May 312011
 May 31, 2011  Posted by  Court, Surveillance

On Friday, the ACLU of Delaware filed a brief with the Delaware Supreme Court arguing that law enforcement agents should not be permitted to attach a GPS device to a car without getting a search warrant. The brief explains that because GPS tracking is an invasive form of surveillance capable of revealing many private facts about a person, a lower court was correct to conclude that, “absent exigent circumstances, the warrantless placement of a GPS device to track a suspect 24 hours a day constitutes an unlawful search.”

In the case, agents attached a battery-operated GPS device to Michael Holden’s car while it was parked on a public street. They did not obtain a warrant and left the device on his car for 19 days. It collected information about the vehicle’s location the whole time.

Read more on ACLU’s Blog.

May 312011
 May 31, 2011  Posted by  Featured News, Laws, Surveillance, U.S.

As I hoped, the ACLU has filed a FOIA request about the “secret” interpretation of the PATRIOT Act that Senators Wyden and Udall referred to during the renewal debate in Congress:

In the days before last week’s Patriot Act reauthorization vote, members of the Senate Intelligence Committee raised concerns — see here and here — about the way that the Justice Department has interpreted and used the Patriot Act’s Section 215, which is perhaps the most controversial of the provisions that Congress reauthorized. “When the American people find out how their government has secretly interpreted the Patriot Act,” Colorado Senator Mark Udall said, “they will be stunned and they will be angry.”

Today we filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request demanding that the Justice Department release information about the government’s use and interpretation of Section 215. We anticipate litigating the request.

Read more on ACLU’s Blog.

May 312011
 May 31, 2011  Posted by  Misc, Surveillance, U.S.

Daniel Solove writes:

Far too often, debates about privacy and security begin with privacy proponents pointing to invasive government surveillance, such as GPS tracking, the National Security Agency surveillance program, data mining, and public video camera systems. Security proponents then chime in with a cadre of arguments about how these security measures are essential to law enforcement and national security. When the balancing is done, the security side often wins, and security measures go forward with little to no privacy protections.

But the victory for security is one often achieved unfairly. The debate is being skewed by several flawed pro-security arguments. These arguments improperly tip the scales to the security side of the balance. Let’s analyze some of these arguments, the reasons they are flawed, and the pernicious effects they have.

Read more on Salon.


May 312011
 May 31, 2011  Posted by  Breaches, Non-U.S.

The German Data Protection Authorities of Berlin and North Rhine-Westphalia have issued a paper containing Frequently Asked Questions about the German statutory data breach notification requirement that went into effect on September 1, 2009.  The paper provides detailed information on key questions concerning the procedure for notification as required by Section 42a of the German Federal Data Protection Act.

Pursuant to the notification obligation, private organizations (and public entities that compete in the free market) must notify without undue delay both the competent DPA and affected individuals of any unlawful transfer or other disclosure of certain types of personal data to third parties under certain circumstances.

Read more on Hunton & Williams Privacy and Information Security Law Blog.