Posts tagged ‘Privacy’
CISA Rears Its Ugly Head Once Again: Privacy Loses as U.S. Technology Companies Try to Quietly Jump on the CISA Bandwagon
Well, unfortunately today’s news validates the last sentence in my previous post regarding Congress and the current administration blindly following the NSA’s lead. CISA has been passed out of the House and with White House support, there is a real chance this badly conceived bill could become law. The disturbing fact is that this is largely due to support from almost every major U.S. technology company. Why would they support a piece of legislation so odious that even the DHS is against it? Surprisingly, the DHS calls the bill fundamentally flawed, deriding:
“…the bill’s failure to mandate a privacy scrub of personal data, explaining that DHS will be forced to ‘contribute to the compromise of personally identifiable information by spreading it further.’ Companies and the government should be securing our personal information, not sharing it unnecessarily.” (more…)
We’ve been promising an update to our book, Privacy and Big Data, since the just pre- and mostly post-Snowden era. When we proposed and wrote the book it was to fill a void. At the time, there was a lack of mainstream attention to the issues of privacy by the media and a lack of understanding of the issues and implications we all face in the digital world. As tech veterans of long standing, we have seen our world transformed for better and for worse by our industry. Much of the “worst” we chronicled in our book and at the time its release, many relegated our book and ourselves to the “foil hat” and “black helicopter” brigade. Yes, that was a “we told you so” but we promise it’s the last one.
Then came the Snowden revelations which raised its own hailstorm of media attention, information, misinformation, and disinformation (primarily by our government officials, legislative leaders, and the President as well as the Prime Minister of the UK) on exactly how our data was being collected and what it was being used for. Cynics though we are, we wondered if digital privacy issues had finally reached a tipping point, that we would have a national conversation about civil liberties, how to fix FISA, what is the acceptable collection and use of our data by commercial and government entities, and moving forward, how our liberties and data could be protected from corporate and government spying. (more…)
New Year (2014) Rumination: Death of privacy as we know it? Or inflection point signaling better things to come?
I am, and always have been, a glass half-full kind of gal. In fact, way back in September 2011 when Terence and I published our book on Privacy and Big Data, I was far more optimistic than he was on the future of privacy—of course, it’s easy to sound optimistic when your co-author states that privacy is dead. (And yes, we are still working on our book update but we do have day jobs and a significant release in the works so it is slow going but going it is.)
At that time, those in the “digital privacy know” characterized our book as a decent overview. Our intent at the time was to help those NOT in the “digital privacy know” get their arms around the privacy issues from a legislative, corporate, and government perspective. To our surprise, those not in the know included lots of folks in the high tech community! We did a number of interviews and dealt with informed and somewhat uninformed media folk—those in the mainstream focused on social media and those on the fringes (left and right) wanted to do deep dives into legal issues, government uses of data, and fourth amendment rights. Some seemed to think that we were members of the tin foil hat brigade, others that we were naïve, and still others that we were on point. (more…)
I have purposely given myself a week to reflect on pii2012 before blogging about it because there was a lot of information to absorb. As I look back on the conference, two themes come to mind: trust and transparency. Where to begin? Well, as Jim Adler (@Jim_Adler) tweeted:
“#pii2012 is the best collection of geeks, wonks, and suits.”
This was a conference chock full of interesting ideas, opposing views, and, at times, heated debate. One of the most interesting panels featured four people from very different backgrounds and points in their lives discussing the effect social media and the digital world has on how they conduct themselves online. There is a great post by Marina Ziegler (@Marina_Z) that covers it in depth, but like Marina, I felt that this was the key takeaway:
“The panel, while made up of experts, provided some very direct and honest understanding of how the average person is unaware, and how there is still work to be done in helping average folks understand how to navigate their social online lives, even down to the applications they use online.”
Today is a landmark day for those of us concerned about privacy as it applies to our government agencies. In United States v. Jones the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that police must have a search warrant before using GPS tracking devices to surveil criminal suspects. While all justices agreed that the tracking device placed on Jone’s jeep violated the Fourth Amendment’s unreasonable search and seizure protection, the justices were divided on how far the ruling should have gone. Justices Alito, Ginsburg, Breyer, and Kagan said that “the court should have gone further and dealt with GPS tracking of wireless devices, like mobile phones.”
While I agree that the ruling did not go far enough, it certainly is a sign that the court understands that technology capabilities aside, we (all citizens) do have a right to privacy within the vehicles we operate and that placing a GPS tracking device on a vehicle requires a search warrant. I must confess that I have been poring over the oral arguments and trying to figure out which way the court would rule, but felt that it was too close to call. So while the rest of the world was focused on SOPA and PIPA last week (my esteemed co-blogger included), I was anxiously awaiting the court’s ruling. And thankfully, as a card carrying member of the high tech community and American citizen, it was well worth the wait! (more…)
In our book Privacy & Big Data that was written pre-SOPA, Mary and I spent a fair amount of time looking at the ways that big media interests are pushing both technical and legislative solutions that were inimical to both privacy and free speech. On this day when the Internet is raising its collective voice against one of the most ill thought laws of the Internet age, I thought it would be a great time to quote from the conclusion of Chapter 4 – The Stakeholders.
“Powerful groups, like the MPAA and RIAA and their international counterparts, have borrowed from advertising’s playbook and extended it to every device we own. Today, it’s not just about tracking our online behavior; it’s about tracking what we do within the “four walls” of any device that we own and being able to remotely control them without our permission. These technologies and policies could end up delivering a mortal blow to privacy as well as cede to the government and IP holders unprecedented control over what media we are allowed to consume and share. However you look at this, it’s a pretty high price to pay to support an old business model that is unable to adapt to new technology.”
Our e-book is entering production next week which is the final step before publication. Mary and I are very happy with the result and hope you will be as well.
We will let you know when we have the official release date. But as a teaser, here is the cover (which we love). However, I will admit to being pretty distressed when I found out that because this was a security book we weren’t allowed to get one of the famous O’Reilly animal covers. But then again, since O’Reilly authors are never told why a particular animal is picked for a book by the talented Ms. Friedman and given that mysteries drive me nuts its probably just as well! 😉