EFF: Privacy and safety questions loom over federal program to track preschoolers

In this previous article, I wrote about RFID tracking of preschoolers at the George Miller III Headstart site. Today, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, along with the ACLU of Northern California, published an open letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Contra Costa County Employment and Human Services Department.

In this previous article, I wrote about RFID tracking of preschoolers at the George Miller III Headstart site. Today, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, along with the ACLU of Northern California, published an open letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Contra Costa County Employment and Human Services Department. Many of the questions they addressed were some of the same questions I presented to Karen Mitchoof, public information officer for the Contra Costa Employment and Human Services Department. Although Mitchoof answered all my questions with openness, I agree that there needs to be formal public discussions about privacy issues regarding the use of RFID technology in tracking people. Just because they are not violating anyone’s privacy now does not mean they can’t or won’t in the future. And the procedures of one county does not dictate the procedures for the next county. It’s a new technical frontier and open discussion and debate should be encouraged. Continue reading “EFF: Privacy and safety questions loom over federal program to track preschoolers”

Electronic Frontier Foundation asks court to protect craigslist from defamation suit

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and a coalition of public interest groups and law professors have asked a California appeals court to protect craigslist from a lawsuit that could spur websites to be less helpful in responding to complaints about user behavior.

San Francisco – The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and a coalition of public interest groups and law professors have asked a California appeals court to protect craigslist from a lawsuit that could spur websites to be less helpful in responding to complaints about user behavior. Continue reading “Electronic Frontier Foundation asks court to protect craigslist from defamation suit”

Steve Jobs is watching you: Apple seeking to patent spyware

It looks like Apple, Inc., is exploring a new business opportunity: spyware and what we’re calling “traitorware.” While users were celebrating the new jailbreaking and unlocking exemptions, Apple was quietly preparing to apply for a patent on technology that, among other things, would allow Apple to identify and punish users who take advantage of those exemptions or otherwise tinker with their devices.

via Electronic Frontier Foundation by Julie Samuels

It looks like Apple, Inc., is exploring a new business opportunity: spyware and what we’re calling “traitorware.” While users were celebrating the new jailbreaking and unlocking exemptions, Apple was quietly preparing to apply for a patent on technology that, among other things, would allow Apple to identify and punish users who take advantage of those exemptions or otherwise tinker with their devices. This patent application does nothing short of providing a roadmap for how Apple can — and presumably will — spy on its customers and control the way its customers use Apple products. As Sony-BMG learned, spying on your customers is bad for business. And the kind of spying enabled here is especially creepy — it’s not just spyware, it’s “traitorware,” since it is designed to allow Apple to retaliate against you if you do something Apple doesn’t like. Continue reading “Steve Jobs is watching you: Apple seeking to patent spyware”

How to protect your privacy on Facebook Places

Places allows Facebook users to ‘check in’ to real world locations and to tag their friends as present (similar to how Facebook allows tagging in photos).

via Electronic Frontier Foundation

Facebook Places

Commentary by Kurt Opsahl

Yesterday, Facebook introduced Places, a new location feature that competes with popular services like Foursquare, Google Latitude, Loopt, and Gowalla. Places allows Facebook users to ‘check in’ to real world locations and to tag their friends as present (similar to how Facebook allows tagging in photos). Everyone who is checked in to the location can see who else is listed as “Here Now” for a few hours after they check in. Once you are checked in to a location, Places also creates a story in your friends’ News Feeds and places a notice in the location’s page’s Recent Activity section. The product will roll out over the next few days. Continue reading “How to protect your privacy on Facebook Places”

Court rejects warrantless GPS tracking

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of
Columbia Circuit today firmly rejected government claims that federal
agents have an unfettered right to install Global Positioning System
(GPS) location-tracking devices on anyone’s car without a search
warrant.

via EFF: Court Rejects Warrantless GPS Tracking | Electronic Frontier Foundation

EFF-ACLU Arguments Against Always-On Surveillance Win The Day

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of
Columbia Circuit today firmly rejected government claims that federal
agents have an unfettered right to install Global Positioning System
(GPS) location-tracking devices on anyone’s car without a search
warrant.

In United States v. Maynard, FBI agents planted a GPS device on a car
while it was on private property and then used it to track the position
of the automobile every ten seconds for a full month, all without
securing a search warrant. In an amicus brief filed in the case, EFF and
the ACLU of the Nation’s Capital argued that unsupervised use of such
tactics would open the door for police to abuse their power and
continuously track anyone’s physical location for any reason, without
ever having to go to a judge to prove the surveillance is justified. Continue reading “Court rejects warrantless GPS tracking”

In Perfect 10 v. Google, Round 3 Goes to Google: No Sloppy DMCA Notices

Copyright owners, take note: If you’re going to use the streamlined Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) process to require a service provider to remove allegedly infringing content, you’d better make sure you actually comply with the DMCA notice requirements. Otherwise a court may find, as occurred this week in Perfect 10 v. Google, that your “notice” didn’t actually put anyone on “notice.”

via Electronic Freedom Foundation

Legal Analysis by Corynne McSherry

Copyright owners, take note: If you’re going to use the streamlined Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) process to require a service provider to remove allegedly infringing content, you’d better make sure you actually comply with the DMCA notice requirements. Otherwise a court may find, as occurred this week in Perfect 10 v. Google, that your “notice” didn’t actually put anyone on “notice.”

A quick recap: In 2004, porn company and frequent litigator Perfect 10 sued Google for direct and secondary copyright infringement. Perfect 10 claimed that Google violated its copyrights by linking to websites that hosted infringing material, caching websites that hosted infringing photos of nude models, and hosting infringing images uploaded by Blogger users. In 2007, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a preliminary injunction in favor of Perfect 10 on its direct infringement claims, and sent the case back to the district court for a determination of some of the secondary infringement claims. Google moved for summary judgment, asserting that it was protected from secondary liability by the DMCA safe harbors. Continue reading “In Perfect 10 v. Google, Round 3 Goes to Google: No Sloppy DMCA Notices”