New Federal Law Makes Credit Freezes Free for All Consumers

8 01 2020


September 14, 2018
Starting next week, consumers will be able to “freeze” their credit reports at no cost. A credit freeze restricts public access to a consumer’s credit report, making it much more difficult for identity thieves to open fraudulent accounts. Previously state laws allowed credit bureaus to charge consumers $2 to $10 place or lift credit phrases. Amendments to the Fair Credit Reporting Act also extend the time period for a fraud alert in a consumer’s file and creates new safeguards for the protection of credit records of minors. Following the Equifax data breach in 2017, EPIC President Marc Rotenberg testified before the Senate Banking Committee and recommended free credit freezes and other consumer safeguards to mitigate the risk of identity theft.


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International Privacy Experts Adopt Recommendations for Connected Vehicles

8 01 2020

The International Working Group on Data Protection adopted new recommendations to protect privacy as vehicles become increasingly connected. The Berlin-based Working
October 4, 2018Group includes data protection authorities who assess emerging privacy challenges. As cars today connect both to the Internet and other vehicles “more and more personal data will be collected and processed by the vehicles and will become accessible to third parties,” the Working Group paper explains. The Working Group recommended that vehicle sensors not store personal data of persons outside the vehicle, allow drivers to opt out of non-essential data collection, and minimize personal data collection. In comments to NHTSA, EPIC called for national safety standards for connected cars. EPIC also underscored the privacy risks of modern vehicles in a recent amicus brief to the Supreme Court. In 2017, EPIC hosted a meeting of the IWG in Washington, D.C. at the Goethe-Institut.

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Inspector General Report: Airport Facial Recognition Faces Technical Problems

8 01 2020

October 4, 2018
A Department of Homeland Security Inspector General report highlighted many challenges to facial recognition at airports. The problems of accurate biometric matches apply to all travelers, and particularly U.S. citizens. According to the Inspector General’s report, “U.S. citizens accounted for the lowest biometric confirmation rate.” A report obtained by EPIC last year through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit revealed that iris imaging and facial recognition for border control did not perform operate at a “satisfactory” level. In a statement to Congress earlier this year, EPIC warned that biometric identification techniques are unreliable and lack proper privacy safeguards.

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Consumer and Privacy Organizations Propose Framework for U.S. Data Protection

4 01 2020

October 9, 2018
EPIC.org
EPIC joined a group of twelve consumer and privacy organizations that submitted a statement to the Senate Commerce Committee in advance of a consumer privacy hearing. The groups outlined a draft framework for data protection in the U.S., advocating that Congress (1) enact baseline federal data protection legislation; (2) limit government access to personal data; (3) establish algorithmic transparency and end discriminatory profiling; (4) prohibit “take it or leave it” and other unfair terms; (5) ensure robust enforcement; (6) promote privacy innovation; and (7) establish a data protection agency. EPIC also submitted a statement to the Committee that highlighted recent breaches at Google and Facebook and the FTC’s failure to enforce its own consent orders.
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Illinois Appellate Court Reinstates Biometric Privacy Action, Finding Potential Harm in Alleged Disclosure of Fingerprint to Outside Vendor

4 01 2020

Proskauer–New Media and Technology Law Blog
Jeffrey Neuburger on October 16, 2018
Late last month, an Illinois appellate court reversed a lower court’s dismissal of biometric privacy claims against a tanning salon franchisee that had collected the plaintiff’s fingerprint to allow entry in its own salon and any L.A. Tan salon location nationwide.  (Sekura v. Krishna Schaumburg Tan, Inc., 2018 IL App (1st) 180175 (Ill. App. Sept. 28, 2018)).  The plaintiff alleged that the tanning salon violated the Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), which regulates the collection, retention, and disclosure of personal biometric identifiers and biometric information, by collecting her fingerprints without obtaining the required written release and providing the required disclosure concerning its retention policy, and further by disclosing her fingerprints to a third-party vendor. [Note: In 2016, in a separate suit, the same plaintiff settled BIPA claims with L.A. Tan Enterprises, Inc., operator (directly and through franchisees) of L.A. Tan tanning salons].
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Biometric Suits Continue, Including Recent Action Against IoT Company

4 01 2020

Proskauer–New Media and Technology Law Blog
Last December, we noted the continuing robust wave of Illinois biometric privacy suits.  At that time, dozens of suits had been filed in Illinois state court against Illinois-based employers and other businesses alleging violation of Illinois’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), which generally regulates the collection, retention, and disclosure of personal biometric identifiers and biometric information, and encourages businesses that collect such personal data to employ reasonable safeguards.  More and more BIPA actions against employers and businesses based upon alleged violations of the notice and consent provisions of the statute continue to be filed, even as the Illinois Supreme Court considers the appeal of the Rosenbach decision.  In that case, the Illinois Supreme Court will presumably answer the question of whether a person “aggrieved” by a violation of BIPA must allege some injury or harm beyond a procedural violation.  The ruling will certainly have an effect on the pending lawsuits alleging mere procedural BIPA violations.
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EPIC Publishes “Privacy Law Sourcebook 2018”

4 01 2020

October 16, 2018
EPIC.org
EPIC proudly announces the 2018 edition of the Privacy Law Sourcebook, the definitive reference guide to US and international privacy law. The Privacy Law Sourcebook is an edited collection of the primary legal instruments for privacy protection in the modern age, including United States law, International law, and recent developments. The Privacy Law Sourcebook 2018 has been updated and expanded to include the modernized Council of Europe Convention on Privacy, the Judicial Redress Act, the CLOUD Act, and new materials from the United Nations. The EPIC Privacy Law Sourcebook also includes the full text of the GDPR. EPIC will make the Privacy Law Sourcebook freely available to NGOs and human rights organizations. EPIC publications and the publications of EPIC Advisory Board members are available at the EPIC Bookstore.

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Tim Cook Calls for “Comprehensive” Federal Privacy Law

4 01 2020

October 24, 2018
EPIC.org
Apple CEO Tim Cook (@tim_cook) delivered an impassioned speech at at the Commissioners Conference in Brussels. Cook said, “Platforms and algorithms that promised to improve our lives can actually magnify our worst human tendencies.” Cook warned, “Rogue actors and even governments have taken advantage of user trust to deepen divisions, incite violence, and even undermine our shared sense of what is true and what is false. This crisis is real. It is not imagined, or exaggerated, or crazy.” Cook endorsed the GDPR and called for comprehensive privacy legislation in the US. Tim Cook received the EPIC Champion of Freedom Award in 2015.

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