Nov 172017

The fact that the Pentagon leaked data is duly noted over on DataBreaches.net. But over here on PogoWasRight.org, I want to highlight what kinds of data the Pentagon was leaking.  Dan O’Sullivan of Upguard reports:

The repositories appear to contain billions of public internet posts and news commentary scraped from the writings of many individuals from a broad array of countries, including the United States, by CENTCOM and PACOM, two Pentagon unified combatant commands charged with US military operations across the Middle East, Asia, and the South Pacific.

The data exposed in one of the three buckets is estimated to contain at least 1.8 billion posts of scraped internet content over the past 8 years, including content captured from news sites, comment sections, web forums, and social media sites like Facebook, featuring multiple languages and originating from countries around the world. Among those are many apparently benign public internet and social media posts by Americans, collected in an apparent Pentagon intelligence-gathering operation, raising serious questions of privacy and civil liberties.

Now do you wish you had been paying more attention to all of the discussions on this site and elsewhere about what kinds of surveillance our government could conduct against US persons?

I can picture Joe sitting over there nodding his head, muttering to himself, “I told you so. I told you so!”

Go read the entire Upguard article right now. It is as bad as you might fear.



Nov 162017

Calvin Cohen writes:

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) is soliciting public comments on a petition filed by Sears Holdings Management (“Sears”) to reopen and modify a 2009 FTC order regarding the tracking of personal information on their software apps.  The petition is notable for a number of reasons.  First, the Sears consent order was a seminal order in the development of the FTC’s privacy jurisdiction, standing for the proposition that a company cannot “bury” disclosures that consumers would not expect in long privacy notices.  Second, the concept of modifying 20-year consent orders is an important one in light of changes over time.  Third, the petition seeks to correct the unintended consequences that a consent order can have on future technologies when such an order regulates present ones.

Read more on Covington & Burling Inside Privacy.

Nov 152017

Susan Hogan reports:

In April, law enforcement from Georgia’s Worth County descended on a high school and, without a warrant, conducted body searches on an estimated 900 students, touching some students’ genitals and breasts. They said they were searching for drugs. They found none.

A class-action federal lawsuit soon followed, and the sheriff and two deputies were indicted in October in the raid on Worth High School in Sylvester, which is about 170 miles south of Atlanta. On Tuesday, a legal advocacy group, the Southern Center for Human Rights, said a proposed $3 million settlement had been reached in the lawsuit, pending a judge’s approval.

Read more on  Washington Post.

Nov 152017
 November 15, 2017  Breaches, Business, Non-U.S. No Responses »

A complaint noted by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of New Zealand made their news down there. It’s actually an interesting case as there’s a complainant you may have no sympathy for, but you still need to consider whether what the business did was appropriate and acceptable:

A man who was named and shamed on Facebook by a business after his cheque bounced has lost a privacy complaint and bid for $50,000 compensation.

The business posted the man’s personal details online after a cheque for goods worth hundreds of dollars bounced and the man failed to answer or return phone calls, a blog post by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.


The Privacy Commission said the business did not have the right to publish the man’s personal details as it was not a public sector law enforcement agency and the man’s actions did not constitute a serious threat.

However, it chose not to take any action as it said the man did not act in good faith during the investigation.

Read more on New Zealand Herald.