Adopting cloud computing can mean entrusting data to a third-party vendor. For agencies responsible for personally identifiable information or mission-critical applications, this raises a host of privacy concerns, chief among them the issue of data sovereignty and the question of determining appropriate government and commercial uses of private citizens’ data. This section of the SafeGov.org site analyzes the risks to privacy associated with cloud adoption and explores ongoing means to mitigate them.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Surveys of nearly 5,500 parents in 11 countries around the world, including Europe, Asia and North America, show that parents have high hopes for the contribution that Internet applications can make to their children’s education, especially when it comes to acquiring skills relevant to the modern global economy. At the same time, the vast majority of parents worry that internet companies are tracking and profiling their children’s online activities at school for advertising purposes, and they want such practices banned. Specifically, parents want stronger government regulations against online data mining in schools that isn’t directly related to improving academic performance, and they want schools to forbid such practices. The findings are based on a series of surveys conducted between 2012 and 2014 for SafeGov aimed at capturing global parents’ views on the benefits and risks of proliferating in-school access to internet applications such as email, document creation and group collaboration.
Steven Musil, CNET, Monday, September 15, 2014
"Our business is not based on having information about you. You're not our product," Cook said. "Our products are these, and this watch, and Macs and so forth. And so we run a very different company. I think everyone has to ask, how do companies make their money? Follow the money. And if they're making money mainly by collecting gobs of personal data, I think you have a right to be worried. And you should really understand what's happening to that data, and the companies -- I think -- should be very transparent."
Kirsten Fiedler, EDRi, Monday, September 15, 2014
Between 26 and 29 September, the annual Freedom not Fear (FNF) conference and barcamp will take place in Brussels. As every year, the action days are challenging the false dichotomy that better security comes at a price: the abandonment of our privacy rights.
Cunningham Levy LLP
Friday, September 12, 2014
Something unusual happened in an Oakland federal court this summer. The U.S. Government, concerned that classified national security information had been disclosed in a courtroom crowded with reporters and spectators, asked the court to modify the public record, as though the words had never been said at all, but the government later decided no classified information had been disclosed, so the issue became moot. In a separate federal case, a private company asked another federal judge to remove from the public record possible trade secret information the company’s witness had publicly disclosed, even though a verbatim transcript of the statements had been published on the court’s website. That judge forcefully rejected the company’s attempt to make this information disappear. The parties to these two cases would differ about whether the judges adequately protected their interests in the specific case at issue. But both cases involved alleged intrusive mass surveillance of our private communications, the first by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the second by Google.
Michael Murphy, Forbes, Thursday, September 11, 2014
“If it means preventing another 9/11,” one student said, “I’m willing to give up some of my privacy.” A long, thoughtful debate about a personal need to encrypt versus the larger question of right-to-privacy continued. Whether it was a normal multi-perspective conversation in a journalism class, I don’t know, but the less-privacy-more-security side seemed to be in the majority.
Friday, August 15, 2014
The federal mobile device landscape is evolving at a rate faster than ever before. Budget realities have accelerated the adoption of federal telework initiatives and lowered agencies’ reluctance toward bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies – due to promising cost savings coupled with the growing demand from employees. As a result, agencies today face the daunting task of overseeing a wider assortment of devices, operating systems, and applications – all of which require heightened security and privacy considerations. Within this realm, mobile apps are a promising contribution toward improving productivity, efficiency, and customer service in the federal workforce. Some agencies have already begun rolling out or approving mobile app tools for their employees to use for job-related functions. In addition, other agencies are leveraging public-facing apps to engage constituents such as emergency alerts or newsfeeds. But as agencies approve the use of apps hosted on common commercial market operating systems – such as Google’s Android or Apple’s iOS – how these larger consumer-focused companies set up or utilize application data should be of increasing concern. The federal shift to BYOD and mobile apps must not come at the expense of privacy.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
In this post, I will discuss how the law should handle privacy and security harms. One potential solution is for the law to have statutory damages – a set minimum amount of damages for privacy/security violations. A few privacy statutes have them, such as the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). The nice thing about statutory damage provisions is that they obviate the need to prove harm. Victims can often prove additional harm above the fixed amount, but if they can’t, they can still get the fixed amount.
The Chertoff Group
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Data brokers may soon become the pariahs of cyberspace if they don’t adopt principles of “responsible use.” And, if cloud service providers don’t watch out, they risk becoming tarred with the same brush.
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
In this post, I want to explore two issues that frequently emerge in privacy and data security cases: (a) the future risk of harm; and (b) individual vs. social harm.
Tuesday, July 01, 2014
In my previous post, I explained how the law is struggling to deal with privacy and data security harms. In this post, I will explore why. One of the challenges with data harms is that they are often created by the aggregation of many dispersed actors over a long period of time.