The President of the UN Human Rights Council has selected Mr. Joseph Cannataci to serve as the first UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy. Cannataci is chair of European Information Policy and Technology Law at the University of Groningen in The Netherlands. He has served as an expert for panels on privacy, data protection, the Internet and cyber crime for the Council of Europe, the European Commission, and UNESCO. EPIC President Marc Rotenberg, a candidate for the post, expressed support for the selection. “The Human Rights Council has made a good decision. Mr. Cannataci is well qualified for this position. We look forward to working with him on this critical mandate.”
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.
EPIC 2015 Champions of Freedom Awards Dinner
Marc Rotenberg, Susan Linn, and Bruce Schneier. 2015 EPIC Champions of Freedom Awards Dinner. Washington, DC (Credit: Jennifer Morris)
Senator Markey Speaks at EPIC Book Event
Senator Edward Markey (D-MA) recently appeared at an EPIC book event to support the release of EPIC's new anthology, "Privacy in the Modern Age: The Search for Solutions" and Bruce Schneier's "Data and Goliath." Senator Markey discussed his efforts to establish new safeguards for student privacy and to limit drone surveillance.
Senate Passes FREEDOM Act, Ends NSA Bulk Collection
The USA Freedom Act, signed into law this week, ends the NSA bulk collection of domestic telephone records and establishes new transparency and accountability rules for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. In 2013, EPIC filed a petition in the Supreme Court, In re EPIC, arguing that the NSA program was unlawful. In 2014, EPIC and a broad coalition urged the President to end the NSA surveillance program.
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).
Several states have recently enacted new privacy laws. New Hampshire and Oregon passed student privacy legislation modeled after California's Student Online Personal Information Protection Act. Rhode Island and Connecticut enacted new consumer privacy and data breach notification laws. A new Minnesota law limits the data police may capture using automated license plate readers and requires the deletion of all data not relevant to an investigation. And the Freedom from Unwanted Surveillance Act, a law in Florida regulating the commercial use of drones, went into force this week. EPIC's State Policy Project is monitoring privacy bills nationwide.
In 2014, combined state and federal wiretap applications decreased 1%, from 3,577 to 3,555. Investigators encountered encryption in only 25 cases, and were able to obtain plain text in all but four cases. This fact contradicts claims that law enforcement agencies are "going dark" as a result of new encryption technologies. Of the 3,544 arrests based on wiretaps in 2014, only 553 resulted in convictions. The annual Wiretap Report, details government surveillance and provides insight into the debate over surveillance and the use of encryption. EPIC has repeatedly cited the annual Wiretap Report as a model for greater transparency of other surveillance activities . EPIC also maintains comprehensive tables and charts on electronic surveillance.
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EPIC in the News
Number of wiretaps in Kansas surge in drug investigations
July 1, 2015
City of Los Angeles v. Patel: Does a warrantless search of hotel guest registries violate the 4th Amendment?
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.