In comments to the Department of Defense on the proposed expansion of the "Insider Threat" Database, EPIC recommended the Department withdraw unlawful and unnecessary routine use disclosures, significantly narrow the Privacy Act exemptions, and adopt the Universal Guidelines for Artificial Intelligence. The DoD plans to collect detailed, personal information, including health data, ethnicity and race, biometric data, travel records, and social media information, on federal employees, their friends, and family members. EPIC noted widespread computer security problems at the DoD, and warned, "this system of records—despite a documented inability to protect personal data—invites the very threats the program seeks to prevent." EPIC previously commented on the creation of the system.
More than 26,000 Complaints Pending Against Facebook
More than 26,000 complaints against Facebook are currently pending before the FTC. In the eight years since the Commission announced the consent order against Facebook it has not taken a single enforcement action against Facebook. EPIC and a coalition of consumer privacy organizations filed the original complaint against Facebook in 2009.
EPIC Seeks Public Release of Mueller Report
EPIC has filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit to obtain the final report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller concerning Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. There was a hearing in federal district court in Washington, DC Tuesday, April 9, at 9 am in EPIC v. DOJ.
EPIC 2019 Champions of Freedom Awards
Join EPIC on June 5, 2019 for our Champions of Freedom Awards at the National Press Club. EPIC is celebrating 25 years of protecting privacy in the digital age!
EPIC 2019 International Privacy Champion Awards
At the Computers, Freedom, and Data Protection conference in Brussels, EPIC presented the 2019 Champion of Privacy awards to EDPS Giovanni Buitarelli and former EDRi director Joe McNAmee. Also pictured are Kristina Irion, Marc Rotenberg, Max Schrems, Shoshana Zuboff, and members of the EDPS staff.
Consumer Organizations Announce New Framework for US Privacy Protection, Propose Privacy Agency
EPIC joined 16 organizations in support of a “A Framework for Privacy Protection in the United States. The consumer framework states that the Federal Trade Commission has failed to enforce the orders it has established and calls for a U.S. data protection agency.
EPIC is on the front lines of the major privacy and civil liberties debates. In 2019, EPIC has important work to do on algorithmic transparency, facial recognition, data protection and democracy, among many other issues. Please donate to EPIC today to help us continue this important work.
Universal Guidelines for Artificial Intelligence
New developments in Artificial Intelligence are transforming the world, from science and industry to government administration and finance. The Universal Guidelines set out 12 principles to "inform and improve the design and use of AI. The Guidelines are intended to maximize the benefits of AI, to minimize the risk, and to ensure the protection of human rights."
Defend Privacy. Support EPIC.
EPIC is on the front lines of the major privacy and civil liberties debates. In 2019, EPIC will work 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.
As part of an effort to promote uniformity in privacy regulations, the Department of Defense has finalized a regulation regarding the Personnel Vetting Records System. EPIC submitted detailed comments to the agency "criticizing the breadth of exemptions and expressing concerns about accountability for DoD's information collection activities." The Department of Defense responded in detail to EPIC stating, "The Department appreciates these concerns....Notwithstanding the potential availability of exemptions that DoD may need to assert for certain records in the system when circumstances warrant, exemption rules do not require the assertion of exemptions in every instance. In fact, DoD anticipates asserting exemptions in limited circumstances on a case-by-case basis....With respect to access rights in particular, the DoD anticipates generally providing access rights and exercising exemptions as the exception rather than the norm." EPIC routinely comments on the obligations of federal agencies to comply with the federal Privacy Act. EPIC recently commented on the privacy issues raised by the Department's "Insider Threat" Program, noting that the extensive collection of personal data could create new vulnerabilities.
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments this week in a case challenging the addition of the citizenship question to the 2020 Census. EPIC filed an amicus brief in Department of Commerce v. New York, urging the Court to uphold a New York federal judge's decision to remove the question. EPIC warned that the "extraordinary reach of the Bureau into the private lives of Americans brings extraordinary risks to privacy." In a related matter, EPIC's lawsuit to block the citizenship question, EPIC v. Commerce, is currently before the D.C. Circuit with an argument scheduled for May 8. EPIC has charged that the Census Bureau failed to complete required Privacy Impact Assessments prior to the decisions to collect personal data about citizenship. The Bureau concedes that it must complete the impact assessments but has so far failed to do so. EPIC told the D.C. Circuit, "Key deadlines are fast approaching, and major privacy risks have not been addressed by the agency."
Mueller Report: Russian Hacking of 2016 Election Much Greater Than Previously Known, Critical Information Still Withheld »
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EPIC in the News
EPIC Alleges Google May Be Helping U.S. Government Conduct Warrantless Searches
April 19, 2019
Caitriona Fitzgerald, EPIC Policy Director
National Press Club
Alan Butler, EPIC Senior Counsel
ABA Annual Meeting
San Fransisco, CA
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 urge the FTC to enforce the 2011 Consent Order with Facebook.
The Curse of Bigness