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privacyandsurveillance
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The Truth About Facebook

Ask this expert on data science what Congress should have asked Mark Zuckerberg last week, and she’ll say, nothing. If that surprises you, please understand that these hearings are not designed to deliver the truth. They’re designed to tell the public that, if there’s a problem, the government is doing something about it. So you’re not gonna Read More

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The Microsoft-Ireland Case is Moot

We covered this before here and here. But the high-profile case of United States v. Microsoft Corporation is now over. The question was whether the government could force Microsoft to turn over data that it stored on servers in other countries. The problem was that federal law didn’t allow the government to do that, or at least Read More

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Getting Removed From the Megan’s Law Website in California

Last week, we wrote about certificates of rehabilitation, which relieve you from having to register as a sex offender. As you may know, California publishes information from its sex-offender registry on a public website. The information includes your name, gender, date of birth, ethnicity, photograph, physical description, and relevant conviction. It also includes your home address or your county and Read More

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The CURES For What Ails You

Speaking of prescription drugs, almost every state now has a prescription-drug monitoring program (or PDMP). The goal is to curb prescription-drug abuse by discouraging pill-pushing and doctor-shopping. So whether you’re a patient or provider, you should pay attention because law enforcement and licensing boards are watching. In California, for example, the program is called CURES: the Read More

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Can They Search My Phone at the Border?

Suppose you go to visit your aunt in Italy, and you take your phone and tablet with you. When you come back through customs, can they just search your devices willy nilly? Probably. Here’s a good overview of your rights at the border, along with some practical considerations. It’s worth reading ahead of time because the government is stepping Read More

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The Future of Face-Recognition Technology

Face it: the future is already here. And by default, your face is ever more likely to be found in a law-enforcement database. It’s as easy as getting a driver’s license. The facts are that face recognition is neither new nor rare, and more than one out of two American adults have already been loaded into a local, state, or federal database. That’s Read More

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Man Gets Indicted By His Pacemaker

Actually, the case was indicted by a grand jury in Ohio, which charged him with arson and insurance fraud. Apparently, the man called 911 as his home burned in the background. He said he was sleeping when the fire started and that, in a hurry, he packed a bunch of bags, broke a window with his cane, threw the Read More

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Vulnerability Is Not The Same As Failure

We borrow those words from this smart essay on national security that was written in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Brussels this spring. The author is a former assistant secretary at the Department of Homeland Security and a current member of the Department’s Homeland Security Advisory Council. The Advisory Council consists of top leaders from the worlds Read More

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“The Fourth Amendment … Is In Retreat”

That’s how a dissenting opinion ends in a major federal case that was decided on Tuesday. This is how it begins: “A customer buys a cell phone. She turns it on and puts it in her pocket.” And with that, according to the majority’s opinion, the customer has consented to create a record of everywhere she goes, a Read More

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Patient Privacy Gives Way for Good Cause

If you’re a doctor in California, here’s a healthy reminder that the Medical Board can subpoena your patients’ records for good cause, over their objection and yours. In a recent decision, the California Court of Appeal upheld an order that compelled a doctor to produce three of his patients’ records even though all three didn’t want Read More

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