All posts by Midnightschildren

Criticism Mounts Over Trump’s Immigrant Biometric Data Plan

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Written by Raoul Walawalker, political commentator for the Immigration Advice Service; an organisation of immigration lawyers based in the US, UK and Ireland

Just as the wearing or non-wearing of masks can show how polarised views across the US can be over the coronavirus pandemic, September was a month that also showed a sharp divergence of opinion over immigration laws and the use of biometrics.

On September 11, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) presented a proposed regulation for a major expansion in its collection and use of biometric data in the enforcement and administration of immigration laws, even as some states were announcing plans to ban or scale back their use of biometrics following growing concerns over privacy and evidence of racial and other in-built biases.

A draft of the proposal was seen ten days earlier by BuzzFeed News and had already stirred bafflement at the scale of proposed data-gathering. Also noted was the absence of a reasoned attempt to justify placing all immigrants (including minors, millions of legal immigrants and US sponsors) under unprecedented levels of surveillance and proof of identity burdens.

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12 Consumer and Privacy Groups ask FCC not to Roll Back Telephone Metadata Protections

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12 consumer and privacy groups asked the FCC not to roll back protections for sensitive telephone information including metadata (CPNI).

CPNI stands for Customer Proprietary Network Information and refers to the data collected by telecommunication providers about a consumer’s telephone calls. It includes the time, date, duration and destination number of each call and the type of network a consumer subscribes to.

The FCC is considering the “burden” of the CPNI certification process, which requires the agent of a telecom to certify that CPNI protections are in place and to explain to the agency how they work.

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SF Police Sued Over Public/Private Camera Use To Surveil BLM Protests

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Three San Francisco residents who participated in protests that followed the death of George Floyd, have sued the San Francisco Police Department for use of the camera network of the Union Square Business Improvement District to monitor those protests.

Hope Williams, Nathan Sheard and Nestor Reyes, represented by attorneys at the ACLU of Northern California and Electronic Frontier Foundation filed Williams vs San Francisco under San Francisco’s May 2019 surveillance oversight ordinance.

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Protest Facebook: Protecting the 2020 Elections in the age of facebook.

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The Protest Facebook coalition presented a special webcast on October 6, 2020 about protecting election integrity, voting rights, and democracy in the age of Facebook. It features:

Ángel Díaz is counsel in the Liberty & National Security Program of the Brennan Center for Justice.

Yaël Eisenstat is the former Global Head of Elections Integrity Operations for political advertising at Facebook.

Myaisha Hayes is the campaigns director at MediaJustice, where she oversees the launch of campaigns such as #NoDigitalPrisons and #ProtectBlackDissent.

Jesse Littlewood is the vice president of campaigns at Common Cause, which is training election protection social media monitors to combat cyber-suppression in their communities.

Sponsored by Global Exchange, Media Alliance, the Protest Facebook Coalition and others.

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California Voters Get Say on Data Privacy Law. But Is It Tough Enough?

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by Maria Dinezo. Originally published on Courthouse News.

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) — Two years ago, the California Legislature enacted the California Consumer Privacy Act, a tough and expansive piece of legislation meant to mimic Europe’s broad data protections.

The fanfare was short-lived for data-privacy advocates, as lobbyists for various business interests rushed in to water down its protections. Hostile amendments that sought to carve out exemptions to the law were largely defeated after a grueling legislative session in 2019.

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Vallejo police expand community surveillance with license plate readers

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By Andres Torres. Originally printed on KTVU.com

VALLEJO, Calif. – Vallejo Police Department on Tuesday announced a partnership with Atlanta-based startup, Flock Safety that expands surveillance using license plate readers (LPR) throughout Vallejo. 

The surveillance technology is being touted as a crime-fighting tool. Police have “strategically placed” 10 LPRs throughout the city at a cost of $2,496 a year each, which includes maintenance and installation. Police said there is at least one privatized installation in a neighborhood through a homeowners association. 

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Prop. 24 actually pokes holes in data privacy protections

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Originally published in the San Diego Union Tribune


By TRACY ROSENBERG

SEP. 23, 2020

6:53 PM

When California voters receive their voter guide for the November election, they will see a 53-page measure claiming to improve their privacy rights listed as Proposition 24. What they won’t see, unless they are very diligent at reading lengthy texts, are all the loopholes and exemptions in Proposition 24.

That’s why privacy and consumer protection groups like the American Civil Liberties Union, Media Alliance, Consumer Fed, Consumer Action, Public Citizen, Color of Change, Courage Campaign, California Small Business Alliance, Electronic Frontier Foundation and many others who have fought for you for years won’t endorse Proposition 24. It isn’t what it pretends to be.

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