“How to report on a
data breach” – Columbia
Journalism Review. A veteran tech journalist who has written about a number
of the recent, major data breaches (Target, MySpace, Equifax, LinkedIn, eBay,
JP Morgan Chase, Yahoo, and Sony) offers tips to other journalists that can
serve those interested in the policy side of these issues, including how to
best confirm that a hack has occurred and its extent and how to ethically
confirm an email address or log-in information is part of a breach.
to Stop the Abuse of Location Data” – The New York Times.
Foursquare CEO Jeff Glueck lays out the principles Congress should enshrine in
legislation regulating how the location data on smart phones and other devices
is used, including a fiduciary duty that would bar the use of some location
data (e.g. visits to Planned Parenthood):
First, apps on mobile devices should not
be allowed to ask for location data unless they offer the user a clear service
that depends on that data.
Second, a new privacy law must require
greater transparency around what consumers are signing up for and how their
data will be used.
Third, a privacy law must establish the
obligation and duty on those collecting location data (even with consent) to
“do no harm.”
Moreover, all location companies should
be required to protect consumer data with appropriate security steps, and blur
or minimize data sharing in ways to enhance privacy.
Family Story of Love, the Mob, and Government Surveillance”
– The Atlantic. Former Assistant Attorney General and Harvard Law School
Professor Jack Goldsmith makes amends with his stepfather, Chuckie O’Brien, an
intimate of Teamsters head Jimmy Hoffa, by tracing the history of the U.S.
government disregarding constitutional and statutory constraints on
surveillance in the name of fighting national security and criminal threats.
Once surveillance abuses come to light, Congress institutes new limits while
legalizing some of the previously illegal practices. In the name of national
security, a future administration violates these limits, and the cycle begins
anew. Goldsmith’s reluctant conclusion is “The executive branch does what it
thinks it must, including conduct robust surveillance, to meet our demands for
safety. The technology of surveillance races ahead of the law of surveillance,
which tries to catch up in spurts, and often does an admirable job of
curtailing old abuses. But the law cannot eliminate ever-growing threats, and
security is elemental.”
blocks police from using facial recognition in body cameras”
– San Francisco Chronicle. California Governor Gavin Newsom signed A.B.
1215 which will bar police departments from using body cameras that utilize
facial recognition or biometric information for three years. The bill’s primary
sponsor was motivated to act once Amazon’s facial recognition technology, Rekognition,
incorrectly identified 26 members of the California legislature as criminal
suspects. California is the third state after Oregon and New Hampshire to ban
this technology for police departments, and Oakland and San Francisco already
bar this practice.
Amazon Unstoppable?” – The New Yorker. The magazine
takes a very long, very deep look at the online retailer, its culture, its
impact, its labor practices, and its CEO. The upshot is that Amazon is poised
to fight tooth and nail against tighter regulation at the federal and state
level despite historic tides that may be running against them if previous
patterns of American capitalism repeat.