Privacy News and Views for December 1


Brooklyn, Queens, and New York Public Libraries Launch a New Digital Privacy Initiative | Choose Privacy Week

ALA joins the ACLU and 35 other nonprofit and civil society groups to sign a letter urging Congress to reject the “FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act of 2017,” which would expand Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and other surveillance authorities.

Featured: Carpenter v. United States

This week the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Carpenter v. United States, a criminal case testing the scope of the Fourth Amendment’s right to privacy in the digital age.  At issue is a precedent decided long before the Internet, smartphones, GPS, and other electronic communications devices became an inescapable part of our daily lives: in Smith v. Maryland, the Supreme Court held that a person had no reasonable expectation of privacy in information voluntarily shared with a third party, and thus the police had no need of a probable cause warrant to obtain phone numbers and other metadata associated with phone calls.  It is anticipated that the Supreme Court will revisit that precedent when deciding Carpenter, and perhaps put the brakes on law enforcement’s ability to access without a warrant to a wide range and volume of citizens’ personal information that includes cellphone location data.  Here is a round-up of the news coverage:  

Government Surveillance

New Surveillance Bill Would Dramatically Expand NSA Powers | ACLU

Lawsuit aims to uncover how government surveils journalists | Columbia Journalism Review

Senate bill would impose new privacy limits on accessing NSA’s surveillance data |Washington Post

Extreme digital vetting of visitors to the U.S. moves forward under a new name | ProPublica

‘Revenge porn’ bill would criminalize posting nude photos without consent nationwide | Mashable

Corporate Surveillance

Facebook’s New Captcha Test: ‘Upload A Clear Photo Of Your Face’ | Wired

Facebook’s AI Scan Of Your Posts For Suicide Prevention Can’t Be Disabled | International Business Times

Staggering Variety of Clandestine Trackers Found in Popular Android Apps | The Intercept

How Smartphone Apps Are Selling Personal Data Without Our Consent—Legally | The Observer

No, you’re not being paranoid. Sites really are watching your every move | Ars Technica

Google collects Android users’ locations even when location services are disabled | Quartz

Proposed Bill Would Regulate Faceprints, Location Data, Other ‘Sensitive’ Information | MediaPost

Students’ and Minors’ Privacy

Germany bans children’s smartwatches over privacy concerns | Endgaget

Consumer Notice: Internet-Connected Toys Could Present Privacy And Contact Concerns For Children | FBI

Student Privacy and Ed Tech | Federal Trade Commission

Amid attacks, teachers weigh their safety against student privacy | Pew Charitable Trust Stateline

Biometric Privacy

What You’re Giving Away With Those Home DNA Tests | NBC News 41

Chuck Schumer Takes Aim At 23andMe And Other Home DNA Testing Services | Newburgh Gazette

Growing private sector use of facial scanners worries privacy advocates | The Hill

Law and Regulation

Parallel Universe or Coincidence: The CFPB’s New Data Consumer Protection Principles’ Relationship to GDPR | Lexology

Human subjects, third parties, and the law | Inside Higher Education

This Week in Data Breaches

Hackers stole the personal data of 57 million Uber passengers and drivers | Los Angeles Times

Oxford and Cambridge Club hit by data thieves | The Telegraph

UPMC Susquehanna notifies patients of data breach | The Daily Item

NC DHHS issues warning about data breach affecting thousands | CBS News North Carolina

Imgur Discloses Breach Affecting Email and Passwords of 1.7 Million Users | Data Privacy + Security