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Hearings

Congressional Hearing on Employment Verification

The House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on employment verification. Several hearings have be held by the committee on the proposal to create a mandatory national government employment eligibility system. The current private sector system is voluntary.

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Privacy Rulemaking

Coalition Calls for Transparency in Public Consumer Database

In comments to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, over 40 public interest organizations urged the Bureau to publish consumer complaint narratives. The Bureau currently publishes limited complaint information on financial products and services, including debt collection and credit reports. The Bureau is now considering a plan to provide consumer perspectives on experiences with the financial industry. The consumer groups support this effort and also recommend obtaining consumer consent and removing personally identifiable information before posting the complaints.

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Privacy Legislation

President Pushes Consumer Privacy Forward

The President announced that he will move forward the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, a model framework for federal consumer privacy legislation.

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Campaigns

Coalition Members Promote Consumer Privacy Protection

Fifteen Privacy Coalition members representing millions of consumers and Internet users, sent a letter to the Senate Commerce Committee urging Congress to do more to protect consumer information. "Consumers today face an unfair choice: either stay offline and ignore the benefits of new technology, or plug in and run extraordinary risks to privacy and security," they wrote. "It shouldn't be this way. Consumers are more concerned about the privacy threat from big business than from big government," the letter continues. The coalition, which includes the American Civil Liberties Union, Center for Digital Democracy, Consumer Action, Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, Consumer Watchdog, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Electronic Privacy Information Center, National Consumers League, Privacy Activism, Patient Privacy Rights Foundation, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, Privacy Times, U.S. PIRG, and World Privacy Forum, argues that current privacy laws are inadequate, and that industry self-regulation has failed, as evidenced by millions of records compromised in data breaches.

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Coalition Meetings

April 2016 Monthly Meeting

This month two top-level European officials joined the Privacy Coalition: Paul Nemitz, the Director for Fundamental rights and Union citizenship in the Directorate-General for Justice of the European Commission, and Giovanni Buttarelli, the European Data Protection Supervisor. Both joined the Privacy Coalition on separate days to discuss the Privacy Shield, surveillance, EU Reform, and privacy and civil liberties in the digital age.

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News Archives

April 2016 Monthly Meeting

This month two top-level European officials joined the Privacy Coalition: Paul Nemitz, the Director for Fundamental rights and Union citizenship in the Directorate-General for Justice of the European Commission, and Giovanni Buttarelli, the European Data Protection Supervisor. Both joined the Privacy Coalition on separate days to discuss the Privacy Shield, surveillance, EU Reform, and privacy and civil liberties in the digital age.

November 2015 Monthly Meeting

Department of Justice Inspector General, Michael Horowitz joined the Privacy Coalition on November 20. Mr. Horowitz oversees the Office of Inspector General, which is a statutorily created independent entity that provides oversight of Department of Justice employees and programs. The Inspector General discussed the recent reports his office has worked on and the priorities for the office moving forward.

October 2015 Monthly Meeting

Professor Shoshana Zuboff joined the Privacy Coalition on October 19. Professor Zuboff, named the "true prophet of the information age" by the Financial Times, is the Charles Edward Wilson Professor emerita at Harvard Business School. She joined the Privacy Coalition to discuss her work on " surveillance capitalism" and upcoming book, Master or Slave? The Fight for the Soul of Our Information Civilization.

September 2015 Monthly Meeting

Dr. Frederik Borgesuis joined the Privacy Coalition on September 30. Dr. Borgesuis is a researcher at the Institute for Information Law of the University of Amsterdam. He researches profiling, privacy, data protection law, freedom of expression, and discrimination. He joined the Privacy Coalition to discuss his ongoing research into online price discrimination.

July 2015 Monthly Meeting

Ambassador Daniel Sepulveda joined the Privacy Coalition on July 10. Ambassador Sepulveda serves as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and the U.S. Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy in the State Department's Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs. The Ambassador discussed security, encryption, and privacy as it relates to maintaining an open internet.

Also joining the Privacy Coalition in July was Assistant Secretary Lawrence Strickling, who serves as the Administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). Assistant Secretary Strickling joined the Privacy Coalition on July 24 to discuss the NTIA's recent privacy multistakeholder process on facial recognition and upcoming multistakeholder processes for drones and cybersecurity. He also discussed the current state of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

Head European Data Protection Official Meets with Privacy Coalition

Giovanni Buttarelli, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), joined the Privacy Coalition on March 6. Mr. Buttarelli discussed his agenda for privacy protection he outlined in a recent speech at the Computers, Privacy & Data Protection Conference. Mr. Buttarelli was confirmed as the EDPS last December. In his role, he is responsible for ensuring that European institutions and bodies respect the right to privacy.

March 2015 Monthly Meeting

R. David Edelman, the Senior Advisor for Internet, Innovation, and Privacy for the White House, joined the Privacy Coalition on March 27. Mr. Edelman discussed the recent privacy initiatives of the Obama Administration, including the recently released discussion draft of the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights Act. Mr. Edelman is responsible for policy development on issues related to the digital economy, including online privacy and Internet governance.

December 2014 Monthly Meeting

FTC Commissioner Terrell McSweeny joined the Privacy Coalition in December to discuss the FTC's work on privacy issues. The FTC recently provided comments to NHTSA regarding privacy and vehicle-to-vehicle communications, and filed a complaint against debt brokers alleging the illegal exposure of personal information of consumers. Last month, the FTC settled charges that TRUSTe deceived consumers through its privacy seal program.

ODNI Privacy Officer to Speak at February meeting

Alexander W. Joel, the head of the Civil Liberties and Privacy Office for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence will join the Privacy Coalition in February. Mr. Joel's responsibilities include incorporating privacy and civil liberties into the policies and procedures of the Intelligence community, overseeing compliance, and reviewing complaints of possible abuses.

Coalition Urges President Obama to Advance Privacy Bill of Rights

A coalition of over 40 public interest organizations has urged the President to implement the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, a comprehensive framework for privacy protection. The letter comes on the two-year anniversary of the Administration's introduction of the Privacy Bill of Rights, which includes baseline privacy principles, such as individual control and transparency, respect for context and focused collectionm and better access, accuracy, and accountability. The President called the Privacy Bill of Rights a "blueprint for privacy in the information age" and said his Administration "will work to advance these principles and work with Congress to put them into the law."

NGO Coalition Tells President "Establish Privacy Protections for Big Data"

A coalition of more than 20 organizations sent comments to the White House on "Big Data and the Future of Privacy." The organization urged the President to establish new safeguards for organizations collecting "big data" including transparency, accountability, robust privacy techniques, and meaningful evaluation.

Coalition Urges UN Human Rights Council to Review U.S. Spy Programs

In a joint submission to the United Nations, the Brennan Center, EPIC, and other public interest organizations urged the Human Rights Council to review U.S. surveillance programs. The Council regularly performs a Universal Periodic Review of the human rights record of UN Member States. As a result of the Council's last review, the U.S. Government committed to protect individual privacy and stop spying on citizens without judicial authorization.

Coalition Calls for Transparency in Public Consumer Database

In comments to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, over 40 public interest organizations urged the Bureau to publish consumer complaint narratives. The Bureau currently publishes limited complaint information on financial products and services, including debt collection and credit reports. The Bureau is now considering a plan to provide consumer perspectives on experiences with the financial industry. The consumer groups support this effort and also recommend obtaining consumer consent and removing personally identifiable information before posting the complaints.

President Pushes Consumer Privacy Forward

The President announced that he will move forward the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, a model framework for federal consumer privacy legislation.

President to Propose Legislation to Safeguard Student Data

The President will propose legislation to safeguard student data, to "ensure that data collected in the educational context is used only for educational purposes." The Student Digital Privacy Act, based on a landmark California statute, will prohibit companies from selling data for non-educational purposes and from using data for targeted advertising.

September 2014 Monthly Meeting

James A. Baker, the FBI's General Counsel, joined the Privacy Coalition in September. Also joining the Coalition from the FBI was Monica Ryan, the head of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Unit within the Office of the General Counsel. Mr. Baker discussed the Next Generation Identification program, the Rap Back program, and the use of facial recognition among other topics. The Coalition was also briefed by Ed Hasbrouk on a recent inquiry by Senator Rockefeller into airline privacy practices. Sai briefed the Coalition on his pro se Freedom of Information Act/Privacy Act case against the TSA.

July 2014 Monthly Meeting

Rebecca Richards, the National Security Agency's first Civil Liberties and Privacy Officer joined the Privacy Coalition in July to discuss her new role. The dialogue with Ms. Richards was led by Georgetown Law Professor and Director of Georgetown's Center on National Security and the Law, Laura Donohue. Ms. Richards discussed her responsibilities including providing expert advice to the Director of NSA, overseeing the NSA's civil liberties and privacy related activities, and developing measure to strengthen NSA privacy protections. Privacy Coalition member, Brad Jansen, discussed proposed regulation in New York that threatens Bitcoin and financial privacy. Additionally, Privacy Coalition members, Mark Lerner and Gerald Jenkins, discussed the privacy issues with mandating biometrics for driver licenses.

June 2014 Monthly Meeting

John Carlin, the Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division of the Department of Justice, was able to join the us to discuss the work of his division. The National Security Division is a relatively new division of the Justice Department having been created in 2006. The division is responsible for representing the government in front of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and providing oversight of various national security activities of the Intelligence Community.

May 2014 Monthly Meeting

The Department of Justice's Chief Privacy and Civil Liberties Officer, Erika Brown Lee, joined the Privacy Coalition to discuss the priorities of her office. She was joined by Director Joo Y. Chung and Deputy Director Kristi Lane Scott. The Privacy and Civil Liberties Office is responsible for the Department of Justice's compliance with the Privacy Act of 1974 and the privacy provisions of both the E-Government Act of 2002 and the Federal Information Security Management Act.

Privacy Coalition Briefs FTC Commissioner

FTC Commissioner Joshua D. Wright joined the Privacy Coalition for a special meeting to brief the Commissioner on current consumer privacy issues. A number of Privacy Coalition members participated including Susan Grant of Consumer Federation of America who provided background information on the growing commodification of internet users. Bob Gellman gave an overview of a recent report he authored with Pam Dixon of the World Privacy Forum. The report, The Scoring of America, focuses on how secret consumer scoring threatens privacy. The ACLU's Sandra Fulton explained the Civil Rights Principles for the Era of Big Data and describe some of the privacy issues surrounding big data.

April 2014 Monthly Meeting

Karen Neuman, Chief Privacy Officer for the Department of Homeland Security, joined the Privacy Coalition to discuss the priorities of DHS. Susan Grant of the Consumer Federation of America discussed a sign-on opportunity to support the SECURE Act of 2014, which would increase the accuracy of credit reports and make it easier for consumers to resolve problems with them. Amie Stepanovich of Access discussed the recent coalition comments submitted to the National Institute of Standards on the agency's new guidelines and principles for setting cryptography standards. Chris Calabrese spoke about an opportunity to support the modernization of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.

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.

Federal Agency Seeks Public Comment on Car Black Boxes

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has proposed that, beginning September 1, 2014, all new cars will be required to have Event Data Recorders. The devices record detailed information about drivers, which can be made available to insurance companies, the police, and others. Currently, there are minimal privacy protections in the draft regulation. The public will have until February 11, 2013 to provide comments to the agency. EPIC recommends that commentators urge the agency to "Strengthen privacy safeguards." For more information see EPIC - Event Data Recorders and Privacy and EPIC - Driver Privacy Protection Act.

December 2011 Privacy Coalition Meeting


Guest speakers included Gail Hillebrand, Associate Director of Consumer Education and Engagement with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau met with the Coalition. She was joined by Brett Kitt, Senior Counsel and Claire Stapleton, Chief Privacy Officer with the Consumer Financial Protection Agency. the agency is providing financial education to consumers and opportunities to register mortgage and credit card company complaints. The Consumer Financial Protection Agency also allow consumers to tell their stories regarding experiences with financial products. Kathleen Styles, Chief Privacy Officer for the U.S. Department of Education, updated the Coalition on topics discussed in May including new FERPA regulations, increasing privacy assistance to the education community, and student data release policy. Julian Sanchez, Research Fellow, with CATO, briefed the Coalition on the House Judiciary Committee Mark-up of the Managers Amendment to the Stop Online Piracy Act. Gilad Rosner, PhD Candidate, School of Computer Science University of Nottingham, will be discussing the Public Policy of Unlinkability just at the beginning of his work on a comparative study of the US and Germany.

November 2011 Privacy Coalition Meeting


Speakers included Lora Hubbel State Representative South Dakota on REAL ID rollout and privacy problems of US Citizens who are not able to get supporting documents that are required to receive an ID. Ed Mierzwinski, Director of Consumer Programs US PIRG, to talk about Consumer Protection and the Obama Administration. Briefing by Beth Rosenberg, Technology Fellow, EPIC, "Web Analytics and the Future of Behavioral Marketing."

October 2011 Privacy Coalition Meeting

Meeting speakers included Annie Wilcox Boyajian Legislative Assistant Congressman Tim Huelskamp (KS-01) who briefed the the Coalition on a proposed HHS Rule Change on Data Collection Related to Health Care Reform.
Zach Cafritz, Legislative Assistant, Congressman James P. Moran, briefed the coalition on abuse of a Deceased Child's SSN to receive a Child Tax Credit from the IRS refund. Deborah Caldwell-Stone, Deputy Director, Office for Intellectual Freedom American Library Association discussed ALA's Plans for Choose Privacy Week. Rainey Reitman, Activism Director EFF will provide an update on EFF's projects. Dave Moss Director of Development and Operations, for http://www.YouthRights.org, introduced the organization to the Privacy Coalition.

Coalition Works to Protect Facebook Users

Privacy, consumer, and civil liberties groups, which include the American Civil Liberties Union, Consumer Action, American Library Association, Electronic Privacy Information Center and the Center for Digital Democracy asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Facebook. Facebook had been secretly tracking users after they logged off of Facebook's webpage, and had recently announced changes in business practices that "[gave] the company far greater ability to disclose the personal information of its users to its business partners..."

Coalition Seeks Investigation of Next Generation ID Systems

A large coalition of civil liberties and civil rights organizations was joined by several members of the Privacy Coalition to have asked the Inspector General of the Department of Justice to investigate the FBI's Next Generation Identification program, a "billion-dollar initiative to create the world's largest biometric database."

Coalition Wants an End to Secret Watch List

Privacy Coalition members joined by other privacy, consumer rights, and civil rights organizations filed a statement to the Department of Homeland Security. The group opposed proposed changes to the Watchlist Service, a secretive government database filled with sensitive information. The agency has solicited comments on the program, which entails developing a real-time duplicate copy of the database and expanding the groups and personnel with immediate access to the records. The groups, which included: The ALA Washington Office, The Bill of Rights Defense Committee, The Center for Financial Privacy and Human Rights, The Center for Media and Democracy, Consumer Action, Consumer Federal of America, The Cyber Privacy Project, Electronic Frontier Foundation, The Liberty Coalition, OMB Watch, OpentheGovernment.org, Patient Privacy Rights, Privacy Activism, Privacy Journal, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, Privacy Rights Now Coalition, and World Privacy Forum. The reply to comments they submitted focused on the security and privacy risks posed by the new system, as well as The Privacy Act. Passed by Congress in 1974, the Act requires DHS to notify subjects of government surveillance in addition to providing a meaningful opportunity to correct information that could negatively affect them.

Coalition Members Promote Consumer Privacy Protection

Fifteen Privacy Coalition members representing millions of consumers and Internet users, sent a letter to the Senate Commerce Committee urging Congress to do more to protect consumer information. "Consumers today face an unfair choice: either stay offline and ignore the benefits of new technology, or plug in and run extraordinary risks to privacy and security," they wrote. "It shouldn't be this way. Consumers are more concerned about the privacy threat from big business than from big government," the letter continues. The coalition, which includes the American Civil Liberties Union, Center for Digital Democracy, Consumer Action, Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, Consumer Watchdog, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Electronic Privacy Information Center, National Consumers League, Privacy Activism, Patient Privacy Rights Foundation, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, Privacy Times, U.S. PIRG, and World Privacy Forum, argues that current privacy laws are inadequate, and that industry self-regulation has failed, as evidenced by millions of records compromised in data breaches.

Coalition Members Object to E-Verify

Members of the Privacy Coalition filed a statement to the Department of Homeland Security in opposition to the proposed expansion of the employment verification system, "E-Verify." The agency announced plans to incorporate state driver license records that could significantly expand the use of the Homeland Security database. The groups, which included the ACLU, ALA Legislative Office, American Policy Center, Center for Digital Democracy, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Liberty Coalition, Privacy Activism, and UNITED SIKHS said that the DHS proposal is unlawful and looks very similar to the REAL ID scheme that was previously defeated.

Fix Google Privacy Campaign - Submit Comments to the FTC

The FTC is seeking public comment on its proposed Agreement with Google regarding Google Buzz, and EPIC wants your voice to be heard! Use the form below to help build your comments. EPIC will send your comments and information to the FTC and use them to help us write our own comprehensive recommendations to the FTC.

Fifteen Privacy Groups File FTC Facebook Compliant

Privacy and consumer protection organizations filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, charging that Facebook has engaged in unfair and deceptive trade practices in violation of consumer protection law. The complaint states that changes to user profile information and the disclosure of user data to third parties without consent "violate user expectations, diminish user privacy, and contradict Facebook's own representations."

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' naked bodies. In a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, EPIC has already obtained technical documents, vendor contracts, and hundreds of traveler complaints. EPIC is seeking additional documents. For more information, see EPIC: Whole Body Imaging Technology and EPIC: EPIC v. Department of Homeland Security.

Monthly Privacy Coalition Meeting

Lydia Griggsby Senate Judiciary Staffer briefed the coalition on Senator Leahy's Data Protection legislation efforts in the Second Session of the 111th Congress. Mike Oldak, Utilities Telecom Council briefed the Privacy Coalition on Smart Grid from the Utility Perspective. Update on International Standards Development regarding identification readers by Edward Hasbrouck, and Chris Calabrese, with the ACLU briefed the group on the proposal for a biometric Social Security Card.

Privacy Coalition Members Defend Privacy of Facebook Users

Ten Privacy and consumer organizations filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, urging the FTC to open an investigation into Facebook's revised privacy settings. The complaint, led by EPIC is signed by nine other privacy and consumer organizations, states that the "changes violate user expectations, diminish user privacy, and contradict Facebook's own representations." There has been widespread opposition from Facebook users, security experts, bloggers, and news organizations.

Privacy Coalition Members Send Comments to NIST on Smart Grid Systems

Members of the Privacy Coalition urged a federal agency to establish safeguards for Smart Grid systems that protect consumer electricity usage information from unauthorized collection, use, disclosure, or sale. Smart Grid networks, which uniquely identify individual devices and appliances, create new privacy risks and could reveal intimate details of home life. EPIC recommended that policies be established to safeguard consumer privacy, including limitations on data collection, enforceable privacy practices, new security standards, and independent oversight.

Coalition Members Send Letter in Support of Fordham Children's Privacy Report

Privacy Coalition members joined letters sent to the Chair and Ranking Members of the Senate and House Education Committees, as well as the Secretary of Education regarding the Fordham Law School study, which found that state educational databases across the country ignore key privacy protections for the nation's school children. The study reports that at least 32% of states warehouse children's social security numbers; at least 22% of states record student pregnancies; and at least 46% of the states track mental health, illness, and jail sentences as part of the children's educational records. Some states outsource the data processing without any restrictions on use or confidentiality for children's information. Access to this information and the disclosure of personal data may occur for decades and follow children well into their adult lives.

Congressional Committee Reviewing Issues Raised in Privacy Coalition Letter

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson has responded to the Privacy Coalition Letter regarding the Chief Privacy Officer of the Department of Homeland Security. Chairman Thompson said that "the Committee is in the process of reviewing the programs outlined" in the letter, and thanked the Coalition for bringing the issues to the attention of the committee. He further stated that the Committee "will continue to examine the Department's programs and policies and vigorously address privacy concerns and issues." For more information, see

Privacy Coalition Asks Questions About DHS Chief Privacy Office

Privacy Coalition members were joined by other organizations on a letter sent to the House Committee on Homeland Security urging them to investigate the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Chief Privacy Office. DHS is unrivaled in its authority to develop and deploy new systems of surveillance. The letter cited DHS ongoing use of Fusion Center, Whole Body Imaging, funding of CCTV Surveillance, and Suspicionless Electronic Border Searches as examples of where the agency is eroding privacy protections.

FISA Reform Bill Introduced in the House

Representatives Conyers, Nadler, and Scott introduced two bills today that would amend the PATRIOT Act and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The Patriot Amendments Act of 2009 will enhance reporting and judicial oversight of law enforcement powers, including the National Security Letter process. The FISA Amendments Act of 2009 will place new limits on the government's ability to collect and store Americans' communications without a warrant and repeals retroactive immunity.

Miriam Nisbet Discusses Government Openness with the Privacy Coalition

Miriam Nisbet the Director of the Office of Government information Services for the National Archives spoke to the Privacy Coalition about the work of the office to provide the public with greater transparency on the work of federal government agencies. The Coalition also heard fromThomas Tamm, the former DOJ Lawyer who exposed the illegal government massive warrantless  wiretapping program on the subject of FISA reform. Tyler Moran, Policy Director, National Immigration Law Center, briefed the Coalition on proposals for E-Verify a Department of Homeland Security project to screen applicants and existing employees against government databases. There are accuracy and privacy rights issues with the current proposal. Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel with the ACLU discussed Biometric National ID as part of the Comprehensive Immigration Reform proposals. Digital biometric identification systems are being discussed as a way to manage access to societal benefits and services. There are accuracy, reliability, integrity, privacy, and security challenges to using biometric ID systems.

Privacy Coalition on the Obama Administration Privacy Report Card

EPIC released its Privacy Report Card for the Obama Administration at a morning briefing held at the National Press Club. EPIC scored the Administration with an "Incomplete" for Consumer Privacy, A- for Medical Privacy, C+ for Civil Liberties, and a B for Cyber Security. A panel made up of Privacy Coalition member organizations representing privacy, civil liberty, consumer rights experts gave their reaction to the grades. The organizations participating in the program includedUS PIRG, Consumer Federation of America, the Liberty Coalition/Association of American Physicians and, Surgeons, and the Bill of Rights Defense Committee. In December 2008, the Privacy Coalition urged the new Administration to address growing public concerns about privacy protection.

Obama Administration Privacy Scorecard Scheduled for Release

The Privacy Coalition is releasing the Obama Administration's Privacy Scorecard on Wednesday, September 9, 2009 at the National Press Club, 8:30-10:00 am. A team of privacy experts will score the Administration's performance on a range of privacy issues, including Consumer Privacy, Medical Privacy, Civil Liberties, and Cyber Security. The public is invited to grade the Administration's privacy work. To confirm attendance at the event rsvp@epic.org.

Privacy Campaign on Google Book Settlement

August 21, 2009 is the deadline for organizations, authors, and individuals to express their views on the erosion of the freedom to read anonymously. Civil liberties and privacy organizations are urging Internet users to tell Google to adopt privacy protections for the Google Book Search. A judge in New York will determine later this year whether to approve the proposed settlement that would establish the service and give Google access to detailed personal information without any privacy safeguards. The settlement would also allow the collection of revenue by parties that are not the writers or owners of "orphaned" works. For more information, see EPIC Google Books Settlement and Privacy.

Nancy Libin, DOJ's CPCLO Meets with Privacy Coalition

Ms. Libin, serves as the Department of Justice (DOJ) Chief Privacy and Civil Liberties Officer, (CPCLO) as well as the Department's senior policy adviser on privacy and civil liberties issues related to counterterrorism. Ms. Libin also advises the Attorney General on issues of privacy policy related to the Department's compliance with privacy laws and regulations. The CPCLO periodically reviews and investigates the Department's activities to ensure the DOJ is adequately considering privacy and civil liberties. In carrying out these responsibilities the CPCLO works, collaboratively with Department components and Bureaus such as the Office of Legislative Affairs and the Office of Legal Policy the Criminal Division National Security Division, and the FBI. Ms. Libin spoke to the Privacy Coalition at its monthly meeting in July.

David Vladeck Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection Meets with the Privacy Coalition

David Vladeck, Director of the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Consumer Protect met with the Privacy Coalition for it June 2009 meeting. The FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection's mandate is to protect consumers against unfair, deceptive or fraudulent practices. The Bureau enforces a variety of consumer protection laws enacted by Congress, as well as trade regulation rules issued by the FTC. The meeting also included a briefing by Professional Staff with the Homeland Security Committee on the recently introduced PASS ID bill.

TSA Responds to Whole Body Imaging Objections

The Transportation Security Administration has replied to the Privacy Coalition statement on whole body imaging systems. The agency claims that the Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) provides adequate protection. The Privacy Coalition letter pointed out that "the devices are designed to capture, record, and store detailed images of individuals undressed" and said that "If the public understood this, they would be outraged by the use of these devices by the US government on US citizens." The Privacy Coalition said that the use of the devices should be suspended pending an investigation. The letter was prompted by the TSA's announcement that Whole Body Imaging would replace metal detectors as the primary screening technique at US airports. The House of Representatives recently passed legislation that would establish clear privacy safeguards for the devices.

House Votes to Halt Digital Strip Searches

The House of Representatives approved by a vote of 310 to 118 a bill that will limit the use of Whole-Body Imaging machines, installed by the Transportation
Security Administration
, in US airports. The devices photograph American air travelers stripped naked and could easily be programmed to record images. Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) sponsored the bill that will prohibit the use of the devices as the sole or primary method of screening aircraft passengers; require that passengers be provided information on the operation of such technology and offered a pat-down search in lieu of such screening; and prohibit the storage of an image of a passenger after a boarding determination is made. Privacy Coalition members supported a campaign to raise public awareness about Whole Body Imaging.

Letter Sent to Secretary of Homeland Security to Halt Digital Strip Searches

The Privacy Coalition sent a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, urging the agency to halt use of Whole Body Imaging. The program captures detailed naked images of all passengers at airports. The Transportation Security Administration had earlier stated that Whole Body Imaging would only be used as a voluntary alternative. Tomorrow, June 4, 2009, Congress will vote on a bill to halt the use of Whole Body Imaging. The measure is sponsored by Representative Jason Chaffetz.

Join the Letter to Stop Whole Body Imaging at US Airports

The Coalition is urging that the Secretary of Homeland Security stop using technology that takes nude photographs of American air travelers. The campaign is in response to a policy reversal by the TSA, which would now make the "virtual strip search" mandatory, instead of voluntary as originally announced. EPIC and others joining the letter say that there are inadequate safeguards to prevent the misuse of the images.

German Data Protection Commissioner Meets with Privacy Coalition

On March 27, 2009, Peter Schaar German Federal Data Protection Commissioner met with the Privacy Coalition to discuss emerging privacy issues in Europe. The meeting also hosted discussions with the office of State Representative Paul Opsommer (R-MI) on the use of RFID technology and Michigan State Drivers Licenses. Byron Charlton with the AFL-CIO spoke to the group about "Card Check" and the right of a secret ballot. Susan Grant brief the coalition on the new Consumer Federation of America's report on ID theft protection schemes.

Computers Freedom and Privacy Annual Meeting

The Computers Freedom and Privacy Annual meeting will be held in Washington, DC June 1-4, 2009. This year's meeting is co-chaired by Cindy Southworth with the National Network to End Domestic Violence, and Jay Stanley with the ACLU. This year's theme is Creating the Future.

EU Data Protection Commissioners Brief the Privacy Coalition

On March 11, 2009, the Privacy Coalition hosted a luncheon discussion with Peter Hustinx, the European Data Protection Supervisor, and Artemi Rallo, the Director of the Spanish Data Protection Agency. They briefed the coalition on data protection developments in Europe. Mr. Hustinx and Mr. Rallo are two of the leading European policy makers in the privacy field.

New Identity Theft Report

On March 18, 2009, Privacy Coalition member, the Consumer Federation of America released a new report, "To Catch a Thief: Are Identity Theft Services Worth the Cost?" The report investigates the types of identity theft protection offered by companies, the cost for these services, how they describe what they do, and claims made regarding benefits to customers. The report also includes a list of 10 things that individuals can do to protect themselves and detect fraud.

Coalition Members Nominate Privacy Experts to HIT Policy Committee

Fourteen members of the Privacy Coalition joined a letter in support of the nomination of Robert Ellis Smith, Pam Dixon, Dr. Deborah Peel, and Dr. Latanya Sweeney to serve on the Health Information Technology (HIT) Policy Committee. The announcement for the HIT Policy Committee was made in the Federal Register on February 25, with March 6, set as the deadline for nominations. The HIT Policy Committee will make recommendations on the implementation of a nationwide health information technology infrastructure to the National Coordinator for Health Information
Technology.

New Report on Privacy and Cloud Computing

On February 23, 2009, the World Privacy Forum released a new report on Privacy and Cloud Computing. The report was prepared by Robert Gellman a Washington based privacy consultant. Cloud computing services offer users the option of remote storage and access to computing resources. The most common cloud computing applications include e-mail and database management services.

Privacy Groups Successfully Challenge Facebook

Hours before about a dozen members of the Privacy Coalition led by EPIC planned to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission regarding changes to Facebook’s Terms of Service, the social network service announced that it will restore the original policy. The new Terms of Service were announced on Feb. 4, were widely criticized, and were to be the subject of the EPIC complaint. Facebook users observed that, under the revised policies, Facebook asserted broad, permanent, and retroactive rights to users' personal information - even after they deleted their accounts.

Privacy Campaign - Real Problems Real Solutions Jan. 28, 2009

The Public Voice is marking the January 28 anniversary of the Council of Europe Convention on Data Protection (No. 108), the most important international law for privacy. More than 40 countries have ratified the Convention. Many more countries around the world should support the Convention (including the United States). A Privacy advocacy call to Action.

Coalition Letter to President-elect Obama on the Future of Privacy

Thirty privacy, consumer, and civil liberties organizations sent a letter to President-elect Barack Obama on the importance of protecting privacy in the next administration. The organizations are in favor the incoming president’s expressed support for privacy, consumer rights, and civil liberties. President-elect Obama stated support for strengthening of privacy protection by harnessing the power of technology to hold government and businesses accountable for violations of personal privacy. The coalition said that “[t]here is a clear need to address the spiraling problems of identity theft, security breaches, and the commercialization of personal information.”

Rod Beckstrom Director of DHS's Cybersecurity Center Meets with Privacy Coalition

Rod Beckstrom, Director of the National Cybersecurity Center in the Department of Homeland Security, spoke at the Privacy Coalition's November monthly meeting. Mr. Beckstrom was appointed in March of this year, and he reports directly to the Secretary. He is working on information sharing and collaboration among key federal government agencies. Cindy Rosenwald, New Hampshire State Representative, also presented at the meeting on a state prescription privacy law that she sponsored.

International Human Rights Day 2008

International Human Rights Day - Privacy is a Fundamental Right. December 10, International Human Rights Day, commemorates the 1948 adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Human Rights Day 2008 marks the start of a year-long commemoration of the 61st anniversary of the Declaration. The document is the foundation of international human rights law, the first universal statement on the basic principles of inalienable human rights, and a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations. Article 12 of the Declaration includes privacy as a fundamental human right.

FTC Chair Speaks with Privacy Coalition at June Meeting

William Kovacic, Chair of the Federal Trade Commission, participated in the Privacy Coalition's June 2008 meeting. Emily Andrew, Chief Privacy Officer with the US Postal Service also met with the coalition at the same meeting.

Rosemary Rodriguez Chair of the Election Assistance Commission Meets with Coalition

Rosemary Rodriguez, the Chair of the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) met with the Privacy Coalition to talk about transparency and privacy in public elections. The chair of the EAC spoke at the April meeting of the Privacy Coalition. Her work has focused on the need for the EAC to provide greater transparency of its work to the public.

Medical ID Theft Threatens Finances and Lives

Medical identity theft adds a new twist to identity theft by potential creating not only financial problems, but health risks. The theft of health insurance coverage to obtain health care can add erroneous information to the health records of victims. These changes to health records may go unnoticed, if ever detected, for years before they are caught. Medical treatment might also be negatively impacted by the theft of medical insurance by medical identity thieves. Proposals to create e-transfers of medical records may also add problems for securing the information from unauthorized use.

Medical ID Theft can injure finances, endanger lives, Dallas Morning News, June 2, 2008

President Signs Genetic Nondiscrimination Act

President Bush has signed in law the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008. The Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of genetic information with respect to health insurance and employment. However, the Act does not address the privacy risks associated with the collection and storage of electronic health records. Genetic Privacy is one of the more recent additions to the list of privacy rights.

Computers Freedom and Privacy Holds 18th Annual Meeting

The 18th Annual Computers Freedom and Privacy meeting was in New Haven Connecticut May 20-24, 2008. The theme of this year's meeting was Technology Policy 08 and featured discussions on e-Deceptive Campaign Practices; Social Networks and User Generated Content; and New Challenges for Spyware Policy. CFP 2008 is focused on technology policy, noting "This election year will be the first to address US technology policy in the information age as part of our national debate."

ACLU and EFF Successful in Challenge of FBI's Use of NSL

The FBI withdraw a National Security Letter (NSL) sent to the Internet Archive due to a successful legal challenge by the ACLU and Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). The FBI sought personal information on a user. The Archive responded to the NSL by providing only publicly available documents to the FBI. The NSL had a gag order, which prevented the Internet Archive, ACLU, and EFF representatives from disclosing its existence even when testifying before Congress on related matters.

DHS Privacy Report Released

The Privacy Office of the Department of Homeland Security released the July 2006-July 2007 Privacy Report. The Homeland Security Act of 2002 requires that the Chief Privacy Officer prepare a report to Congress on an annual basis on the activities of the Department that affect privacy, including complaints regarding program activities.

Homeland Security Releases Final REAL ID Rules

The Department of Homeland Security released the long awaited final rule on state issued drivers licenses and identification documents. The rule indicated that the new federal REAL ID will be used for a variety of purposes unrelated to the law that resulted in the federalization of state issued drivers licenses. If states do not comply with the agency rule the drivers’ licenses held by state residents will not be accepted for air travel or to access federal government buildings. As a cost saving measure the Department of Homeland Security decided not to require encryption of the digital data stored on the REAL ID. The Privacy Coalition led a major anti-REAL ID public education campaign. EPIC's page on REAL ID and the ACLU's analysis of the new agency rule..

Consumer Action Publishes Report on Debt Collection

Debt Collection Issue [Winter 2007-2008] The Winter 2007-2008 edition of Consumer Action focuses on debt collection from a consumer viewpoint. The issue contains stories about: potential updates to the law that protects people from abusive debt collections; consumer rights to fair debt collection; how to correct inaccurate collections accounts; how to get information about who's collecting the debt, and how to deal with collections fraud. ( Monday, January 14, 2008 )

ACLU Publishes Report on Fusion Centers

The ACLU releases a report on Fusion Centers, which explores the secretive data collection and sharing program. The goal of the national fusion center program is to develop surveillance models that measure how suspicious the data of individuals might look. The report raises questions about the effectiveness of a surveillance project intended to watch over 300 million people. The program also incorporates the data wearhouses of private companies who are invited to participate in the project.

DHS Inspector General Releases 2007 Semi-Annual Report

The 10th Semi-Annual Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General report covers the period of April 1-September 30, 2007. DHS was created primarily to protect the United States against terrorist attacks, but the major challenges they have faced are natural disaster management and mitigation. Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma, the wildfires in the west, and droughts in the south have kept the agency busy. A surprising fact: the report reveals that in 2005 72% of the $400 million in housing funding for those displaced by hurricane damage went to Mississippi. The report does include the names of DHS Inspector General staff--a very welcomed display of transparency.

DHS Announces CCTV: Developing Privacy Best Practices

The Privacy Office of the Department of Homeland Security will host a series of panel discussions December 17-18, 2007, on the topic of CCTV privacy best practices. The workshop is intended as an opportunity to begin discussions on the topic of privacy and the use of CCTV surveillance. Interested parties are encouraged to submit comments to the agency on the topic of CCTV surveillance and privacy best practices. The agency has provided significant funding to local governments for the expressed purpose of deploying CCTV surveillance technology. All submissions received must include the docket number: DHS-2007-0076. Written comments may be submitted by any one of the following methods: E-mail: privacyworkshop@dhs.gov. Include ``CCTV Workshop Comment'' in the subject line of the message. Facsimile: 703-235-0442. Mail: Toby Milgrom Levin, Department of Homeland Security, Washington, DC 20528.

House DHS Subcommittee Hearing on Fusion Centers

The House Committee on Department of Homeland Security's Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing, and Terrorism Risk Assessment held a hearing September 27, 2007, at 10:00 a.m., 311 Cannon House Office Building on the topic of “The Way Forward With Fusion Centers: Challenges and Strategies for Change.”

House Judiciary Committee Hearing on QWest A Charges Against DOJ

House Committee on the Judiciary held a hearing on September 18, 2007 on Warrantless Surveillance and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act: The Role of Checks and Balances in Protecting Americans’ Privacy Rights (Part II)

House Judiciary Committee Hearing on Presidential Authority

The House Committee on the Judiciary held a hearing September 5, 2007 on Warrantless Surveillance and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act: The Role of Checks and Balances in Protecting Americans’ Privacy Rights.

House Judiciary Committee Letter to DOJ on NSA Spying Program

House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), along with Subcommittee Chairmen Jerrold Nadler and Robert "Bobby" C. Scott, sent a letter to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, following weekend reports that disputes over the NSA's terrorist surveillance program involved "massive electronic databases." The full text of the letter is attached below.

FTC Town Hall on Behavioral Advertising: Tracking, Targeting, and Technology

On November 1 and 2, 2007, the Federal Trade Commission will host a Town Hall entitled “Ehavioral Advertising: Tracking, Targeting, and Technology.” The event will bring together consumer advocates, industry representatives, technology experts, and academics to address consumer protection issues raised by the practice of tracking consumers’ activities online to target advertising - or “behavioral advertising.” The Town Hall is a follow-on to a dialogue on behavioral advertising that emerged at a November 2006 FTC forum, “Tech-Ade,” which examined the key technological and business developments that will shape consumers’ core experiences in the coming ten years. In addition, several consumer privacy advocates, as well as the State of New York, recently sent letters to the FTC asking it to examine the effects of behavioral advertising on consumer privacy.

DHS Announces Changes in SSA Employment Verification

The Department of Homeland Security announced changes in the process that employers must follow should the Social Security Administration report a no match with agency records. Each person seeking employment in the US is requested to fill out an I-9 form which asked for certain documents related to identification. Many employees provide a social security card, drivers license, or other government issued document both as proof of identity and a right to work. The new rule will bypass protections for workers and force employers to collect much more personal information on the behalf of the government under the "safe harbor" provisions.

DHS Retools Secure Flight Program

More than a year after Secure Flight was suspended for a comprehensive review, the Department of Homeland Security has announced major revisions to the program. Previously, DHS sought to use Secure Flight to assess possibilities for criminal behavior from travelers. The new program will "determine if passenger data matches the information on government watch lists, and transmit matching results to aircraft operators," according to DHS. The agency's match lists have a history of errors and accuracy problems.

Congress Gives Administration More Wiretap Power

Congress gives the White House expanded domestic spying and reduce judicial oversight, through amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The new authority given to the President by Congress will permit warrantless surveillance of American citizens when one party to the conversation may be outside of the United States. This change in the FISA law which already gave law enforcement and national intelligence agenies great latitude under a special court which exclusively heard these request for surveillance of non-citizens. This change in the FISA law will leave millions of Americans subject to electronic surveillance, without court review, regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing. However, the amendments will sunset in 180 days, which will provide an opportunity for further debate in Congress.

AMA's Report on Medical Use of RFID

The American Medical Association (AMA) Releases RFID Report. The AMA's report Radio Frequency ID Devices in Humans came as a result of a resolution "RFID Labeling in Humans." The report focused on the ethical consequences surrounding the use of RFID implants in humans. The report outlined potential risks with the technology: physical risk to patients; confidentiality; patient privacy; effective informed consent; and security of the information contained on the device. The report recommends that the medical community support investigation of the technology to be able to make informed medical decisions regarding the use of these devices.

CRS Report to Congress: Fusion Centers: Issues and Options for Congress

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) issued a report to Congress on the deployment of over 40 Fusion Centers throughout the nation. Fusion Centers are the most recent effort by the federal government to establish an operational domestic surveillance program. The CRS report states that a number of presumptions are used by officials to justify the development of fusion centers. The report outlined threats to civil liberties and privacy posed by the deployment of Fusion Centers, which have no laws governing them.

Meeting of the FBI's Council for the National Crime Prevention

A federal register notice on the meeting of the National Crime Prevention and Privacy Compact Council (Council) created by the National Crime Prevention and Privacy Compact Act of 1998 (Compact). The Compact includes the Federal Government and 27 states who form the Compact which governs the exchange of criminal history records for licensing, employment, and similar purposes. The meeting will be open to the public on a first-come, first-seated basis. Any member of the public wishing to file a written statement with the Council or wishing to address this session of the Council should notify Mr. Todd C. Commodore at (304) 625-2803, at least 24 hours prior to the start of the session. Dates and Times: The Council will meet in open session from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., on May 23-24, 2007 at the Hyatt Regency Louisville, 320 West Jefferson Street, Louisville, Kentucky, telephone (502) 581-1234.

Board Member Resigns Over White House Changes to Privacy Report

Board Member Resigns Over White House Changes to Privacy Report
Lanny J. Davis, one of five members of the White House Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, resigned (pdf) yesterday in protest of the Bush administration's changes to the board's first annual report. The White House made more than 200 revisions to the report, including the deletion of a passage on anti-terrorism programs where intelligence officials said the programs had "potentially problematic" intrusions on civil liberties.

UPDATE: More Than 50 Groups Join Anti-National ID Campaign

A number of groups, including the Coalition Against Prosecutorial Abuse and Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, have joined a campaign against REAL ID. Fifty-four groups are urging the public to submit comments against the illegal national identification system created by the Department of Homeland Security under the REAL ID program. DHS seeks to create a massive system filled with sensitive personal data on 240 million license and ID cardholders nationwide, yet has failed to include adequate privacy and security safeguards.

Over Forty Groups Announce National REAL ID Public Campaign

Stop Real IDToday, 45 organizations representing transpartisan, nonpartisan, privacy, consumer, civil liberty, civil rights, and immigrant organizations have joined to launch a national campaign to solicit public comments to stop the nation's first national ID system: REAL ID. The groups joining in the anti-REAL ID campaign are concerned about the increased threat of counterfeiting and identity theft, lack of security to protect against unauthorized access to the document's machine readable content, increased cost to taxpayers, diverting of state funds intended for homeland security, increased costs for obtaining a license or state issued ID card, and because the REAL ID would create a false belief that it is secure and unforgeable.

The draft regulations to implement the REAL ID Act are open for comment until 5 p.m. EST on May 8, 2007. For more information on how to take action, visit the Privacy Coalition's Stop REAL ID! Campaign page.

DHS Announces May 1, 2007 Townhall on REAL ID

The Department of Homeland Security announced plans to hold a townhall meeting in Davis California. The REAL ID Town Hall is being held at the University of California, Davis Freeborn Hall, One Shields Avenue, Davis California and is hosted by the State of California (DMV) and sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security.

Credit Card Practices: Current Consumer and Regulatory Issues

On Thursday, April 26, 2007 the House Committee on Financial Services' Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit will hold a hearing on Credit Card Practices: Current Consumer and Regulatory Issues. The hearing will take place in
room 2128 Rayburn House Office Building. The witness List & Prepared Testimony: Ms. Cindy Zeldin, Federal Affairs Coordinator, Economic Opportunity Programs, Demos: A Network for Ideas & Action; Mr. Arthur E. Wilmarth, Jr., Professor of Law, George Washington University Law School; Mr. Edward L. Yingling, President and CEO, American Bankers Association; Mr. Todd J. Zywicki, Professor of Law, George Mason University Law School; Mr. Oliver I. Ireland, Morrison and Foerster LLP; Ms. Linda Sherry, Director, National Priorities, Consumer Action

Available Member Statements: Congresswoman Maloney, Congressman Castle

Privacy Groups File Complaint With FTC Regarding Google/DoubleClick Merger

EPIC, CDD and US PIRG today filed a complaint (pdf) with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), urging the Commission to open an investigation into the proposed acquisition. The groups urged the FTC to assess the ability of Google to record, analyze, track, and profile the activities of Internet users with data that is both personally identifiable and data that is not personally identifiable. The groups further urged the FTC to require Google to publicly present a plan to comply with well-established government and industry privacy standards such as the OECD Privacy Guidelines. Pending the resolution of these and other issues, EPIC encouraged the FTC to halt the acquisition.

DHS Publishes Privacy Impact Accessment for REAL ID

The Department of Homeland Security published the Privacy Impact Accessment (PIA) for the REAL ID. The E-Government Act of 2002 requires government agencies to produce a PIA whenever that create or purchase technology. The implementation of new technologies that may increase the ease of tracking and surveillance by government agencies makes the PIA a valuable transparency tool for privacy and civil liberty advocates.

Homeland Security Releases REAL ID Regulations

The Department of Homeland Security released the long awaited regulations for the nation's first national identification document. The law resulting in REAL ID bypassed normal Congressional legislative procedures and post passage has faced growing opposition in states like Maine and Maryland. RealNightmare.org is a national efforts to block REAL ID.

National Call-in to Congress on NSA Warrantless Surveillance

On May 17, 2006, the Bill of Rights Defense Committee is leading a coalition effort to organize a "call your member of Congress campaign". The organizations participating in the effort include the ACLU, First Amendment Foundation, National Lawyers Guild, and People for the American Way.

Continue reading "National Call-in to Congress on NSA Warrantless Surveillance" »

New Federal Report on Improving Financial Privacy Notices

A joint new report issued by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Trade Commission, the National Credit Union Administration, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Securities and Exchange Commission in intended to improve financial privacy notices.

Continue reading "New Federal Report on Improving Financial Privacy Notices" »

New Federal Report on Improving Financial Privacy Notices

A joint new report issued by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Trade Commission, the National Credit Union Administration, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Securities and Exchange Commission in intended to improve financial privacy notices.

Continue reading "New Federal Report on Improving Financial Privacy Notices" »

RFID Hacked

A study by European researchers has revealed that radio frequency identification (RFID) systems can be affected by viruses encoded into individual chips. Melanie Rieback, Bruno Crispo, and Andrew Tanenbaum have authored a paper describing how the remotely readable tags can be programmed to infect the machines that read them and the databases that store their information. Such malicious programs could then force the systems to produce more infected tags, further spreading the virus.

RFID Hacked

A study by European researchers has revealed that radio frequency identification (RFID) systems can be affected by viruses encoded into individual chips. Melanie Rieback, Bruno Crispo, and Andrew Tanenbaum have authored a paper describing how the remotely readable tags can be programmed to infect the machines that read them and the databases that store their information. Such malicious programs could then force the systems to produce more infected tags, further spreading the virus.

A Call to Action

The National Consumers League has teamed with a number of companies, organizations, government agencies, and law enforcement to join efforts to fight phishing scams. Phishing is a type of theft that involves tricking the consumer into giving their personal information to thieves. To learn more visit http://www.nclnet.org

A Call to Action

The National Consumers League has teamed with a number of companies, organizations, government agencies, and law enforcement to join efforts to fight phishing scams. Phishing is a type of theft that involves tricking the consumer into giving their personal information to thieves. To learn more visit http://www.nclnet.org

Department of Homeland Security Announces Meeting

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Privacy Office extends an invitation to a public meeting scheduled for April 5, 2006 from 8:30 AM until 4:30 PM at the Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center Horizon Ballroom. The building is located at 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC, which is near the Federal Triangle metro station. Those wishing to attend, must RSVP to PrivacyWorkshop@dhs.gov or 571-227-3813.

Department of Homeland Security Announces Meeting

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Privacy Office extends an invitation to a public meeting scheduled for April 5, 2006 from 8:30 AM until 4:30 PM at the Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center Horizon Ballroom. The building is located at 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC, which is near the Federal Triangle metro station. Those wishing to attend, must RSVP to PrivacyWorkshop@dhs.gov or 571-227-3813.

Prior Coalition Actions

Letter to Congress on Spam, July 18, 2003

Letter to Governor Gray Davis on SB 773, September 10, 2001

Letter to FTC Chairman Timothy Muris, May 31, 2001

Letter to HHS Secretary Thompson on HIPAA, March 7, 2001

Press release annoucing Senator Nelson's (D-FL) endorsement of the Privacy Pledge, February 20, 2001

Press
release
annoucing formation of Privacy Coalition, February 12, 2001

Privacy Pledge, February 2001

Prior Coalition Actions

Letter to Congress on Spam, July 18, 2003

Letter to Governor Gray Davis on SB 773, September 10, 2001

Letter to FTC Chairman Timothy Muris, May 31, 2001

Letter to HHS Secretary Thompson on HIPAA, March 7, 2001

Press release annoucing Senator Nelson's (D-FL) endorsement of the Privacy Pledge, February 20, 2001

Press
release
annoucing formation of Privacy Coalition, February 12, 2001

Privacy Pledge, February 2001