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On Feb 16 2011 Fordham Law School’s Center on Law and Information Policy will host NYU Professor Helen Nissenbaum talking about her new book “Privacy in Context: Technology, Policy and the Integrity of Social Life.”
What: Privacy in Context: Technology, Policy and the Integrity of Social Life
When: Wednesday, February 16 4:30pm
Where: Room 204, Fordham Law School, 140 W. 62 St. NYC
RSVP: email@example.com – Public welcome.
Roger Cochetti, RJC Associates
- Jim Dempsey, Vice President of Public Policy, Center for Democracy & Technology
- Ed Felten, Chief Technologist, Federal Trade Commission
- Ambassador Phillip Verveer, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State & U.S. Coordinator for International Communications & Information Policy, State Department
The option would allow users to transmit a Do Not Track HTTP header with every click or page view in Firefox, to provide a way for people to opt-out of online behavioral advertising (OBA).
- Mozilla Do-Not-Track FAQ
Kevin Bankston of the EFF reports a landmark decision issued today in the criminal appeal of U.S. v. Warshak, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the government must have a search warrant before it can secretly seize and search emails stored by email service providers. Closely tracking arguments made by EFF in its amicus brief, the court found that email users have the same reasonable expectation of privacy in their stored email as they do in their phone calls and postal mail.
The court held,
Given the fundamental similarities between email and traditional forms of communication [like postal mail and telephone calls], it would defy common sense to afford emails lesser Fourth Amendment protection…. It follows that email requires strong protection under the Fourth Amendment; otherwise the Fourth Amendment would prove an ineffective guardian of private communication, an essential purpose it has long been recognized to serve…. [T]he police may not storm the post office and intercept a letter, and they are likewise forbidden from using the phone system to make a clandestine recording of a telephone call–unless they get a warrant, that is. It only stands to reason that, if government agents compel an ISP to surrender the contents of a subscriber’s emails, those agents have thereby conducted a Fourth Amendment search, which necessitates compliance with the warrant requirement..
The decision essentially invalidates the Stored Communications Act, so it will either be appealed up to the Supreme Court, or Congress shall have to do some fixing.
- Decision pdf
Video: NY Tech Council Innovations in Media Series – Advertising Technology #advertising #media #internet #privacy
The New York Technology Council presented the second panel in its Innovations in Media Series – Advertising Technology: How has technology reshaped the advertising business model? – at CUNY Graduate Center NYC on Dec 2 2010. Coming directly on the heels of the FTC’s announcement of a proposed Do-Not-Track framework, a stimulating discussion on the trade-offs between privacy and commerce.
Joseph Plummer, Sr. Associate, Olson Zaltman Associates and Associate Professor at Columbia Business School
Ari Bluman, President, North American Sales & Operations, 24/7 Real Media
Brian Adams, Chief Technology Officer, AdMeld
Stuart Elliott, Columnist, The New York Times
The Federal Trade Commission is considering a ”Do Not Track” approach in a proposed framework for consumer privacy.
The preliminary staff report notes that current ‘opt-out’ mechanisms are piecemeal and ineffective, and concludes:Given these limitations, Commission staff supports a more uniform and comprehensive consumer choice mechanism for online behavioral advertising, sometimes referred to as “Do Not Track.”Such a universal mechanism could be accomplished by legislation or potentially through robust, enforceable self-regulation. The most practical method of providing uniform choice for online behavioral advertising would likely involve placing a setting similar to a persistent cookie on a consumer’s browser and conveying that setting to sites that the browser visits, to signal whether or not the consumer wants to be tracked or receive targeted advertisements. To be effective, there must be an enforceable requirement that sites honor those choices.
The staff proposes further discussion on several issues:
1) that such a “universal choice mechanism” should not “undermine the benefits that online behavioral advertising has to offer”
2) that the mechanism should preferably be a “browser-based mechanism through which consumers could make persistent choices” – i.e. a browser “Do Not Track” button.
3) that provision may have to be made for selective opt-in within the opt-out mechanism.
4) that the mechanism be simple
5) that the mechanism be comprehensive, i.e include mobile
6) that it be mandatory
In a response in the report’s appendix, Commissioner William E. Kovacic has qualms. He raises some interesting questions about the economic effects of such a mechanism on advertising supported free web content:
It is possible that if online content providers can deny free access to those who opt out of tracking, they can prevent free riding. Setting prices is costly; if willingness to pay to avoid tracking varies substantially, the informational requirements to set access prices will be large. For a number of content providers, a price-for-content model is likely to provide less revenue than monetization via advertising; that most websites choose an ad-driven model rather than a direct fee model suggests that the former is a more efficient means than the latter to monetize content in most circumstances. At the margin – which may be large – forcing firms away from their revealed-preferred method of monetization may reduce revenue and hence degrade quality. In discussing whether website content might be degraded by consumers choosing not to be tracked, how, if at all, should such risks impact the Commission’s analysis?
CNET reports on a California suit against Disney, Warner Bros, and some other big pockets. The suit alleges that, on their behalf, Clearspring (famous as the creators of ShareThis) used Flash cookies to re-install deleted http cookies on user’s machines, contravening the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, California’s Computer Crime law, and that state’s Invasion of Privacy Act. The filers are seeking class action status.
The Digital Due Process Coalition brings to gether such unlikely bedfellows as CDT, Google, AT&T, Microsoft, Yahoo!, AOL and the ACLU, along with some lawyers that ISOC-NY webcast viewers will be well familiar with like Susan Crawford, James Grimmelmann, Frank Pasquale, & David Post, united in the purpose of advocating reform of The Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) of 1986.
The ECPA is the statute under which the federal government can snoop into your email, and enforce co-operation in its efforts from ISPs. The move to cloud computing has nullified many of the protections in the act, and providers are facing increasing demands for access from law enforcement. The DDPC is demanding an overhaul of the statute, and a return to due process = warrants before they hand over users missives.
The New Jersey Supreme Court on Tuesday gave workers in New Jersey an assurance of privacy in using workplace computers to talk with their lawyers, ruling a company’s e-mail-monitoring policy yields to the attorney-client privilege.
Chief Justice Stuart Rabner, writing for the unanimous court in Stengart v. Loving Care Agency Inc., A-16-09, said a plaintiff in an employment discrimination suit against her employer had a reasonable expectation that e-mails to and from her attorney on her personal Yahoo account would be private, although transmitted via a company-owned laptop.
While finding the employer’s policy ambiguous in its reach, Rabner said that “even a more clearly written company manual — that is, a policy that banned all personal computer use and provided unambiguous notice that an employer could retrieve and read an employee’s attorney-client communications, if accessed on a personal, password-protected e-mail account using the company’s computer system — would not be enforceable.”