• SurveillanceEFF Urges Federal Appeals Court to Rehear Case Involving Unconstitutional Baltimore Aerial Surveillance Program

    By Nathaniel Sobel

    In May, the Baltimore Police Department launched its Aerial Investigation Research (AIR) Pilot Program. For six months, three surveillance aircrafts operated by a private company called Persistent Surveillance Systems flew over Baltimore—covering about 90 percent of the city—for 12 hours every day. The planes produced images that even at a resolution of “one pixel per person” allowed the police to track individual’s movements over multi-day periods, especially when combined with the police’s networks of more than 800 ground-based surveillance cameras and automated license plate readers.

  • PrivacyYour Smart Watch May Be Sharing Your Data

    You may not realize it, but your internet-connected household devices such as the Ring doorbell, Peloton exercise bike and Nest thermostat are all exchanging data with other devices and systems over the network. These physical objects, all part of the Internet of Things (IoT), come with sensors and software, and they often use cloud computing. Most people would consider the information contained in these household items as highly private.

  • PasswordsFinally: A Usable, Secure Password Policy Backed by Science

    After nearly a decade of studies, the passwords research group in Carnegie Mellon’s CyLab Security and Privacy Institute has developed a policy for creating passwords that maintains balance between security and usability—one backed by hard science.

  • PrivacyPeople Want Data Privacy but Don’t Always Know What They’re Getting

    By Gabriel Kaptchuk, Elissa M. Redmiles, and Rachel Cummings

    Debates around privacy might seem simple: Something is private or it’s not. However, the technology that provides digital privacy is anything but simple. Our data privacy research shows that people’s hesitancy to share their data stems in part from not knowing who would have access to it and how organizations that collect data keep it private. We’ve also found that when people are aware of data privacy technologies, they might not get what they expect.

  • Internet freedomGlobal Internet Freedom Declines in Shadow of Pandemic

    Governments around the world have used the COVID-19 pandemic as cover to expand online surveillance and data collection, censor critical speech, and build new technological systems of social control, according to an annual assessment of internet freedom, released Wednesday by Freedom House.

  • PrivacyDe-Identifying Public Safety Data Sets

    For critical applications such as emergency planning and epidemiology, public safety responders may need access to sensitive data, but sharing that data with external analysts can compromise individual privacy. NIST) has launched a crowdsourcing challenge to spur new methods to ensure that important public safety data sets can be de-identified to protect individual privacy.

  • Privacy3-D printing Poses a Threat to Privacy

    3D printing technology poses a “grave and growing threat” to individual privacy because of the potential for products to reveal private information about individuals, experts have warned. A new study warns about a lack of awareness among governments and companies about privacy issues associated with 3D printers, and calls for changes to treaties on copyright law and international human rights law.

  • SurveillanceNSA’s Post-9/11 Mass Surveillance Program, Exposed by Snowden, Illegal: Court

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ruled that the National Security Agency (NSA) intelligence’s surveillance program exposed by whistleblower Edward Snowden was unlawful, and possibly unconstitutional. Critics of the program say that in addition to violating privacy rights, the program’s was ineffective: Billions of phone calls and email messages were collected and scanned over the years, but only a handful of terrorism suspects were seized, and even fewer were convicted.

  • PrivacyBetter Control of What Mobile Apps Do with Your Data

    Every year, mobile app developers make billions of dollars selling data they collect from the mobile apps on your cell phone, and they aren’t making it easy for you to prevent that. While both Apple iOS and Android have introduced a growing collection of privacy permission settings that, in theory, give you more control over your data, studies have shown that users are still overwhelmed and are unable to take advantage of them. In particular, the privacy controls fail to distinguish between different purposes for which data is collected.

  • School surveillanceSchools’ Facial Recognition Technology Problematic, Should Be Banned: Experts

    Facial recognition technology should be banned for use in schools, according to a new study. The research reveals inaccuracy, racial inequity, and increased surveillance are the touchstones of a flawed technology.

  • AIArtificial Intelligence Is a Totalitarian’s Dream – Here’s How to Take Power Back

    By Simon McCarthy-Jones

    Individualistic Western societies are built on the idea that no one knows our thoughts, desires or joys better than we do. And so we put ourselves, rather than the government, in charge of our lives. We tend to agree with the philosopher Immanuel Kant’s claim that no one has the right to force their idea of the good life on us. Artificial intelligence (AI) will change this.

  • CybersecurityCyberspace Is Critical Infrastructure – It Will Take Effective Government Oversight to Make It Safe

    By Francine Berman

    A famous 1990s New Yorker cartoon showed two dogs at a computer and a caption that read “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.” The New Yorker cartoon doesn’t apply today. Not only do your browser, service provider and apps know you’re a dog, they know what breed you are, what kind of dog food you eat, who your owner is and where your doghouse is. Cyberspace can function as critical infrastructure only when it’s safe for everyone, but legal and regulatory protections in cyberspace have not kept up with the times.

  • PrivacyProtecting Yourself against Facial Recognition Software

    The rapid rise of facial recognition systems has placed the technology into many facets of our daily lives, whether we know it or not. What might seem innocuous when Facebook identifies a friend in an uploaded photo grows more ominous in enterprises such as Clearview AI, a private company that trained its facial recognition system on billions of images scraped without consent from social media and the internet. A new research project from the University of Chicago provides a powerful new protection mechanism.

  • TrustTrust in Data Privacy Increases During Pandemic

    COVID-19 has seen Australians become more trusting of organizations and governments when it comes to their personal data and privacy, according to new research. “Our findings provide strong support for the notion that trust and confidence in different aspects of policy design and delivery interact with each other, creating vicious or virtuous circles,” says the study’s lead author.

  • SurveillanceHow to Hide from a Drone – the Subtle Art of “Ghosting” in the Age of Surveillance

    By Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick

    Drones of all sizes are being used by environmental advocates to monitor deforestation, by conservationists to track poachers, and by journalists and activists to document large protests. But when the Department of Homeland Security redirects large, fixed-wing drones from the U.S.-Mexico border to monitor protests, and when towns experiment with using drones to test people for fevers, it’s time to think about how many eyes are in the sky and how to avoid unwanted aerial surveillance. One way that’s within reach of nearly everyone is learning how to simply disappear from view.