Saturday, August 03, 2013

Is this how all future Privacy lawsuits will be resolved?
MainJustice has an update to the LinkedIn lawsuit concerning their massive hack last year. As expected, LinkedIn moved to dismiss on the grounds that the plaintiff hasn’t suffered any harm and hasn’t proved they used outdated security, but the plaintiff responds that harm is irrelevant – she wouldn’t have purchased a premium account if it hadn’t been for their representations of “industry standard” security. MainJustice has also uploaded a copy of the court filing.

We should think before each transaction...
Jasmine McNealy writes:
Most Americans now have extensive digital footprints comprised of the Tweets, Facebook posts, LinkedIn profiles, Instagram photos, and other material they share online.(a) And this easily accessible public persona is just the tip of the iceberg. We may think our web searches, shopping habits, browsing history, and email archives are private, but this data is often one of the most valuable assets for companies like Google and Amazon.
The law, however, has yet to catch up. We still do not have clear answers to basic questions such as: Do people own personal information about themselves? How can they control or limit how companies (and governments) use it? To start, there are complexities around the fundamental issue of information “ownership,” particularly ownership of personally identifiable information (PII). One cannot be said to actually own information about one’s self. Information relates to you, is connected to you, or is of you.
Read more on Footnote1

I suppose everyone with an opinion could make the headlines while this is still an issue. I just wish they had an understanding of intelligence collection as well as the pros and cons.
Timothy Edgar is a civil liberties lawyer who has worked both for Mr. Clapper of the DNI and for the American Civil Liberties Union. He offers his thoughts on increasing transparency in an OpEd in the WSJ. Here’s an excerpt
President Obama should go further, wresting control from the leakers and restoring trust with the public. He should ask Mr. Clapper to look across the intelligence community and disclose to the public the types of large databases it collects in bulk, under what legal powers or interpretations, and pursuant to what safeguards to protect Americans’ privacy—while keeping necessary details secret.
Many aspects of surveillance must remain secret. For example, the government should never provide a list of companies from which it acquires big data sets. [Just assume it's all of them? Bob] Despite what Americans see in the movies, the NSA doesn’t actually collect everything. Knowing which companies are included and which are not would tip off terrorists about how to avoid detection—telling them which providers to use and which to avoid. Likewise, the government will never be able to confirm or deny whether particular people are under surveillance, but it should avoid the temptation to use this necessary secrecy to avoid meeting legal challenges to its activities. The government has good arguments for why its programs are both vital for national security and perfectly constitutional. It should make them.
Read more of his OpEd on the Wall Street Journal.

In “ye olde days” you were either a recognized member of the tribe or you were a stranger/outsider/enemy. Today recognition does not make you a member of the tribe.
Danielle Citron writes:
Professor Margaret Hu’s important new article, “Biometric ID Cybersurveillance” (Indiana Law Journal), carefully and chillingly lays out federal and state government’s increasing use of biometrics for identification and other purposes. These efforts are poised to lead to a national biometric ID with centralized databases of our iris, face, and fingerprints. Such multimodal biometric IDs ostensibly provide greater security from fraud than our current de facto identifier, the social security number. As Professor Hu lays out, biometrics are, and soon will be, gatekeepers to the right to vote, work, fly, drive, and cross into our borders.
Read more on Concurring Opinions.

Let’s just call this the privacy outrage of the week:
If a girl younger than 16 gives birth and won’t name the father, a new Mississippi law – likely the first of its kind in the country – says authorities must collect umbilical cord blood and run DNA tests to prove paternity as a step toward prosecuting statutory rape cases.
Read more of this Associated Press story on The Item.
[From the article:
Supporters say the law is intended to chip away at Mississippi's teen pregnancy rate, which has long been one of the highest in the nation. But critics say that though the procedure is painless, it invades the medical privacy of the mother, father and baby. And questions abound: At roughly $1,000 a pop, who will pay for the DNA tests in the country's poorest state? Even after test results arrive, can prosecutors compel a potential father to submit his own DNA and possibly implicate himself in a crime? How long will the state keep the DNA on file?

For my amusement...
California SB 520 is dead… for now. The bill “would have required the state’s 145 public colleges and universities to grant credit for low-cost online courses offered by outside groups, including for-profits companies,” writes Ry Rivard, but it faced overwhelming opposition from faculty who argued that the state was planning to “outsource student learning to for-profit companies that have not proven their courses can pass muster.”
According to Politico’s new Morning Education, North Carolina has pulled out of inBloom. This just leaves New York, two districts in Illinois, and one in Colorado that are working with the $100 million Gates Foundation-funded data project.
… The Arkansas Attorney General issued a legal opinion this week, barring the state’s school districts from employing teachers and staff as armed voluntary security guards.
… Do students have to be Mirandized before they’re questioned? Kentucky's Attorney General is asking the US Supreme Court to weigh in. [I'm assuming that a “school resource officer” is some kind of cop. Bob]

For my students who think my tests are too hard...

For all my students. Verrry interesting.
No Excuse List, an exhaustive page of links to skills you can learn, including art, computer programming, cooking, DIY, and much more.
The best place on the web to learn anything, free.

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