Category Archives: Press Room

Recent press releases issued by Media Alliance. Sometimes we’ll post newspaper, radio and broadcast interviews here as well.

Coronavirus Sparks New Fight Over Privacy Law

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By Dustin Gardiner originally printed in San Francisco Chronicle

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s office is gearing up to enforce the state’s landmark internet privacy law, despite pleas from business groups that say they aren’t ready because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The California Consumer Privacy Act gives people the power to tell companies not to sell their personal data and to demand they delete the information altogether. The law took effect Jan. 1, but enforcement was delayed until July 1 to give businesses time to prepare for a mountain of data requests from their customers.

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California AG submits New Privacy Rules at Deadline

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Originally published in Communications Daily on June 3

“No changes from the last draft is good and bad, emailed Media Alliance Executive Director Tracy Rosenberg. Privacy advocates are glad the AG rejected many business requests that would have weakened CCPA but “disappointed that a few changes we recommended were not incorporated, including to accept browser do-not-track requests as opt outs.”

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What Are Trump and his goons up to?

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Originally published in Black Agenda Report

That’s the question I asked policing and privacy expert Tracy Rosenberg, Executive Director of Media Alliance, and coordinator of Oakland Privacy.

Ann Garrison: What do you think Trump and his goons might be up to in Portland and the cities with “liberal Democratic mayors” that he’s threatening to invade next? Is this much more than politics, an attempt to win the election with law and order extremes?

Tracy Rosenberg: Certainly, first and foremost, it is a political stunt to capture the law and order crowd and press on divides between the coastal cities and inland voters. But it’s also more sinister than that. The use of federal forces is designed to weaken local accountability by freezing out local government that constituents can reach. Portland’s mayor might not even have opposed some “help” from the feds, but he wasn’t asked. In other words, this wasn’t mutual aid. This was indeed an invasion.

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Oakland ready for Trump attacks if Harris joins Democratic ticket

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by Julia Sulek. Originally published in the San Jose Mercury News

OAKLAND — When Joe Biden’s vice presidential search committee met with a who’s who of California Democrats on a Zoom call late last month, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf used up every second of her turn to make an urgent pitch for Kamala Harris, a self-described proud “daughter of Oakland, California.”

Schaaf has known the U.S. senator since they were both barely 30 years old and extolled her virtues as a fierce advocate for Oakland’s progressive values.

But Oaklanders know that Harris won’t be the only one in the spotlight if she’s who Biden chooses to join the Democratic ticket for the White House. The city of Oakland itself, which has been vilified by President Donald Trump as a miasma of urban horrors, will surely be in the crosshairs too.

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California Flags Alienated, Idealistic Kids of Color as Potential Violent Extremists

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By Ann Garrison for Black Agenda Report

The program deputizes teachers to spy on students and recruits social service agencies to assemble dossiers on them while providing mental health services.

“The state is is lipsticking the pig for federal agencies that rely on racist stereotyping.”

California’s “Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE)” program flags teenage kids “feeling alienated from their peers,” “having a strong sense of being troubled by injustice,” and suffering from “depression” as also having “tendencies to extremism” that should be closely monitored. And surprise surprise, these kids are disproportionately Black and Brown. The program deputizes teachers to spy on them and recruits social service agencies to assemble dossiers on them while providing mental health services.

I spoke to Tracy Rosenberg, Executive Director of Media Alliance, about the program’s history and the coalition fighting it.

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What Cities Can Learn from the Nation’s Only Privacy Commission

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By Alan Greenblatt. Originally published in Governing

Perhaps no city cares about the privacy of its residents as much as Oakland.

Last year, the California city became one of just a handful around the country that have banned municipal use of facial recognition technology. That came on top of an earlier ordinance that put limits on surveillance technology.

Those laws were largely the handiwork of Oakland’s Privacy Advisory Commission, a citizen-led board that can review any and all city policies and regulations through a privacy lens. Other cities have privacy policies or staff in place, while a few have ad hoc groups to address particular issues, such as smart city policies. No other city has a standing group with such a broad charter.

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Activists tell Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to ‘Zuck off’

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by David Horowitz. Originally published in the SF Examiner

Dozens of activists chalked the sidewalk and chanted outside Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Mission District townhouse Monday to protest false advertising by political campaigns on the site.

“In 2016 Facebook was used to manipulate voters and suppress voter turnout,” said Andrea Buffa, a spokesperson for the “Don’t Let Facebook ZUCK UP Our Democracy” coalition. “A lot of times (we’re) not sure how we can have an impact on national elections unless we go to another state, but in this case we can have an impact because this company is right in our backyard.”

The coalition of activist groups opposes Facebook’s policy allowing false advertisements paid for by politicians to stay posted on the company’s platforms. On Monday, the local group rallied in San Francisco while a second group in Palo Alto protested with a handheld billboard on a U.S. Highway 101 overpass, according to coalition representatives.

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