Tag Archive | Texas

Texas proposes one of nation’s “most sweeping” mobile privacy laws

by Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, March 6, 2013

Privacy experts say that a pair of new mobile privacy bills recently introduced in Texas are among the “most sweeping” ever seen. And they say the proposed legislation offers better protection than a related privacy bill introduced this week in Congress.If passed, the new bills would establish a well-defined, probable-cause-driven warrant requirement for all location information. That’s not just data from GPS, but potentially pen register, tap and trace, and tower location data as well. Such data would be disclosed to law enforcement “if there is probable cause to believe the records disclosing location information will provide evidence in a criminal investigation.”

For full text of the article, please visit Texas proposes one of nation’s “most sweeping” mobile privacy laws | Ars Technica.


Even Hobby Drones Could Be Made Illegal In Texas

by Rebecca Boyle, POPSCI, February 12, 2013

On a hazy day last January, an unmanned aircraft enthusiast piloted his camera-equipped drone in the vicinity of a Dallas meatpacking plant, cruising around 400 feet in the air. To test his equipment, he took some photos of the Trinity River with a point-and-shoot camera mounted to his $75 foam airframe. When he retrieved the remote-controlled aircraft, he noticed something odd in the photos: A crimson stream, which appeared to be blood, leaking into a river tributary. …On Dec. 26, a grand jury handed down several indictments against the owners of the Columbia Packing Company for dumping pig blood into a creek. … Under a new law proposed in the Texas legislature, sponsored by a lawmaker from the Dallas suburbs, this type of activity could soon be criminal. …

Texas House Bill 912–and similar laws under debate right now in Oregon and elsewhere–are driving a burgeoning debate about how to use and control unmanned air systems, from an AR.Drone to a quadcopter. The Federal Aviation Administration is in the process of drafting new rules governing unmanned aircraft in civilian airspace, including military-style aircraft. But in the meantime, plenty of cheap, easy-to-use aircraft are already popular among hobbyists and, increasingly, activists and law enforcement.

For full text of the article Even Hobby Drones Could Be Made Illegal In Texas | Popular Science.

Encyclopedia Britannica’s loses GPS mapping suit

Encyclopaedia Britannica loses suit involving GPS mapping

This case has been brewing for some years. Encyclopedia Britannica (EB) filed suit against a seven GPS vendors (TomTom and Toyota among them) alleging patent infringement on an old patent about providing data on interactive maps. The case was tossed out by US district judge Lee Yeakel in Austin, Texas since the patent was determined to be invalid.

The patent related to displaying information about locations, something EB did in its electronic encyclopedias. The company felt that invention was being used in navigation devices and began filing suit against GPS and in-car navigation device makers in 2006 and 2007.


Source: Directions Magazine, June 25, 2010. http://apb.directionsmag.com/archives/6324-Judges-Invalidates-Encyclopedia-Britannica-Patent-on-Interactive-Maps.html

Tracking Truant Teens, Tracking Terrorists

Patty Day, PhD candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, alerted me to the following two articles:

License Plate Readers to be Used in DC Area

Authorities plan to install about 200 automated license plate readers on police vehicles and alongside roads in the Washington area to thwart potential terrorist attacks, dramatically expanding the use of a high-tech tool previously aimed at parking scofflaws and car thieves.

Source: Mary Beth Sheridan, Washington Post, August 17, 2008, Page C01

For full text of the article, visit: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/16/AR2008081602218.html

Apparently they want to do this in New York as well.

The NYPD is developing Operation Sentinel, a proposal to use cameras, license plate scanners and radiation sensors to photograph and scan each vehicle crossing into the city via bridge or tunnel. A similar tag-reading system is planned for Washington, D.C., using $4.5 million of a $59.8 million federal homeland security grant.

Source: PTI Technology Matters 8/26/08

See also the previous GeodataPolicy Blog posting from April 2008: https://geodatapolicy.wordpress.com/2008/06/14/vehicle-identification-and-tracking/


Texas truant students to be tracked by GPS anklets

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Court authorities here will be able to track students with a history of skipping school under a new program requiring them to wear ankle bracelets with Global Positioning System monitoring. … Linda Penn, a Bexar County justice of the peace, said she anticipates that about 50 students from four San Antonio-area school districts — likely to be mostly high schoolers — will wear the anklets during the six-month pilot program announced Friday. …Penn said students in the program will wear the ankle bracelets full-time and will not be able to remove them. They’ll be selected as they come through her court, and Penn will target truant students with gang affiliations, those with a history of running away and skipping school and those who have been through her court multiple times.

Source: Elizabeth White, Associated Press, August 23, 2008

For full text of the article visit: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080823/ap_on_re_us/gps_monitoring_truants

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