July 2013 Monthly Meeting

David Medine, the Chairman of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board joined the Privacy Coalition to discuss the Board’s priorities and the logistics of creating an independent agency from scratch. Douwe Korff, a professor of international law in London discussed Europe’s response to the disclosure of the PRISM program and NSA’s surveillance in general. Aaron Titus reported on the IRS’s careless treatment of Social Security Numbers. Brad Jansen provided an update on ECPA reform.

June 2013 Monthly Meeting

Jessica Rich, the recently appointed Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection, joined the Privacy Coalition for a discussion on what her bureau’s priorities should be going forward. Director Rich was joined by Maneesha Mithal, Associate Director of the Division of Privacy & Identity Protection within the Bureau of Consumer Protection. EPIC provided an update on its petition to force the NSA to do a public rulemaking on the agency’s monitoring and collection of communications traffic within the United States.

May 2013 Monthly Meeting

Edith Ramirez, Chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission, briefed the Coalition on the Commission’s priorities during her term. Chairwoman Ramirez was joined by her senior legal advisor Janis Kestenbaum and the Commission’s Chief Technologist, Steve Bellovin. The Commission is currently conducting an investigation into the data broker industry. The Commission is also accepting comments regarding the privacy and security implications of the Internet of Things, and will hold a public workshop on November 21.

EPIC Launches Privacy 2010 Campaign

EPIC, joined by the Center for Digital Democracy, Consumer Action, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and the Liberty Coalition launched the Privacy 2010 campaign at a press conference today on Capitol Hill. The organizations set out a Privacy Platform with recommended positions on 10 key privacy issues. Privacy 2010 also has a Facebook Cause page. As part of the Privacy 2010 campaign, EPIC said that it will release a Privacy Report Card for the Obama administration with grades on medical privacy, cyber security, consumer privacy, and civil liberties.

Coalition Petitions Homeland Security to Suspend Airport Body Scanners

EPIC and a broad coalition of organizations sent a formal petition to the Department of Homeland Security to demand that the agency suspend the airport body scanner program. The petition states that the “uniquely intrusive search” is unreasonable and violates the Constitution. The petition further states the program fails to comply with several federal laws, including the Religious Freedom Restoration Act , the Privacy Act of 1974, and the Administrative Procedures Act. The petitioners also argue that the machines are ineffective and that there are better, less costly security technology. The petitioners contend that the TSA has routinely misled the pubic about the ability of the devices to store and transmit detailed images of travelers’