Privacy Law and Issues - Especially Computer Related

In 1928 United States Supreme Court Justice Brandeis wrote "discovery and invention have made it possible for the government, by means far more effective than stretching upon the rack to obtain disclosure in court of what is whispered in the closet. The progress of science in furnishing the government with means of espionage is not likely to stop with wiretapping." His haunting and prescient words clearly apply today, as the line between science and science fiction is continually redrawn. -- Gary T. Marx

Who Really Owns Public Information?
The Tenth Samuel Lazerow Memorial Lecture, October 16, 1996 University of Pittsburgh, School of Information Sciences, Anne W. Branscomb
Privacy News
News, records, and analysis of legislation, litigation, and regulation affecting the computer and Internet industry on privacy in the Tech Law Journal.
Congress To Tackle Privacy, Antitrust Issues
Net companies continue their push toward self-regulation, hoping to avert restrictions By Kathleen Murphy, Internet World (January 4, 1999)
The Anti-Privacy Lobby
Why big companies fight for the right to sell your personal information--and why Congress goes along for the ride. Plus: How one woman's coupon questionnaire led to harassment by a convicted rapist. by Dante Chinni, Mother Jones, January 13, 1998
American Bar Association Privacy Working Group
Articles, cases, legislation, and links to other resources on the Web. Project Documentation page includes: "Jurisdiction in Cyberspace--A US Perspective" - "Jurisdiction on the Internet--A European Perspective" - "Terms of Reference" and more. Other documents covering: Advertising/Consumer Protection, Intellectual Property, Payment Systems/Banking, Privacy, Public Law/Gaming, Sale of Goods, Sale of Services, Securities and Taxation.
Wired Collections/New Policy/Privacy
Selected stories from Wired Magazine and Wired Digital.
Anonymity and Its Enmities - A. Michael Froomkin
{par. 1} Professor Froomkin explains the mechanics of how "anonymity" is effected for communication over the Internet and then analyzes the legal status of attempts to ban anonymity. Through a combination of public-key encryption and special "anonymous remailer" computers, messages can be sent over the net with a high degree of certainty that they cannot be traced to their originator. These techniques also make possible the creation of "pseudonymous" personalities that can both send and receive messages, with the originator's true identity concealed. The Supreme Court in the McIntyre case recently struck down state prohibitions on the use of anonymity in the context of political leaflets. But such state laws have generally been very broadly drawn, and have been applied to political speech. The possibility remains that a narrowly drawn statute banning anonymous political speech, or one directed to non-political speech, might nevertheless be upheld.
The Center For Democracy And Technology
The Center For Democracy and Technology is a non-profit public interest organization based in Washington, DC. CDT works for public policies that advance civil liberties and democratic values in new computer and communications technologies.
Computer Law Observer Privacy Series (Site may not be available anymore)
"As the Information Age reaches maturity, its tentacles seem to stretch into every aspect of our lives. These fiber optic tentacles gather information from us often without our knowledge. Vast amounts of personal information is collected, sorted, organized by both government and private entities, and then used for a wide variety of purposes. Do we have any right to control the uses made of "our" information? Is there a right to privacy that provides us with some protection?" --William S. Galkin, Esq.
Privacy: what is it?
(Site may not be available anymore)
Privacy rights: the workplace
(Site may not be available anymore)
Electronic privacy rights and police power
(Site may not be available anymore)
At the limits of lawful secrecy
(Site may not be available anymore)
Your clickstream is showing: privacy of online consumer information
(Site may not be available anymore)
CSPR (Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility) - CyberRights Home Page
This site may very well be the definitive one for Internet resources on censorship and privacy issues.
Communities of Agents - Leonard Foner
"Software agents have become an increasingly popular approach for dealing with information filtering and information discovery. They have been used for both utilitarian purposes (such as for email filtering or news filtering, and also for more entertainment-oriented purposes." Software agents also bring up privacy issues.
CyberSpace Law for Non-Lawyers - Privacy Law Lessons
Cyberspace-Law for Non-Lawyers is presented by the Cyberspace Law Institute, Social Science Electronic Publishing.
Dataveillance and Information Privacy, and Definitions of Terms, Introduction to
Roger Clarke
This paper provides an introduction to the topics of data surveillance and information privacy, and contains my definitions of key terms in the area. It is intended as a starter-resource for people who want to break into the area; and as a reference resource for people who've already broken in.
EPIC - Electronic Privacy Information Center
EPIC Online Guide to Privacy Resources
The Electronic Privacy Information Center is a public interest research center in Washington, DC. It was established in 1994 to focus public attention on emerging privacy issues relating to the National Information Infrastructure, such as the Clipper Chip, the Digital Telephony proposal, medical record privacy, ID cards, and the sale of consumer data.
Ethics and Law on the Electronic Frontier
This is the home page for 6.805/STS085, a subject offered at MIT during the 1994 and 1995 fall semesters. The course deals with the following topics:
The Electronic Frontier Foundation
A non-profit civil liberties organization working in the public interest to protect privacy, free expression, and access to online resources and information.
Existing Limitations on News Photographers in Pursuit of Individuals
"… the prudent editor will only use this article as back ground for deciding whether to call a lawyer for specific advice." --Alice Neff Lucan, 1998. See also Case Notes on Photographers -- Galella v. Onassis, 487 F.2d 986 (2d Cir. 1973).
FTC Workshop on Consumer Privacy on the Global Information Infrastructure
"The Federal Trade Commissionís Bureau of Consumer Protection held a public workshop on Consumer Privacy on the Global Information Infrastructure on June 4-5, 1996. The workshop was part of the Bureauís Consumer Privacy Initiative, an ongoing effort to bring consumers and businesses together to address consumer privacy issues posed by the emerging online marketplace." Full transcript available.
The Internet PRIVACY Forum
is a moderated digest for the discussion and analysis of issues relating to the general topic of privacy (both personal and collective) in the "information age" of the 1990's and beyond. Topics include a wide range of telecommunications, information/database collection and sharing, and related issues, as pertains to the privacy concerns of individuals, groups, businesses, government, and society at large. The manners in which both the legitimate and the controversial concerns of business and government interact with privacy considerations are also topics for the digest.
Internet Privacy Home Page
"Prof. Peter Swire, Ohio St. Univ. Coll. of Law ã assorted information on privacy issues including the the EC Directive on Data Protection and links to internet privacy sites and some U.S. privacy laws." --ALSO
Invasion of Privacy and 90s Technologies
From the Securities Awareness Bulletin, Number 2-96, August 1996 by Paul F. Barry and Charles L. Wilkinson. "The focus of this article is on vulnerabilities that result from our employment of these electronic and communications technologies in equipment and electronic devices that are commonplace in America today-modern telephones, answering machines, monitoring devices, wireless intercoms, computers and modems, facsimile machines, and pagers."
Communities of Agents - Leonard Foner
"Software agents have become an increasingly popular approach for dealing with information filtering and information discovery. They have been used for both utilitarian purposes (such as for email filtering or news filtering, and also for more entertainment-oriented purposes." Software agents also bring up privacy issues.
CYBER list
Harvard has created a CYBER list which is the on-line dialogue for the "Seminar on Law and Technology" under the sponsorship of Prof. Charles Nesson and Prof. Arthur Miller. After each meeting of the seminar on Monday nights, a recap of the discussion is sent out to the list with a set of hypotheticals on which all are invited to comment. Recent panel questions include CYBERSPACE AND PRIVACY: WHAT'S THE ISSUE?, ENCRYPTION IN THREE PARAGRAPHS OR LESS, and IS UNBRIDLED ENCRYPTION A THREAT TO THE NATIONAL SECURITY?.Send inquiries for information and subscriptions to CYBER@HULAW1.HARVARD.EDU
Media Awareness Network: Media Issues--Privacy
Privacy: The News The latest updates from our Network News section, featuring electronic and print news on media issues from Canadian and international sources. Hot Topics in the Privacy Debate Why should we care about our privacy? How is it invaded every day? How can we protect ourselves? This section looks at the current topics in the privacy debate, as well as the latest news on privacy issues. … Resource Room A selected list of books, articles, reports, surveys and studies, teaching units and Internet links to help you learn more about privacy. Legislation, Codes and Practices An examination of Canadian and international laws, as well as voluntary industry codes designed to protect privacy and the security of personal information.
Office of Information and Privacy - U.S.Department of Justice
"The Office of Information and Privacy (OIP) discharges the Department's administrative and policy responsibilities under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and promotes government-wide compliance with the Act. OIP maintains files of administrative appeals of denials of Department of Justice records and initial request files of FOIA and Privacy Act requests for records of the Offices of the Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General, Associate Attorney General, Policy Development, Legislative Affairs, Intergovernmental Affairs, and Public Affairs. The office also maintains records relating to the administration of the office."
Papers on Technology, Privacy and Social Control
Newspaper, Journal and Magazine articles and book chapters by Gary T. Marx Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Colorado at Boulder, also Professor Emeritus from M.I.T.
Privacy - The Perkins Coie Internet Case Digest
Summaries of Internet privacy cases with links to opinions when available and other background information See also their Encryption page, and their Right of Publicity page.
Privacy International
Privacy International is a human rights group formed in 1990 as a watchdog on surveillance by governments and corporations. PI is based in London, UK and has an office in Washington, D.C. PI has conducted campaigns in Europe, Asia and North America to counter abuses of privacy by way of information technology such as telephone tapping, ID card systems, video surveillance, data matching, police information systems, and medical records.
Reporter's Privacy Checklist
From the Reporters committee for Freedom of the Press' The First Amendment Handbook
Some U.S. Privacy Laws - Peter Swire
Privacy.Org - News archive
A collection of news stories from various sources concerning privacy issues.
Web Security and Privacy: An American Perspective
Prof. L. Jean Camp, Kennedy School of Government
Abstract: Browsing the Web gives one the heady feeling of walking without footprints in cyberspace. Yet data surveillance can be both ubiquitous and transparent to the user. Can those who browse the Web protect their privacy? And does it matter if they cannot? I offer answers to these questions from the American legal tradition. The American legal tradition focuses on a right to privacy, rather than a need for data protection. Yet illuminating Web privacy from this particular perspective throws a broader light on how the fundamental rights of speech, assembly, and freedom of religious inquiry may depend upon electronic privacy in the information age.
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Page updated February 11, 2003