ars Technica]
“The FCC has just filed its final “open Internet” rules (PDF) with the Federal Register, which will publish them tomorrow and make them official. The rules go into effect on November 20, nearly a year after they were passed over Republican opposition on a 3-2 vote.”

Google Battles Charges Of Search Bias [Information Week]
“Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt defended his company at a Senate hearing in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, by insisting that Google is not Microsoft and that Google continues to adhere to pro-competitive principles that serve consumers.”

See also: Google’s Competitors Square Off Against Its Leader

OnStar Tracks Your Car Even When You Cancel Service [Wired]
“Navigation-and-emergency-services company OnStar is notifying its six million account holders that it will keep a complete accounting of the speed and location of OnStar-equipped vehicles, even for drivers who discontinue monthly service.”

See also: New OnStar privacy policy expands on data sharing

One Little Foursquare Privacy Change Now Makes a Big Difference [ReadWriteWeb]
“Location based social network Foursquare has quietly released a new feature that allows places user categorize as their homes to be included in the system but not expose their exact addresses.”

Privacy Risk Found on Cellphone Games [Wall Street Journal]
“Major cellphone game networks have been handling the unique ID numbers on smartphones in insecure ways — in some cases even allowing access by a potential cybercriminal to a user’s Facebook and Twitter accounts — new research suggests.”

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