CIS in the news.

  • I took a cannabis DNA test and learned more than I bargained for

    Date published: 
    March 10, 2019

    "Jen King, Director of Consumer Privacy at Stanford University’s Center for Internet and Society, calls these companies her “worst nightmare.”

    “A lot of the data we share online is expirable, in some sense,” she says. “Your shopping habits or your basic demographic data change over time. Your DNA never changes. It literally has an infinite shelf life — and it’s uniquely identifiable in a way that no other personal data is.”"

  • Uber death leaves questions about self-driving car liability unanswered

    Date published: 
    March 8, 2019

    "It's generally difficult to hold companies criminally liable, according to Bryant Walker Smith, a professor at the University of South Carolina School of Law who studies autonomous vehicles. The circumstances would have to be egregious and reckless: for example, a company that paid bonuses to test drivers whose vehicles had the most close calls with pedestrians. A company that falsified information on the quality of its cars, misleading the government, would also have a higher chance of being criminally liable."

  • SEPTA cops’ strike touches on a national issue: Who should see body camera footage?

    Date published: 
    March 7, 2019

    "“One of the main reasons we’ve adopted body-worn cameras across the country is because of a mistrust of police and for the purpose of improving community/police relations,” said Harlan Yu, executive director of the Washington civil rights nonprofit Upturn, which evaluates departments’ body camera policies. “This is the animating concern of the adoption of body cameras, building that trust.""

  • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Makes Big New Promises About Privacy

    Date published: 
    March 6, 2019

    "“This does nothing to address the ad targeting and information collection about individuals,” said Jen King, director of consumer privacy at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society. “It’s great for your relationship with other people. It doesn’t do anything for your relationship with Facebook itself.”"

  • Facebook Promises Encrypted Messaging, but You Don't Need to Wait

    Date published: 
    March 6, 2019

    "Metadata is valuable because it can be just as revealing as what you write in a message, says Jonathan Mayer, assistant professor of computer science and public affairs at Princeton University in New Jersey, and former chief technologist for the Federal Communications Commission’s Enforcement Bureau.

  • Uber Not Criminally Liable In Death Of Woman Hit By Self-Driving Car, Prosecutor Says

    Date published: 
    March 6, 2019

    "Bryant Walker Smith, a University of South Carolina law professor whose research focuses on automated driving systems, suggests not reading too much into the prosecutor's letter.

    "It's not necessarily exculpatory — it doesn't exonerate Uber or put the company's conduct then or now beyond criticism," he writes in an email to NPR. "And I'm not sure it tells us much about the criminal, much less civil, liability of automated driving developers in future incidents."

  • Why Facebook, Google, and Twitter don't want to be media companies

    Date published: 
    March 5, 2019

    "Jennifer Granick, attorney with ACLU, points out that the arguments, or those engaging in them, are often paradoxical. The same people who don’t want Facebook to restrict job searches to people of certain age or housing by ethnicity may want Facebook to remove what they consider hateful speech. The social media companies also talk from both sides of their mouth, arguing like media companies that they need to cover both sides of, say, political issues, but then pooh-poohing calls for the kind of regulation media companies have.

  • Tech Industry Wants a Stronger Privacy Law Than California’s

    Date published: 
    March 1, 2019

    "At the Senate hearing, Northeastern University’s Professor of Law and Computer Science Woodrow Hartzog said he teaches his students to expect to deal with a patchwork of state laws on a variety of issues, so the argument that state regulation stifles innovation may not be true, because many industries consider it a legal reality.

  • Senators Talk Federal Privacy Regs As Tech Trade Groups Push To Preempt States' Laws

    Date published: 
    February 28, 2019

    "“In the United States, we have a tradition of dealing with a patchwork of 50 state laws, [and] while there are virtues to consistency, it’s not the obstacle that would strike me as the first thing we have to surmount if we’re going to get privacy right,” said Woodrow Hartzog, the lone privacy advocate testifying before the committee, and a professor of law and computer science at Northeastern University."

  • Hacker Simple Nomad’s personal opsec tips (Q&A)

    Date published: 
    February 27, 2019

    "How long have you operated with that assumption?

    Probably 20 years. I had an incident occur in my hotel room at Black Hat. My room was broken into, and my tech was compromised. They pulled the hard drive out of the wall safe, plugged it into my Linux laptop, booted it up off of a different drive, and then accessed files and copied it. Then they put the drive back in the safe.

  • Privacy, Policy, and the Illusion of Control

    Date published: 
    February 27, 2019

    "Woodrow Hartzog, a professor of law and computer science at Northeastern University, said in his written testimony for the Senate hearing that this model doesn’t work at any large scale.

    “The problem with notice and choice models is that they create incentives for companies to both hide the risks in their data practices though manipulative design, vague abstractions, and excessive and complex words while at the same time shifting risk by engineering a system meant to expedite the transfer of rights and relinquishment of protections,” he said."

  • Marvin Ammori's Next Act: A Net Neutrality Vet on Blockchain—and Why the Internet Is Still Great

    Date published: 
    February 23, 2019

    "If you read about the biggest tech battles in Washington D.C. over the last decade, the name Marvin Ammori comes up again and again. A lanky young lawyer, Ammori made his name fighting for free speech online, and leading successful campaigns against the powerful telecom and entertainment lobbies.

    His biggest triumphs came in 2015 when the Federal Communications Commission implemented strict net neutrality rules—a ban on Internet providers favoring some websites over others—and, a year later, when a federal appeals court upheld the legal basis for those rules."

  • You Give Apps Sensitive Personal Information. Then They Tell Facebook.

    Date published: 
    February 22, 2019

    "Privacy lawyers say the collection of health data by nonhealth entities is legal in most U.S. states, provided there is sufficient disclosure in an app’s and Facebook’s terms of service. The Federal Trade Commission has taken an interest in cases in which data sharing deviates widely from what users might expect, particularly if any explanation was hard for users to find, said Woodrow Hartzog, a professor of law and computer science at Northeastern University."

  • Pinterest Blocks Vaccination Searches in Move to Control the Conversation

    Date published: 
    February 20, 2019

    "“There’s a secretive process with no real appeal where people are making extremely difficult subjective calls that have to do with politics, culture and religion,” said Jennifer Granick, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union. “This example shows why it is dangerous. If I want to find good information about vaccines, I can’t find it.”"