Category Archives: Consumer Privacy

Chrome Privacy Now! 

Oakland Privacy, the Bay Area’s anti-surveillance coalition, has put up a new website at ChromePrivacy.org to call on Google to add a global opt-out signal to the world’s most used web browser, Chrome.

Years into California’s effort to give people control over their online data via CCPA (2018) and CPRA (2020), Google has continued to dodge a global opt-out for Chrome.

Instead, the company, via its Privacy Sandbox, experiments with elaborate schemes for “greener” tracking and profiling functions.

It’s time for Google to let us decide for ourselves. Less choice is not better, and privacy is not a dark pattern. 

Join our call for Chrome Privacy Now and take action in three simple ways:

1. Sign the open letter to Google demanding a global opt-out signal in the world’s most-used web browser
2. Place a testimonial with your avatar on the Chrome Privacy website 
3. Spread the word on social media

How California is Building the Nation’s First Privacy Police

by David McCabe. Originally published in the NY Times

Ashkan Soltani, the head of California’s new online privacy regulator, needed help launching the first agency of its kind in the United States. So he called the state’s Horse Racing Board.

Soltani asked Scott Chaney, executive director of the racing board, which oversees roughly 10 racetracks, about the ins and outs of running a small agency in California’s sprawling state government. They discussed how to handle remote work and hiring in the pandemic. Chaney also offered advice for navigating the public sector.

Soltani is “literally inventing a state department,” Chaney said. “He’s almost inventing it from the ground up.”

Continue reading How California is Building the Nation’s First Privacy Police

Social Media Data Act

Media Alliance is a proud supporter of the Social Media DATA Act, introduced into Congress by MA democrat Lori Trahan. The DATA Act would compel social media companies to preserve their ad libraries and make them available to academic researchers to study the impact of targeted advertising.

See what people are saying about the Social Media DATA Act.

Tracy Rosenberg, Executive Director, Media Alliance:
The Social Media Data Act would ensure that qualified academic researchers can study social media advertising and its impacts with unimpeded access to the data they need. Digital advertising uses the information social media platforms collect about us to expose us to
individualized targeted advertising for profit. Such advertising can be based on our preferences, associations, location, the state of our health, religion, race or age, When profit-driven imperatives control much of our social media feeds, we see different content based on who we are. This can result in discriminatory outcomes, increased polarization, the spread of misinformation, and the use of our most personal characteristics to manipulate our perceptions of the world. This should not go on in a black box where we cannot see under the hood to measure what is happening to us. With transparent access to social media advertising metrics, we can develop best practices to meaningfully study impact and develop policy to mitigate harm and protect personal privacy and vulnerable populations subject to discrimination. Social media has changed the world, in both positive and negative ways, and we should be able to reap the benefits without sacrificing our civil and human rights, if not the health of democracy itself. The Social Media Data Act would help to find that balance.”

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California to Vote on Privacy Proposal in Midst of Heated Debate

by Ken Silva with Global Data Review

Californians are set to vote on a new privacy law that would make sweeping changes to the CCPA regime. GDR has interviewed members from the campaigns supporting and opposing the proposal.

The California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA), which will appear as “Prop 24” on the state’s ballot on Tuesday, has made strange bedfellows, with both industry groups and some privacy advocates opposing the initiative. The former say more regulations will further burden the private sector, while the latter claim that the CPRA creates loopholes that will lead to further data exploitation.

But other privacy advocates, policy experts and lawyers support the measure. They are confident that Prop 24 will pass, and that it will make meaningful privacy enhancements – while also clarifying some existing ambiguities with the CCPA.

Continue reading California to Vote on Privacy Proposal in Midst of Heated Debate

Experts Split on Californias Prop 24

by Patrick Dunne for Digital Privacy News

California residents will vote Tuesday on a divisive privacy initiative: Prop 24, also known as the California Privacy Rights and Enforcement Act.

Alastair Mactaggart, the San Francisco developer, wrote and financed Prop 24 to enhance or adjust provisions of his previous initiative, the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA).

Prop 24 would require businesses to provide customers with an opt-out regarding the collection of their private data and would limit how that information is used and stored.

Continue reading Experts Split on Californias Prop 24

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

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.

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

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

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.

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