NYU/Princeton Conference on Mobile and Location Privacy: A Technology and Policy Dialog – Ashkan Soltani
April 13, 2013 By kristin thomson
NYU Law School, New York, NY | April 13, 2013
The age of ubiquitous computing is here. People routinely carry smartphones and other devices capable of recording and transmitting immense quantities of personal information and tracking their every move. Privacy has suffered in this new environment, with new reports every week of vulnerabilities and unintended disclosures of private information. On Friday, April 13, 2012, New York University’s Information Law Institute and Princeton’s Center for Information Technology Policy hosted a technology and policy dialogue about the new world of mobile and location privacy. The gathering aimed to bring together the policy and technology communities to discuss the substantial privacy issues arising from the growth of mobile and location technologies.
By Alex Byers, Politico’s Morning Tech, April 12, 2013
CHAFFETZ: ‘EVERY CONFIDENCE’ THAT GPS ACT WILL CLEAR COMMITTEE – Rep. Jason Chaffetz is plenty positive when it comes to whether his bill – which would require law enforcement to score a warrant before obtaining the location of your cellphone – will pass the House Judiciary panel. “…”The last thing the major carriers or hardware companies want to do is have people become afraid of their phones or other mobile devices,” he said. Chaffetz said he didn’t have an exact timeline on next steps, although your MT-er has heard rumblings for a while about a location privacy hearing later this month. Chaffetz added that he’d prefer tackling the issue as a standalone item, instead of conflating the issue with email privacy reform – the opposite of what’s been suggested by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, chairman of the Judiciary subcommittee that will likely have jurisdiction and a co-sponsor of the GPS Act.
by Erin Aures, Privacy Law Blog, April 1, 2013
In a recent ruling arising from certain certified questions in Tyler v. Michaels Stores, Inc., Civ. No. 11-10920-WGY D. Mass. Jan. 6, 2012, the Massachusetts Supreme Court interpreted “personal identification information” under Mass. Gen. Laws, ch. 93, § 105a Section 105a to include a consumer’s ZIP code and determined that collecting such personal information is a violation of state privacy law for which the consumer can sue see slip opinion. By way of background, the plaintiff, Tyler, alleged she was making a credit card purchase at Michaels an arts and crafts retailer when a cashier asked her for her ZIP code. Tyler provided her ZIP code. Tyler alleged her ZIP code was later used by Michaels to find Tyler’s mailing address and telephone numbers and send her unwanted and unsolicited marketing materials. …
For full text of the analysis, visit Massachusetts Supreme Court Rules ZIP Codes Are Definitely “Personal Identification Information” | Privacy Law Blog.
- Bucks: Why Retailers Ask for Your ZIP Code (bucks.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Zip Codes Are Private Info, Says Massachusetts Supreme Court (blogs.lawyers.com)
- Bed Bath & Beyond Sued Over Zip Code Data (insideprivacy.com)
- Why you shouldn’t tell stores your ZIP code (nbcnews.com)
Google on Tuesday acknowledged to state officials that it had violated people’s privacy during its Street View mapping project when it casually scooped up passwords, e-mail and other personal information from unsuspecting computer users. In agreeing to settle a case brought by 38 states involving the project, the search company for the first time is required to aggressively police its own employees on privacy issues and to explicitly tell the public how to fend off privacy violations like this one.
For full text of the article, visit Google Admits Street View Project Violated Privacy – NYTimes.com.
- Google Maps with Street View on iOS: what it can and can’t do (reviews.cnet.com)
- Google settles Street View privacy case with 38 states for $7 million (theverge.com)
By Christopher Rees and Kevin Madders, BBC News, 28 February 2013
Since the issues are transnational, we’ve proposed the development of an international Geo-information Convention.Its aim is to be technology-neutral, so that it is future-proof enough also to cover new systems like hyper spectral sensors reminiscent of Star Trek and drones with privacy implications reminiscent of 1984.Continue reading the main story “Start Quote What limits should we put on use of its power?”The essential questions are: how do we make geoinformation reliable enough for the particular applications for which it is to be used, and what limits should we put on use of its power?Work on these difficult questions has already begun through the International Bar Association.
For full text of this op-ed, visit BBC News – Viewpoint: We need ground rules for geo-information.
Thank you to Adena Schutzberg (@adenas) for passing this along.
- We need ground rules for geo-information (bbc.co.uk)
By Steve Aftergood, Secrecy News, January 31, 2013
The development of unmanned aerial systems (or drones) for military and civilian applications appears to be accelerating faster than the normal policy process can adapt to it. Aside from festering doubts about the legality, propriety and wisdom of their routine use in targeted killing operations, drone programs are beset by budgetary confusion, and a host of privacy and other legal problems are poised to emerge with the expanded use of drones in domestic airspace. … Meanwhile, “Perhaps the most contentious issue concerning the introduction of drones into U.S. airspace is the threat that this technology will be used to spy on American citizens,” said a new report from the Congressional Research Service.
For full text of the article visit Secrecy News here.
A copy of the CRS report was obtained by Secrecy News. See Integration of Drones into Domestic Airspace: Selected Legal Issues, January 30, 2013.
See also Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS): Manufacturing Trends, January 30, 2013.
- Drones spur fierce debate in Oregon over privacy, technology, jobs (oregonlive.com)
- Drone Home (time.com)
- MPAA Lobbying For Drones In Movie Industry (fastcompany.com)
- imabonehead: NOVA | Rise of the Drones (pbs.org)
The Senate Judiciary Committee held an executive business meeting to consider pending nominations and legislation on December 13, 2012, including the Location Privacy Protection Act. The bill, however, was not enacted in the last Congress.
Watch the video here (meeting starts at 21 min into video).
- Substitute Amendment HEN12877 (Franken) Adopted By Unanimous Consent
For more information and links to the amendments listed above, please visit Senate Judiciary Committee.
- Location-Tracking Apps Would Need Permission in U.S. Bill – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- Expect Elizabeth Warren on Senate Judiciary Committee (legalinsurrection.com)
- Senate Judiciary Committee Passes ECPA, Which Will Require Warrants For Messages and Emails (betabeat.com)
- Senate Committee Moves Forward with Internet Privacy Bill (legaltimes.typepad.com)
- Senate Judiciary Committee approves bill requiring authorities to obtain warrants for email records (theverge.com)
Alex Fitzpatrick, Mashable, Dec 17, 2012
Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota is championing the cause of data privacy — specifically, he wants to keep the smartphone locations of women and children a secret from stalkers and third-party companies. Franken’s new bill, the Location Protection Privacy Act of 2012, would outlaw so-called “stalking apps,” software specifically designed to track a person’s movements via their phone’s GPS signal and which is marketed for nefarious purposes. What are stalking apps used for?During testimony last week to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Franken told the story of a Minnesota woman whose abuser was sending threatening text messages based on her location.
For full text of the article, visit Senator Wants to Keep Women’s GPS Data Away From Stalkers.
Congressional Research Service Summary
Latest Title: Location Privacy Protection Act of 2011
Sponsor: Sen Franken, Al [MN] (introduced 6/16/2011) Cosponsors (6)
Latest Major Action: 12/17/2012 Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No. 567.
Location Privacy Protection Act of 2011 – Amends the federal criminal code to prohibit a nongovernmental individual or entity engaged in the business of offering or providing a service to electronic communications devices from knowingly collecting, obtaining, or disclosing to a nongovernmental individual or entity geolocation information from an electronic communications device without the express authorization of the individual using the device. Defines “geolocation information” as any information concerning the location of an electronic communications device and used to identify or approximate the location of the electronic communications device or the individual using the device. Makes exceptions: (1) necessary to locate a minor child or provide fire, medical public safety, or other emergency services; (2) for the sole purpose of transmitting the geolocation information to the individual or another authorized recipient; or (3) expressly required by state, regulation, or appropriate judicial process.