Items tagged "Data Protection"

Press Release

Public Knowledge Submits Statement for Facebook Privacy Hearing

April 10, 2018 Cambridge Analytica , Cybersecurity , Data Protection , Legislation , Privacy

Today, Public Knowledge submitted a statement on the record for the Senate Judiciary and Senate Commerce Committees’ joint hearing on “Facebook, Social Media Privacy, and the Use and Abuse of Data.”

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Last week I went to CES, the tech industry’s annual conference where they show off cool new products, prototypes, and ideas of what’s next in tech. (I also presented on a panel, “Should Big Tech Be Broken Up?,” which you can watch here.) I approached vendors with a policy advocate eye, and did a lot […]

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What Federal Legislators Can Learn From California’s New Ballot Initiative

November 7, 2019 Agency Authority , CCPA , Consumer Privacy , CPRA , Data Privacy , Data Protection , Legislation , Privacy , Privacy Legislation

On January 1, 2020, the nation’s strictest privacy law, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), will take effect. The law empowers consumers to (1) be informed about what personal information a company has collected about them; (2) delete that data; and (3) opt out of companies selling that data to third parties. On top of […]

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As Congress Works Towards Federal Privacy Legislation, There Are Some Protections It Should Not Overlook

October 24, 2019 Data Portability , Data Protection , interoperability , Legislation , Privacy , Private Right of Action , security

Last year, Representative Suzan DelBene (D-WA) introduced a privacy bill, the Information Transparency & Personal Data Control Act (Data Control Act). Public Knowledge provided input to Rep. DelBene’s office on the development of its discussion draft. However, we were disappointed to see that, upon introduction, the substance of the bill had been watered down from […]

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What’s Behind Facebook’s Libra and What We Should Be Concerned About

August 28, 2019 Data Protection , Facebook , Platform Competition , Platform Regulation , Privacy

By this time you may have already read about Libra, Facebook’s proposed cryptocurrency, and all the fuss about its relation to Facebook. Many questions have been coming up: Is Libra a payment instrument? Who is behind it? Why should we trust Facebook? Moreover, the European Union may be already investigating a potential anticompetitive behavior related to Libra. Although […]

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Protecting Privacy Requires Private Rights of Action, Not Forced Arbitration

August 6, 2019 Data Protection , FCC , Forced Arbitration , Mandatory Arbitration , Privacy

Over the past few years, the major U.S. mobile carriers have been in the spotlight over allegations that they have been selling their subscribers’ real-time geolocation data, including highly precise assisted GPS (A-GPS) information designed for use with “Enhanced 911” (E911). The Federal Communications Commission requires mobile carriers to offer E911, a service that provides 911 operators with a wireless caller’s location information, generally accurate within 50 to 300 meters.

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Federal Privacy Legislation Should Not Be Based on Data Ownership

June 27, 2019 Copyright , Data Protection , Privacy

There’s nothing wrong with saying that you “own” data. Public Knowledge has supported data ownership as a colloquialism that reflects an intuition: Data about us provides information regarding the intimacies of our very identity and existence. Speaking in this way, we should certainly “own” or have control over that data to protect our fundamental right to privacy.

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A Regulator to Fit the Growing Regulatory Consensus

April 4, 2019 Data Protection , Facebook , Platform Competition , Platform Regulation , Platform Regulation Series

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently published an op-ed in the Washington Post naming a role for government and regulation around four specific policies that continue to be concerns for users of Facebook and broader digital platforms. In two areas (privacy and political advertising) Zuckerberg reiterates Facebook’s agreement with previous legislative proposals, including parts of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union and (although not named) concepts from the Honest Ads Act introduced by Senators Amy Klobuchar, Mark Warner, and the late John McCain. In addition to these two topics, Zuckerberg also moves towards responding to calls from the public interest community for stronger content moderation of hateful content and for meaningful data portability to promote competition in a market that trends towards dominant platforms. While some may view yet another Facebook op-ed cynically, I believe this one should be welcomed.

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Facebook Shows Why We Need Data Security and Breach Notification Requirements

March 25, 2019 Data Protection , Facebook , Legislation , Privacy , security

Last week, thanks to investigative reporting, we learned that Facebook discovered in January that it was storing millions of users’ passwords in plain text format, making them fully readable for thousands of its employees. Facebook has acknowledged that this was a serious security error and privacy breach on its side, as its systems, ideally, “are designed to mask passwords using techniques that make them unreadable”, and promised that it “will be notifying everyone whose passwords we have found were stored in this way.” There is no evidence that any of the thousand employees with access to these unencrypted passwords actually accessed them, but Facebook’s decision to remain mum reveals an important lesson for the overarching privacy and security policy debate. Importantly, data security incidents are a widespread problem that goes well beyond Facebook.

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Will the FCC Keep Ignoring Carriers That Sell Your GPS Data?

March 13, 2019 Consumer Privacy , Data Protection , E911 , FCC , Privacy

Over the last three months, Motherboard’s Joseph Cox has produced an excellent series of articles on how the major mobile carriers have sold sensitive geolocation data to bounty hunters and others, including highly precise information designed for use with “Enhanced 911” (E911). As we pointed out last month when this news came to light, turning over this E911 data (called assisted GPS or A-GPS), exposing E911 data to third parties — whether by accident or intentionally, or using it in any way except for 911 or other purposes required by law violates the rules the Federal Communications Commission adopted in 2015 to protect E911 data.

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