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 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.
No one wants to live in a “dumb” city. But I question whether anyone ought to want to live in a really smart city either. I’d prefer to just live in a smarter city -- one that puts my privacy and security first before rolling out ubiquitous sensors and broad-scale data collection in the name of some larger public good.
I have been writing for some time about the huge discrepancy between the number of wiretaps reported annually by the Administrative Office (AO) of the US Courts and the numbers reported by phone companies and online service providers in their transparency reports. It never occurred to me that the AO might be at fault for some of the apparent under-reporting of wiretaps.
I submitted comments this week to the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission as the Director of Privacy at the Center for Internet and Society (CIS). The emergence of new transportation networks and platforms certainly presents privacy challenges and the private companies in these emerging markets certainly have had their share of privacy mis-steps.
Consulting Director of Privacy at the Stanford Law Center for Internet and Society, Albert Gidari, comments on the landmark U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on location tracking in Carpenter v. United States:
"“The lack of potential for harm certainly is a factor in a decision not to disclose,” said Albert Gidari, the consulting director of privacy at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society, in an email."
"And it is this that so frustrates law enforcement officials. "If the UK has complaints, it is with the US Department of Justice for failing to adequately staff and promptly process the requests," says Albert Gidari, the director of privacy at the Stanford Law School. In short: it isn't completely the fault of tech companies – Apple's encryption fight with the FBI in 2016 showed they are willing in some cases to stand up for the privacy rights of users."
"However, in cases of chat, gaming, or other internet services that are not tightly integrated with existing phone infrastructure, such as Google Hangouts, Signal and Facebook Messenger, federal regulators have not attempted to extend the eavesdropping law to cover them, said Al Gidari, a director of privacy at Stanford University Law School’s Center for Internet and Society.
“A messaging platform is excluded,” maintains Gidari, who is not involved in the Fresno case"
"But Albert Gidari, consulting director of privacy at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society, said it's not unusual to see a tech company without a CPO.
"While there have been some very public mistakes, like many tech companies, [Uber] seems to have learned, albeit the hard way, to invest in a serious privacy and security infrastructure," Gidari said. "It is important for the CPO to be in the "C" suite, and Uber has made a serious hire with Ruby Zefo and Simon Hania.""
"“That was a green light for telecommunications carriers to monetize customer location data,” said Stanford University law professor Al Gidari, who helped draft the location-data guidelines that wireless industry group CTIA used to self-regulate. He said the FCC has been “woefully inadequate” at policing the carriers’ use of location information."
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Smart cities, smart buildings, and sensors everywhere are creating a web of surveillance and data collection that threaten privacy on a massive scale. It's not too late to change the dynamic. We just have to be smart about it.
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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.