After receiving over 150,000 public comments, the Federal Election Commission voted unanimously to make new rules governing online political ad disclosures. EPIC, numerous other organizations, and lawmakers pressed the FEC to require transparency for online ads to combat foreign interference in U.S. elections. The FEC had solicited public comments on its internet disclosure rules three times in six years before finally taking action. A group of 15 Senators wrote, "The FEC must close loopholes that have allowed foreign adversaries to sow discord and misinform the American electorate." And a group of 18 members of Congress urged the FEC to "address head-on the topic of illicit foreign activity in U.S. elections." EPIC suggested the FEC go a step beyond simple disclosures and require "algorithmic transparency" for online platforms that deliver targeted ads to voters. Several senators have also introduced a bipartisan bill that would require the same disclosures for online ads as for television and radio. EPIC is fully engaged in protecting the integrity of elections with its Project on Democracy and Cybersecurity.
In Senate Testimony, EPIC Calls for Reform of Credit Reporting Industry
EPIC President Marc Rotenberg testifies before the Senate Banking Committee. Mr. Rotenberg warned "Today our country faces cyber attacks from foreign adversaries and it is the personal data stored by U.S. companies that is the target." (Image: Getty 2017)
Equifax, the Credit Reporting Industry, and What Congress Should Do Next
In the Harvard Business Review, EPIC President Marc Rotenberg outlines next steps for Congress following the Equifax breach.
Let's Use Government Data to Make Better Policy
In Scientific American, EPIC President Marc Rotenberg discusses big data, fact-based policy, and privacy.
After EPIC Privacy Complaint, Uber Settles with FTC
After an EPIC complaint about Uber's privacy practices, Uber has entered into a consent agreement with the FTC. The agreement prohibits Uber from misrepresenting how it monitors or secures consumer information and requires Uber to implement a comprehensive privacy program and obtain independent audits. In 2015, EPIC filed a complaint with the FTC charging that Uber's plan to track users and gather contact details was an unlawful and deceptive trade practice.
EPIC Files FTC Complaint to Stop Google from Tracking In-Store Purchases
EPIC has filed a complaint with the FTC asking the agency to investigate Google's tracking of in-store purchases. According to EPIC, Google collects billions of credit and debit card transactions and then links that personal data to the activities of Internet users. EPIC's complaint asks the FTC to stop Google's tracking of in-store purchases and determine whether Google adequately protects consumer privacy.
House Leaders Call for End to Collection of State Voter Records
House leaders have called for an end to the collection of state voter records, citing the fact that the Presidential Commission on Election Integrity has suspended the collection of state voter data in response to EPIC's lawsuit. The leaders said that "any temporary halt is sufficient." EPIC's case is pending.
EPIC Launches "51 Reasons - Protect Voter Data"
EPIC has established a new web site in response to the request from the Presidential Commission on Election Integrity for state voter records. "51 Reasons to End the Collection of State Voter Records by the Presidential Election Commision" includes comments from state election officials, specialists in election integrity, news organizations, voters, and public officials across the country.
EPIC Lawsuit Blocks Collection of State Voter Data by Commission
The President's Election Commission has announced it has suspended the collection of state voter data in response to EPIC's lawsuit. The Commission told states "not to submit any data until this Court rules” on EPIC's motion.
EPIC is on the front lines of the major privacy and civil liberties debates. In 2017, 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.
Defend Privacy. Support EPIC.
EPIC is on the front lines of the major privacy and civil liberties debates. In 2017, EPIC has important work to do on protecting democratic institutions, algorithmic transparency, and government surveillace, among many other issues. Please donate to EPIC today to help us continue this important work.
EPIC and a coalition of civil rights organizations have sent a letter to the Acting Secretary of Homeland Security strongly opposing the Extreme Vetting Initiative. A similar letter was sent by technical experts. The government's 'Extreme Vetting' initiative uses opaque procedures, secret profiles, and obscure data including social media post, to review visa applicants and make final determinations. EPIC has warned against both the government's use of social media data and secret algorithms to profile individuals for decision making purposes. EPIC is also pursuing a FOIA request for details on the relationship between the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and Palantir, a company that provides software to analyze large amounts of data.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently set out guidance for financial services that aggregate consumer data. The Bureau outlined Consumer Protection Principles that "express the Bureau's vision for realizing a robust, safe, and workable data aggregation market that gives consumers protection, usefulness, and value." The Consumer Protection Principles for aggregated consumer data services are: (1) consumer access to information, (2) usability and limited scope of access by third parties, (3) consumer control and informed consent, (4) authorizing payments, (5) security (6) access transparency, (7) accuracy, (8) ability to dispute and resolve unauthorized access, and (9) efficient and effective accountability mechanisms. EPIC has urged Congress to establish privacy and data security standards for consumer services and has championed algorithmic transparency. In testimony before Congress, EPIC Board member Professor Frank Pasquale explained that the use of secret algorithms often have adverse consequences for consumers.
Subscribe to the EPIC Alert
The EPIC Alert is a biweekly newsletter highlighting emerging privacy issues.
EPIC in the News
Why Google should be afraid of this Missouri attorney general
International Business Times
November 17, 2017
Marc Rotenberg, EPIC President
U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
Alan Butler, EPIC Senior Counsel
EPIC v. ODNI: Seeking release of the Complete ODNI Assessment of the Russian interference with 2016 U.S. Presidential Election.
In re SuperValu: Whether Victims of Data Breaches Must Suffer Certainly Impending or Actual Concrete Harms (i.e., Damages) In Order to Sue
EPIC provides expertise to shape strong privacy and open government laws at both the state and federal level.
EPIC has launched a new project on Democracy and Cybersecurity to address growing concerns about cyber attacks on democratic institutions.