In a letter to the Secretary of Homeland Security, EPIC and a Coalition of privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties organizations demanded the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) end some of the agency’s more pervasive surveillance programs. The coalition called for DHS to end its practice of purchasing sensitive data (e.g. cellphone location and utility information) from third-party vendors and cease the collection of social media identifiers. The coalition also urged DHS to implement a moratorium on the use of face recognition for immigration enforcement. In previous comments to DHS, EPIC opposed DHS collecting social media identifiers and called for DHS to suspend the use of facial recognition.
Sen. Gillibrand Reintroduces Data Protection Act
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has reintroduced the Data Protection Act which would create an independent Data Protection Agency in the U.S. to safeguard the personal data of Americans. EPIC, many leading consumer and civil rights organizations, privacy experts, and scholars support Senator Gillibrand's non-partisan bill. Last year, EPIC Advisory Board Member Professor Ari Waldman and EPIC Deputy Director Caitriona Fitzgerald stood with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand for introduction of the bill.
EPIC Report: What the FTC Could Be Doing (But Isn't) To Protect Privacy
EPIC has released a report highlighting numerous statutory authorities that the Federal Trade Commission has failed to use to safeguard privacy. The report, What the FTC Could Be Doing (But Isn't) to Protect Privacy, identifies untapped or underused powers in the FTC's toolbox and explains how the FTC should deploy them to protect the public from abusive data practices.
Save the Date: EPIC Champions of Freedom Awards, Nov. 3
Save the date for EPIC's Champions of Freedom Awards, taking place on November 3rd! This will be a hybrid event, pursuant to local health guidelines, with both in-person and virtual attendance options. EPIC will honor privacy advocates who work tirelessly to ensure that personal data is protected and to tackle the most important emerging privacy issues. Please save the date and join EPIC's celebration of those who protect privacy, freedom of expression, and democratic values in the information age!
Liberty at Risk: Pre-trial Risk Assessment Tools in the U.S.
Federal, state, and local governments use Risk Assessment Tools to make key decisions about defendants in criminal cases, depriving accused individuals of their liberty based on subjective assessments of the likelihood that they will flee or commit crimes in the future. Many of these tools are opaque and not subject to independent review. "Liberty at Risk: Pre-trial Risk Assessment Tools in the U.S." provides an overview of Risk Assessment Tools that practitioners and scholars can use to understand the nature of these systems, understand the broader context in which they are used, and help focus their evaluations of the fairness of these systems.
Defend Privacy. Support EPIC.
EPIC is on the front lines of the major privacy and civil liberties debates. In 2020, EPIC has worked to protect democratic institutions, promote algorithmic transparency, and defend the right to privacy. We need your support. And EPIC is a top-rated non-profit - Charity Navigator (Four Star) and Guidestar (Gold). Please donate to EPIC today.
EPIC is on the front lines of the major privacy and civil liberties debates. In 2021, EPIC has important work to do on artificial intelligence, face surveillance, data protection, and algorithmic fairness, among many other issues. Please donate to EPIC today to help us continue this important work.
EPIC Files Complaint with FTC about Employment Screening Firm HireVue
EPIC's Jeramie Scott: Ban Face Surveillance
EPIC Senior Counsel Jeramie Scott on CBS News discussing the dangers of face surveillance.
EPIC Launches Campaign to Ban Face Surveillance
EPIC has launched a campaign to ban face surveillance. EPIC will publish information on face surveillance laws, reports, and protests worldwide.
UN Calls for Moratorium on Harmful AI, Establishment of Data Protection Legislation and AI Regulation
In a report published today, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights called on governments to “ban AI applications that cannot be operated in compliance with international human rights law and impose moratoriums on the sale and use of AI systems that carry a high risk for the enjoyment of human rights, unless and until adequate safeguards to protect human rights are in place.” The report also stresses the need for comprehensive data protection legislation in addition to a regulatory approach to AI that prioritizes protection of human rights. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet explained: "The risk of discrimination linked to AI-driven decisions - decisions that can change, define or damage human lives - is all too real. This is why there needs to be systematic assessment and monitoring of the effects of AI systems to identify and mitigate human rights risks.” EPIC has long advocated for comprehensive data protection legislation, moratoriums on particularly dangerous tools and commonsense AI regulation to protect the public.
EPIC and a coalition of privacy and consumer rights group today sent a letter to Senators Ron Wyden and Mike Crapo of the Senate Finance Committee regarding a proposal under consideration in the budget reconciliation bill to expand the mandatory reporting regime for private financial information in the United States. The proposal would require peer-to-peer payment apps and other similar services such as Square Cash and Venmo to collect Taxpayer Identification Numbers (“TINs”) for virtually all payee accounts in order to comply with new reporting obligations. Because most individuals do not hold a separate TIN from their Social Security Number, unlike businesses, this means that these private entities will be collecting SSNs of millions of Americans. The groups urged the Senators to reject the Treasury Department’s proposal and instead explore ways to improve tax compliance that do not put Americans’ SSNs at risk. "At minimum, the expanded reporting requirement should be scaled back to apply only to business accounts or individual accounts with a high de minimus threshold, adjusted for inflation over time," the groups said. "Peer to Peer payment apps and other similar services that currently do not collect TINs should not be required to do so under the new reporting requirements."
Senators Announce Probe into Facebook's Alleged Coverup of its Negative Influence on Children and Teens »
EPIC Urges UK Surveillance Commissioner to Foreground Privacy, Ban Facial Recognition in Updates to Surveillance Camera Code »
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EPIC in the News
Why Democrats are rallying around creating new FTC privacy bureau police big tech
September 15, 2021
EPIC v. DOJ: Seeking the final report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller concerning Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Department of Commerce v. New York: Whether the Department of Commerce and Census Bureau violated the Administrative Procedure Act when it added a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.
EPIC provides expertise to shape strong privacy and open government laws at both the state and federal level.
EPIC recently launched a campaign to promote the creation of a Data Protection Agency in the U.S.
EPIC's Alan Butler on Location Privacy
Privacy Law Sourcebook 2020