You shouldn’t have to trade your privacy rights for the ability to use digital technology. But with technological advances coming so quickly, privacy protections are having trouble keeping up. That’s why the ACLU created the dotRights campaign – to let Americans know about what’s really going on with digital privacy, and to press corporations and the government to respect our rights.
You might switch off the GPS function on your cell phone – but that doesn’t mean that your wireless carrier can’t still track your location, store it for long periods, and hand it over to the government on request (it can and does). You might think that you control who can see what you do on the internet – but tightening your Facebook privacy settings or deleting your browser’s tracking cookies won’t change the fact that your online activities are being recorded and sold for profit to the highest bidder.
It’s hard to know the full array of ways your digital footprints are being followed, because when corporations collect your information, they generally don’t need to notify you. But they are amassing extensive profiles about you based on your movements, purchases, friend lists, and more. And because of grossly outdated legislation from before the World Wide Web was even invented, the government often doesn’t need a warrant from a judge to access the contents of your email or texts.
Since law is way behind technology when it comes to protecting your privacy, it’s crucial that you understand the ways in which your activity is being monitored, recorded, and used. To that end, today the ACLU is unveiling the new and improved dotRights.org, your one-stop resource for everything related to digital privacy.
At dotRights.org, you can find out about the threats to privacy based on the technology you’re using, from cell phones, search engines, and web browsers to email, Facebook, and Twitter. You can discover what you can do to protect your smartphone from prying government eyes, what corporations are learning about you based on your activity, and which of your content will be unearthed by Facebook’s newest search tool. And if you’re a student, you’ll learn that contrary to what some might have you believe, you most certainly do not check your rights at the schoolhouse door.
So find out what you don’t know about what they know – and demand your dotRights!