California Governor Jerry Brown has signed the California Electronic Communications Privacy Act (CalECPA). CalECPA requires law enforcement to obtain a warrant before accessing digital data including metadata, location data, emails, and text messages. The warrant requirement applies to searches of electronic devices themselves and to content stored by an online service provider. In response to requests from the US Congress, EPIC has made several recommendations regarding updates to the federal ECPA. EPIC has also obtained documents from the FBI concerning Stingray surveillance technology, which is now prohibited under the California bill.
European Court Strikes Down "Safe Harbor," Focus Shifts to Adequacy of US Privacy Laws
In a stunning decision, the European Court of Justice has ruled that the transatlantic "Safe Harbor" data pact is invalid. Safe Harbor had been widely criticized for failing to provide adequate data protection for users of Internet-based services.
EPIC Challenges FAA Failure to Establish Drone Privacy Rules
EPIC has filed the opening brief in a lawsuit against the Federal Aviation Administration. EPIC charged that the agency’s failure to establish privacy rules for commercial drones is a violation of law and should be overturned.
EPIC Defends Privacy Laws in Supreme Court Brief
In an amicus brief for the Supreme Court EPIC defended Congress's authority to enact laws that safeguard the privacy of American consumers. The case, Spokeo v. Robins, arises from a data broker's publication of inaccurate, personal information in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
EPIC, Coalition Urge FCC to End Call Record Data Retention
EPIC and a coalition of leading consumer rights, human rights, and civil liberties organizations, along with members of the EPIC Advisory Board, have petitioned the Federal Communications Commission to end the FCC's rule requiring mass retention of phone records.
EPIC Files FTC Complaint Against Uber about Plan to Track Users and Gather Contact List Data
EPIC has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, charging that Uber's plan to track users and gather contact details is an unlawful and deceptive trade practice. Previous EPIC complaints at the FTC have typically led to investigations and then to settlements following a change in business practices.
EPIC is on the front lines of the major privacy and civil liberties debates. In 2015, EPIC has important work to do on algorithmic transparency, student privacy, and government surveillace, among many other issues. Please donate to EPIC today to help us continue this important work.
Privacy in the Modern Age: The Search for Solutions
EPIC's new book, Privacy in the Modern Age: The Search for Solutions is an essential reference for policy makers and researchers, journalists and scholars, and others looking for answers to one of the biggest challenges of our modern day. The premise is clear: there’s a problem - let's find a solution.
Tim Cook Backs Privacy, Crypto, Freedom at EPIC Awards Dinner
Apple CEO Tim Cook gave an impassioned speech at the 2015 EPIC Champions of Freedom Award dinner. Cook said the erosion of privacy represents a threat to the American way of life. Tim Cook is the first business leader to receive the Award from EPIC. (Photo by Jenifer Morris).
California Governor Jerry Brown has signed laws that provide California residents with privacy protections against drones and SmartTVs. AB856 prohibits drone flight in the airspace above private property with the intent of taking photos, video, or a sound recording of a person. AB1116 prohibits the use of voice recognition on SmartTVs unless consumers are "prominently inform[ed]" during the initial setup of the TV. The new California law also prohibits the use of voice recording for advertising purposes. Earlier this year, EPIC filed a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission about Samsung's SmartTVs and recommended new consumer safeguards. EPIC has also recommended drone privacy safeguards to the US Congress, the FAA, and State courts.
The OECD has published the new Recommendation on Digital Security Risk Management a revision of the 2002 OECD Security Guidelines. Science, Technology and Innovation Director Andrew Wyckoff said that "a totally secure digital environment is impossible". EPIC supports the Recommendations which emphasize digital security risk management "in a transparent manner and consistently with human rights and fundamental values." EPIC has long been engaged with the work of OECD and supports civil society participation at the 2016 OECD Ministerial Meeting on the Digital Economy.
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EPIC in the News
T-Mobile, Experian Data Breach Warrants Probe, Feds Told
October 9, 2015
Khaliah Barnes, EPIC Associate Director
Fanny Hidvegi, EPIC International Law Fellow
Hilton Mark Center
October 13, 2015 - October 14, 2015
Marc Rotenberg, EPIC President
Berlin House of Representatives
October 14, 2015
Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins: Do courts have jurisdiction to review cases brought by individuals based on violations of their federal privacy rights?
EPIC's State Policy project, launched in the Spring of 2015, aims to track legislation across the country to identify trends and emerging issues impacting privacy and civil liberties.
EPIC recently launched a project on algorithmic transparency, urging companies to show us the code that makes judgements about us.
Machines of Loving Grace by John Markoff