Dec 302010
 
 December 30, 2010  Featured News

Declan McCullagh of CNET published a round-up of some of the stories that made privacy news in the U.S. this past year. But what were the top stories or the most important ones?  Over on Liminal States, Jon Pincus posted his list, inspired by a Twitter privacy chat two weeks ago.  A subsequent poll on Twitter drew 59 responses as to top story. Yours truly forgot to vote in time, but that’s okay. 🙂

As I mentioned in a previous blog post and on Jon’s blog, my priorities seem to be somewhat different than many of those who are also deeply concerned about privacy.   In some respects, the Top 5 Privacy Violations of 2010 by Jeffrey Evans come closer to what I see as important privacy stories or developments.

So after giving it a bit more thought, here’s my list of the Top 10 Privacy Stories of 2010 for the U.S., in no particular order and for better or worse:

  • Tyler Clementi’s suicide
  • Karen Owens’ “paper” on sexual encounters goes viral and names names
  • Facebook changes everyone’s privacy settings
  • Homeland Security in Pennsylvania and their contractor surveill environmental protesters like terrorists
  • TSA introduces “enhanced” patdowns and backscatter machines that trample privacy, dignity, and civil liberties
  • Schools start fingerprinting school children and putting tracking devices on them
  • Lower Merion School District sued for recording students in their homes via webcam
  • Some courts rule that GPS surveillance and cell phone location records require warrants
  • Don’t Ask Don’t Tell repealed
  • Arizona enacts “papers, please” law

Yes, I know I don’t have most of the online tracking and regulatory stories listed. Frankly, those issues are just not as important to me. Your mileage, of course, may vary.

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