An important report came out today from the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, the board that was appointed to be a privacy watchdog for the US government surveillance programs. The newly released report covers PRISM and other Section 702 surveillance programs conducted under the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The report is complex, and provides important benchmarking on how PRISM and “upstream” surveillance programs work. The report’s recommendations, however, are what have proven to be more controversial.
At the end of its 2013-14 session, the Supreme Court stood up for privacy in a case involving cell phones. In Riley v. California, the Court held that the police cannot search a cell phone’s contents incident to an arrest without a search warrant. As a result of this ruling, when the police arrest someone, perhaps for a traffic violation, a misdemeanor, or even a serious crime, all information in a cell phone should not be automatically accessible to the police without any further review. Police must obtain a search warrant.
Today, the FTC announced a court order against a credit repair company that charged consumers advance fees for credit repair services. This has reminded us that credit repair scams are alive and well. The FTC publishes several good consumer guides around credit repair, so does the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Here is a summary of
We have updated our popular Top Ten Opt Out list with new links and additional information. From key data brokers to credit cards, If you are wondering where to start to get off of lists and whisk your sensitive information out of circulation, we have distilled the most important opt outs to a manageable size. We have included the key opt outs that we ourselves practice with links and tips.
Forget worrying about loyalty cards or programs: it’s the everyday purchases you make tied to your name with a debit or credit card that can land you on data brokers’ lists. That is one of the many facts that the new FTC report on data brokers sets forth. The report offers a high-level analysis with establishing new fact patterns about the industry based on the Commission’s investigation of nine major data brokers. Overall, we find things to like in the report, but we wish the FTC had gone further in some areas. Here are some of the high points that stood out to us.