Sophisticated statistical analysis is a pillar of decision making in the 21st Century, including employment, lending, and policing. Automated systems also mediate our access to information and community through search results and social media. These technologies are pivotal to day-to-day life, but the processes that govern them are not transparent.
Today, the House Homeland Security Committee will mark up a cybersecurity information sharing bill that promised to be “the best of the bunch” in terms of civil liberties protections among the cybersecurity information sharing bills that Congress is currently considering. Unfortunately, the bill misses the mark in a key respect.
On April 2, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) that describes how the DHS Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will find the present and past location of drivers by accessing a massive private database of vehicle location information. The program raises serious privacy concerns, with the specter of individuals’ location data being collected on a mass scale, stored for a prolonged period, and used without effective restrictions.
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The Electronic Communications Privacy Act was created in 1986, before emails, cloud computing, and social networking were mainstream. CDT is fighting for much needed reform of ECPA to require a warrant for any searches of your private online communications.