Privacy Blog

"Friends don’t let friends get spied on.' – Richard Stallman, President of the Free Software Foundation and longtime advocate of privacy in technology.

Legal Affairs

Arizona Court Rules Arizona Residents Have Right to Internet Privacy

The Arizona Court of Appeals has ruled that Arizonans have an (Arizona) constitutional right to online privacy to prevent police from accessing one’s identity or home address from a third-party without a warrant. The court ruled that the Arizona constitution provides residents the right to privacy that goes beyond the Fourth amendment protection from unreasonable searches. Presiding Judge Eppich wrote: “The third-party doctrine allows the government a peek at this […]

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Illinois Governor Signs Initiative to Protect Personal DNA Data

Illinois residents’ genetic testing results will now be protected under a new state law passed by state Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) and signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Friday. “As technology advances, we have to update our laws to reflect ways it can be improperly used, and the personal data of private citizens is being used inappropriately every day,” Crowe said. “Keeping genetic information confidential is crucial to protecting […]

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Facebook to Pay $5 Billion, Create Privacy Committee in FTC Settlement

While Facebook has been fined $5 Billion because of its many privacy problems, the more interesting part of the story probably is the court-ordered mandate that requires Facebook to establish a board committee to oversee privacy issues at the company, which includes “executive certifications” of proper oversight. See http://bit.ly/2SNOk4A to find dozens of stories about this latest fine against Facebook. I am not sure of the exact definition of “executive […]

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Are You Unknowingly Forfeiting Your Genetic Privacy Rights?

From an article by Katherine M. Silverman, published in the Mondaq.com web site: “The issue of genetic privacy is getting a lot of attention in the media lately, mainly due to the role DNA has played in identifying suspects in prominent “cold cases” like that of the Golden State Killer. But use of these “genetic genealogy” tools has raised concerns from privacy advocates who fear that genetic information shared on […]

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White House Officials Weigh Encryption Crackdown

White House officials apparently want to give a great “free gift” to credit card thieves, identity thieves, hackers, the spy agencies of foreign governments, and others who wish to do you harm. According to an article by Eric Geller in the Politico.com web site: “Senior Trump administration officials met on Wednesday to discuss whether to seek legislation prohibiting tech companies from using forms of encryption that law enforcement can’t break […]

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GEDmatch Implements Required Opt-In for Law Enforcement Matching and Privacy Issues

GEDmatch is an open data personal genomics database and genealogy website founded in 2010 by Curtis Rogers and John Olson. Its main purpose is to help “amateur and professional researchers and genealogists,” including adoptees searching for birth parents. However, it recently has also become “the de facto DNA and genealogy database for all of law enforcement,” according to The Atlantic’s Sarah Zhang. GEDmatch recently gained a lot of publicity after […]

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