EPIC has filed a reply brief in EPIC v. Commission, urging the Supreme Court to review a decision that wrongly denied EPIC access to a required privacy impact assessment for state voter data. EPIC filed suit against the Presidential Election Commission last year to halt the collection of state voter data pending the completion of the assessment. As a result of EPIC's case, the Commission suspended data collection, discontinued the use of an unsafe computer server, and deleted the state voter data it wrongly acquired. The Commission was terminated in January of this year. EPIC told the Supreme Court that "there is, quite literally, no organization other than the 'Electronic Privacy Information Center' that suffers a greater concrete harm when a federal agency fails to comply with a publication requirement for privacy impact assessments." EPIC's case in the Supreme Court is EPIC v. Commission, No. 18-267.
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In an urgent FOIA request, EPICis seeking documents from CBP about the procedures for travelers to opt-out of biometric entry/exit program. EPIC found that CBP frequently changes the program without any formal procedures. One consequence is that it is now more difficult for travelers to opt-out of the screening procedure EPIC wrote that "CBP is modifying rules as it is implementing the program," contrary to federal law. Earlier this week, EPIC urged Congress to suspend the program until privacy safeguards and meaningful opt-out procedures are established. In comments to the DHS Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee, EPIC explained the substantial privacy risks of CBP's use of facial recognition technology.
In a statement to the House Judiciary committee, EPIC urged lawmakers press the FTC and the Department of Justice at a hearing on "Oversight of the Antitrust Enforcement Agencies." EPIC emphasized the risks of mergers to American consumers, stating that "companies that protect user privacy are being absorbed by companies that do not protect privacy." EPIC pointed to the Facebook-WhatsApp deal and the failure of the FTC to protect the personal data of WhatsApp users after the merger. EPIC testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee about mergers in the online advertising industry after EPIC told the FTC that Google's acquisition of DoubleClick would diminish privacy and stifle innovation. EPIC earlier opposed Doubleclick's acquisition of Abacus, explaining that the deal would lead to increased profiling of American consumers. Consumer organizations in the US and the European Union recently urged antitrust authorities on both sides of the Atlantic to subject mergers to greater scrutiny.
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EPIC in the News
International Digital Privacy Expert to deliver FLAC’s 12th Annual Dave Ellis Memorial Lecture
Irish Tech News
December 13, 2018
Marc Rotenberg, EPIC President
Free Legal Advice Centres
EPIC v. FTC: Seeking disclosure of Facebook assessments, reports, and related records required by the 2012 FTC Consent Order.
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EPIC provides expertise to shape strong privacy and open government laws at both the state and federal level.
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