Albert Gidari is the Consulting Director of Privacy at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society. He was a partner for over 20 years at Perkins Coie LLP, achieving a top-ranking in privacy law by Chambers, before retiring to consult with CIS on its privacy program. He negotiated the first-ever "privacy by design" consent decree with the Federal Trade Commission on behalf of Google, which required the establishment of a comprehensive privacy program including third party compliance audits. Mr. Gidari is a recognized expert on electronic surveillance law; and, long an advocate for greater transparency in government demands for user data, he brought the first public lawsuit before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, seeking the right of providers to disclose the volume of national security demands received. Mr. Gidari earned an LLM from University of Washington School of Law, his law degree from George Mason University School of Law, and his undergraduate degree from Tulane University.
Hi Res Photo of Albert Gidari
The Law, Borders, and Speech conference at Stanford’s Center for Internet and Society asked the important question: Which countries’ laws and values will govern Internet users’ online behavior, including their free expression rights? The conference used the landmark article written in 1996 by David G. Post and David R. Johnson to examine whether twenty years on their conclusions still held true. Post and Johnson had concluded that “[t]he rise of the global computer network is destroying the link between geographical location and: (1) the power of local governments to assert control over online behavior; (2) the effects of online behavior on individuals or things; (3) the legitimacy of the efforts of a local sovereign to enforce rules applicable to global phenomena; and (4) the ability of physical location to give notice of which sets of rules apply.” They proposed that national law must be reconciled with self-regulatory processes emerging from the network itself.
An enormous amount of attention has been paid to the oral argument before the Supreme Court in Carpenter v. United States. The transcript provides tantalizing tea leaves as to whether the Court will find a protectable right to privacy in a cell phone subscriber’s location and many pundits seem to think the day went to Carpenter while I haven’t heard anyone touting a government homerun.
Last month, the Supreme Court of California may have decided the future of the public's access to "smart city" data without knowing it. In ACLU v Los Angeles Police Department, the court accepted that raw data collected by Los Angeles police and sheriff departments, using automated licence plate readers (ALPRs), constituted a public record subject to disclosure under California's Public Records Act (CPRA) absent an exemption. The court held that the catch-all disclosure exemption in the CPRA applied, which requires balancing the public interest in preventing disclosure where certain harms can be identified against the public interest served by disclosure such as furthering the public's understanding of the privacy risks of the ALPR program.
If your cell phone is on, your location is known, tracked and recorded, whether you are in your home or in public. As you move around, your location history is created and stored by the carrier, numerous applications on the device, and potentially even the manufacturer of the device or operating system provider. Your consent to capture this information, whether rough location or very granular, may be tacit, inherent in the application’s usage, or freely given when you activate, install or operate the device.
The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing yesterday on cross-border data requests, featuring testimony from the Department of Justice, the U.K. government, Google, the Center for Democracy and Technology, state law enforcement, and Professor Andrew Woods. Everyone recognizes the problem: law enforcement outside the U.S. can’t get data for their legitimate investigations from U.S.
"Al Gidari, a former partner at Perkins Coie who still speaks with tech executives, said there may have been initial discomfort about the case, given that it involved a terrorist attack and a “general sense” that the government’s request was not overly burdensome.
But Apple’s brief, in which it explained the burden and the harm, particularly in regard to the compelled signing of the software update, “has galvanized industry support,” said Gidari, who is now with Stanford’s Center for Internet and Society."
"At the same time, “CALEA did not prohibit a carrier from deploying an encryption service for which it did not retain the ability to decrypt communications for law enforcement access, period,” wrote Albert Gidari, director of privacy at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society, in an analysis of the case.
"Because of the nature of the request, the outcome of the California case is more significant than the Brooklyn case, analysts say. “It has the potential to alter the landscape permanently,” said Al Gidari, a former partner at Perkins Coie who represented tech firms and is now at Stanford University."
"The ruling should help in the California case because Orenstein fully supported Apple’s arguments, a company executive said on a call with reporters. The Justice Department said it will appeal his decision.
Orenstein’s decision “lays out in excruciating detail for the government all the reasons why they’ve overreached here,” according to Albert Gidari, director of privacy at the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School."
"“When they leave, they all recognize the extraordinary power the government has,” said Albert Gidari, a recently retired privacy lawyer who worked with Google and referred Zwillinger to Apple. Zwillinger sends Gidari brownies each holiday season as a thank you.
“They know from their time on hand that power can be abused,” Gidari said."
RSVP is required for this free event.
Join Troy Sauro, Senior Privacy Counsel, Google Inc., for a discussion about his journey from being a litigation attorney in a big law firm to becoming a Google privacy counsel. Sponsored by the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School. CIS Director of Privacy Albert Gidari will moderate the discussion.
The Center for Internet and Society (CIS) is a public interest technology law and policy program at Stanford Law School and a part of Law, Science and Technology Program at Stanford Law School. CIS brings together scholars, academics, legislators, students, programmers, security researchers, and scientists to study the interaction of new technologies and the law and to examine how the synergy between the two can either promote or harm public goods like free speech, innovation, privacy, public commons, diversity, and scientific inquiry.