Serious Privacy Risks Lie in the Path of Vehicle Automation

Linked by Paul Ciano


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has proposed a new standard – a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) – that details the messaging formats for communications between vehicles for future vehicle automation. While we raise concerns here, make no mistake: increased automation of land vehicles like cars and trucks holds great promise, from drastically reducing injuries and deaths in accidents to streamlining traffic in order to route vehicles in the most efficient ways possible. To do this, our vehicles will be increasingly talking to each other and to other infrastructure on the road such as traffic signals, signage, and lane boundaries in order to keep us safe. At the same time, in the race towards promising applications, we need to be careful that we don’t introduce features that may reduce the trust and freedom we have in our vehicles.

Want to Improve Data Quality, Reduce Liability, and Gain Consumer Trust? Try Deleting.

Linked by Paul Ciano


Uber’s situation illustrates the disconnect between what data deletion means to companies and how users understand the concept. To users, deletion is an act of finality that ends their relationship with a company and destroys their information. To most companies, a deletion command is more likely to send a copy of the user’s information to cloud storage for potential retrieval.

In CDT’s newest white paper, “Should it stay or should it go? The legal, policy, and technical landscape around data deletion,” we explore this disconnect and the reasons why commercial data stores have grown. We make the case that it is neither in a company’s nor a customer’s best interest to hold onto large amounts of data.

Consumer Reports Rates Privacy and Security

Linked by Paul Ciano

Jason Snell:

There are only two reasons why the makers of Internet-connected devices would change their ways and take customer privacy and security seriously. One would be government regulations, and at least in the United States that seems unlikely in the near future. The other is the realization that security and privacy are features that customers care about, and that if they don’t take them seriously, their sales will suffer. Consumer Reports taking this seriously—and publicizing when companies fail these tests—could be an important step along the way.

Consumer Reports to Begin Evaluating Products, Services for Privacy and Data Security

Injustice at the Border: How to Protect Your Data (Part 2)

Since I wrote the first part of this series, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has released a superlative guide on digital privacy at the U.S. Border. They have done things like this before, but since the legal context around these issues is somewhat labile, it is important to make sure you are getting up-to-date information.

Before I move on to my own technical solution for moving across borders, I think it is beneficial to review the EFF's Guide. Their post about this guide can be found here. It is broken up into 3 parts:

  1. Digital Privacy Guide for Travelers
  2. Constitutional Rights, Government Policies, and Privacy at the Border
  3. The Technology of Privacy Protection

Here, I am going to focus on the first 2 parts, and the last part of this series will basically be my take on part 3 of their guide.

Much of the information presented will be useful to any traveler, but I am writing this from the perspective of a deeply concerned U.S. citizen, and will correspondingly focus on aspects that affect this cohort.

Continue reading Injustice at the Border: How to Protect Your Data (Part 2)

A School Librarian Caught In The Middle of Student Privacy Extremes

Linked by Paul Ciano


In search of a middle ground that serves students, Angela is asking hard, fundamental questions. “We can use technology to do this, but should we? Is it giving us the same results as something non-technological?” Angela asked. “We need to see the big picture. How do we take advantage of these tools while keeping information private and being aware of what we might be giving away?”

School librarians are uniquely positioned to navigate this middle ground and advocate for privacy, both within the school library itself and in larger school- or district-wide conversations about technology. Often, school librarians are the only staff members trained as educators, privacy specialists, and technologists, bringing not only the skills but a professional mandate to lead their communities in digital privacy and intellectual freedom. On top of that, librarians have trusted relationships across the student privacy stakeholder chain, from working directly with students to training teachers to negotiating with technology vendors.

Think Like CDT: How to Protect Your Privacy

Linked by Paul Ciano


Taking control of our personal data is often easier said than done. It can be overwhelming to think about how much data we generate each day, whether at work or just living our lives, and sharing some of this information is a non-negotiable part of modern life. Attempting to stop, let alone control this process, can feel daunting or hopeless, even for people in the privacy weeds.

It is a fool’s errand to come up with a standard set of tips for how best to protect your privacy. Even among people working at CDT, we each care about our privacy in different ways and manage our digital lives quite differently as a result. But in the spirit of Data Privacy Day, the staff at CDT wanted to offer a list of ideas for where to start, based on what we personally do to protect our privacy.

Pretty good list.