The Committee of European Convention 108 (the "Privacy Convention") has announced the second edition of the Rodotà Award, intended to reward innovative academic research projects to advance data protection. The award honors the memory of Stefano Rodotà, a prominent Italian law professor and candidate for the Italian presidency who championed democratic institutions, human rights, and data protection. The competition is open to researchers from all regions of the world participating in the work of the Committee of Convention 108. Application here. Deadline: 18 December 2019. Competition rules. The prize winner will be announced on Data Protection Day (28 January 2020) and will have the opportunity to present his/her work at the next Plenary session of the Committee of Convention 108 to be held in Strasbourg in July 1-3, 2020. In 2009, Prof. Rodotà received the first EPIC International Champion of Freedom Award.
EPIC Launches Campaign to Ban Face Surveillance
EPIC has launched a campaign to ban face surveillance. EPIC will publish information on face surveillance laws, reports, and protests worldwide.
EPIC Report Ranks Online Privacy Act #1
EPIC has released an updated detailed analysis of the privacy bills in Congress. According to EPIC, Repreventatives Eshoo and Lofgren's Online Privacy Act ranks #1. EPIC's report reviews recent developments, sets out a model bill, and assesses pending legislation. The EPIC Report finds that several of the bills in Congress lack the basic elements of a privacy law, such as an opportunity for individuals to enforce their rights.
EPIC Launches Campaign For a Data Protection Agency
EPIC has launched a campaign promoting the creation of a Data Protection Agency in the United States. While the FTC helps to safeguard consumers and promote competition, it is not a data protection agency. The U.S. needs a federal data protection agency focused on privacy protection, compliance with data protection obligations, and emerging privacy challenges.
D.C. Attorney General Racine Speaks at EPIC
EPIC hosted D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine for a meeting with the Privacy Coalition. General Racine discussed his office’s initiatives on privacy, algorithmic discrimination, and antitrust. Last year, the Attorney General sued Facebook under the D.C. Consumer Protection Procedures Act for the mishandling of user data that led to Cambridge Analytica breach. And General Racine joined with others AGs investigating Google for anti-competitive conduct.
EPIC Publishes First Reference Book on AI Policy
EPIC has published "The EPIC AI Policy Sourcebook 2019." The EPIC collection is the first compendium of AI policy, providing essential information to policy makers, researchers, journalists, and the public. The EPIC Sourcebook includes global AI frameworks such as the OECD AI Principles and the Universal Guidelines for AI, as well as materials from the EU, Council of Europe, national AI initiatives and professional societies IEEE and ACM. "Required reading for a necessary conversation," Sherry Turkle.
EPIC Challenges FTC-Facebook Settlement, Asks Court to Hear from Privacy Groups
EPIC has filed a Motion to Intervene in United States v. Facebook to protect the interests of Facebook users. EPIC said the settlement "is not adequate, reasonable, or appropriate."
EPIC Publishes The Mueller Report
EPIC has published The Mueller Report: EPIC v. Department of Justice and the Special Counsel’s Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election. This collection, edited by EPIC President Marc Rotenberg, includes the version of the Mueller Report provided to EPIC in EPIC v. DOJ, the original EPIC FOIA request, and more.
EPIC Seeks Public Release of Mueller Report
EPIC has filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit to obtain the final report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller concerning Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. There was a hearing in federal district court in Washington, DC Tuesday, April 9, at 9 am in EPIC v. DOJ.
More than 26,000 Complaints Pending Against Facebook
More than 26,000 complaints against Facebook are currently pending before the FTC. In the eight years since the Commission announced the consent order against Facebook it has not taken a single enforcement action against Facebook. EPIC and a coalition of consumer privacy organizations filed the original complaint against Facebook in 2009.
EPIC is on the front lines of the major privacy and civil liberties debates. In 2019, EPIC has important work to do on algorithmic transparency, facial recognition, data protection and democracy, among many other issues. Please donate to EPIC today to help us continue this important work.
Defend Privacy. Support EPIC.
EPIC is on the front lines of the major privacy and civil liberties debates. In 2019, EPIC will work to protect democratic institutions, promote algorithmic transparency, and defend the right to privacy. We need your support. And EPIC is a top-rated non-profit - Charity Navigator (Four Star) and Guidestar (Gold). Please donate to EPIC today.
This week a federal appellate judge pressed the government about the reliability of a Google scanning algorithm that provided the basis for the warrantless search of a private email. EPIC raised concerns about the scanning technique in an amicus brief for the appeals court. In United States v. Wilson, EPIC argued that "because neither Google nor the Government explained how the image matching technique actually works or presented evidence establishing accuracy and reliability, the Government's search was unreasonable." Judge Watford told the government attorney that he "would like to hear your defense of the evidentiary record" because what we have "is this declaration from the Google person," and "I would need far more explanation of how reliable the hash matching technology is before I could validate this search." EPIC filed an amicus brief in a similar case in United States v. Miller. EPIC routinely submits amicus briefs on the privacy implications of new investigative techniques. EPIC has also long promoted algorithmic transparency to ensure accountability for AI-based decision making.
Google has announced that it will no longer describe the type of content on an app or webpage when conducting auctions for ads. Google stated the change was the result of "engagement with data protection authorities" and would help prevent those bidding on ads from linking individual people to sensitive content. The change raised concerns about entrenching Google's dominance over internet advertising and whether the policy change would further diminish advertising revenue for content publishers. Questions also remain as to whether the change is necessary under the GDPR if user IDs are effectively deidentified as Google has claimed. Google's modifications to its Street View data collection failed to halt multiple fines by data protection agencies for legal violations. The company's ad exchange is still under investigation for violations of the EU General Data Protection Regulation. EPIC recently urged lawmakers to unwind bad mergers, including Google's acquisition of YouTube and Nest.
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EPIC in the News
Predicting risk: Tool Ada County judges use to help decide pretrial release has some concerned
November 19, 2019
Marc Rotenberg, EPIC President
Council of Europe
Marc Rotenberg, EPIC President
Georgetown Law Advanced eDiscovery Institute
EPIC v. DOJ: Seeking the final report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller concerning Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Department of Commerce v. New York: Whether the Department of Commerce and Census Bureau violated the Administrative Procedure Act when it added a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.
EPIC provides expertise to shape strong privacy and open government laws at both the state and federal level.
EPIC recently launched a campaign to promote the creation of a Data Protection Agency in the U.S.
The Mueller Report
Edited by Marc Rotenberg