Surveillance

Deadly data: Annie Jacobsen on the military origins of biometrics

Pulitzer Prize finalist Annie Jacobsen’s latest book, First Platoon, chronicles the US military’s massive and ultimately disastrous project to compile biometrics on nearly the entire population of Afghanistan. GDR talked to Jacobsen about the implications big data has for combat, democracy, privacy and other societal issues.

06 July 2021

Microsoft counsel blasts US government for using too many secrecy orders

Microsoft’s vice president of customer security has told members of Congress that US federal law enforcement agencies impose about 10 secrecy orders on the company per day, preventing customers from knowing that their data is being taken out of the cloud.

01 July 2021

Facial recognition companies turn to the First Amendment

Amazon has joined Clearview AI in using the First Amendment as a defence against Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) claims – a move some critics paint as a cynical ploy to use constitutional protections for anti-democratic purposes, but others see as a necessary test of how free speech rights apply to big data and artificial intelligence.

23 June 2021

US judge denies bid to put clamps on Clearview AI

The presence of two previously undisclosed offshore subsidiaries is not a sufficient reason to restrict facial recognition company Clearview AI from carrying out business in Illinois, a US federal district judge has ruled.

15 June 2021

LinkedIn v hiQ remanded but key question remains

The US Supreme Court has sent the long-running data scraping dispute between LinkedIn and hiQ back to the Ninth Circuit for reconsideration in light of its recent Van Buren ruling – but LinkedIn says its case hinges on a key issue that the high court left unaddressed in Van Buren.

14 June 2021

Biden abandons Trump anti-TikTok campaign

The Biden administration will no longer pursue the Trump-era restrictions on TikTok, WeChat and other Chinese apps.

10 June 2021

The saga of LabMD

The US judicial system has found that cancer research company LabMD was the victim of foul play by the federal government when law enforcers went after the company for alleged cybersecurity violations – but owner Michael Dougherty says he’s still struggling for justice in a matter that has spanned over 13 years.

09 June 2021

Civil liberties groups celebrate SCOTUS Van Buren ruling

The US Supreme Court has ruled that a police officer did not violate the country’s federal anti-hacking law when he ran a license-plate search in a law enforcement computer without permission – a judgment that has major implications for civil liberties and the government’s ability to punish the misuse of data.

04 June 2021

BrandTotal strikes bargain to stay afloat on Facebook's platform

Analytics firm BrandTotal and Facebook have struck an agreement that allows the former to stay in business while the two parties battle over whether BrandTotal’s activities constitute illegal data scraping.

01 June 2021

ECHR again rules against historic UK bulk surveillance

Adding to the safeguards necessary for the use of bulk interception framework, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights has confirmed that the UK’s pre-2016 surveillance regime violated privacy and freedom of expression rights.

25 May 2021

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