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Civil Liberties in the Digital Age: Weekly Highlights (10/28/2011)

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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October 28, 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.

Cell Phone Data and Expectations of Privacy []
“While cell phones keep us connected to those who are important in our lives, the technology also has the potential of exposing our movements to others. Cellular telephone transmissions record the general locations of the users through transmissions via cell towers.”

Majority Of Top 100 Brands Now Have Mobile Apps, Up From Just Half 18 Months Ago [TechCrunch]
“A report being released today from mobile analytics firm Distimo finds that the majority of the top 100 brands (91%) now have a presence in at least one of the major mobile application stores, usually Apple’s iTunes.”

U.S. Continues to Blow Away the Field in Demanding Information from Google [ACLU Blog of Rights]
We know that the government takes advantage of outdated privacy law to demand our personal information from online services that collect and hold our data. But what we rarely know is exactly how often this happens.

Wyden says privacy laws need changes [Statesman Journal]
“Sen. Ron Wyden wants to keep the United States from taking a step toward the totalitarian state envisioned in the novel ‘1984.’”

Get a warrant: Congress must act to protect privacy in digital age [The Hill]
“But ECPA’s standards and the privacy safeguards they once provided have been outpaced by advances in technology and the new ways in which Americans use electronic communications.”

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