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Tag Archives for " law enforcement "

US court rules against warrantless searches of phones, laptops

A federal court in Boston has ruled that warrantless U.S. government searches of the phones and laptops of international travelers at airports and other U.S. ports of entry violate the Fourth Amendment.

Tuesday’s ruling in U.S. District Court came in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation on behalf of 11 travelers whose smartphones and laptops were searched without individualized suspicion at U.S. ports of entry.

Source: Court rules against warrantless searches of phones, laptops

EU and US work on electronic evidence agreement

European Commission and U.S. Department of Justice officials met on September 25 to begin formal negotiations on an EU-U.S. agreement to facilitate access to electronic evidence in criminal investigations.

There was agreement to regular negotiating rounds with the view to concluding an agreement as quickly as possible. Progress will be reviewed at the next EU-U.S. Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial in December.

Source: European Commission – PRESS RELEASES – Press release – Criminal justice: Joint statement on the launch of EU-U.S. negotiations to facilitate access to electronic evidence

UK Court Dismisses Challenge to Police Use of Facial Recognition Technology

On September 4, 2019, the High Court of England and Wales dismissed a challenge to South Wales Police’s use of Automated Facial Recognition technology. The Court determined that the police’s use of AFR had been necessary and proportionate to achieve their statutory obligations.

The police would subsequently match the images captured with wanted persons in their own databases using biometric data analysis. Where a match was not made with any of these watchlists, the images were immediately and automatically deleted.

Source: High Court Dismisses Challenge to Police Use of Facial Recognition Technology

EU-US launch talks on e-evidence access

EU member states have approved a mandate for the European Commission to launch international negotiations with the U.S. to speed and streamline cross-border access to electronic evidence in criminal investigations.

EU Commission Spokesperson Christian Wigand said the new legislation and getting agreement with the U.S. is incredibly important because e-evidence “is needed in around 85% of criminal investigations, and in two-thirds of these investigations there is a need to obtain evidence from online service providers based in another jurisdiction.”

Full article: EU-US launch talks on e-evidence access

FBI proposal outlines plans for large-scale collection of social media data

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is planning to step up its efforts to monitor social media platforms more aggressively in order to detect potential threats.

The law enforcement agency is said to be seeking technological solutions from third-party contractors that would make it possible to harvest publicly-available information en masse from Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms.

Source: FBI proposal outlines plans for large-scale collection of social media data

Amazon’s Ring Is a Perfect Storm of Privacy Threats

Recent reports show that Ring has partnered with police departments across the country to hawk this new surveillance system—going so far as to draft press statements and social media posts for police to promote Ring cameras.

This creates a vicious cycle in which police promote the adoption of Ring, Ring terrifies people into thinking their homes are in danger, and then Amazon sells more cameras.

Source: Amazon’s Ring Is a Perfect Storm of Privacy Threats | Electronic Frontier Foundation

Palantir Manual Shows How Law Enforcement Tracks Families

Palantir’s surveillance software has become a backbone of US law enforcement, particularly Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Palantir’s secret user manuals for law enforcement shows that with just the name of a person, law enforcement can use Palantir’s software to map that target’s family relationships, get their Social Security number, address, phone number, height, weight, and eye color. Add a license plate number, and Palantir’s system can often allow law enforcement to track where people have been during any period of time.

Source: Palantir Manual Shows How Law Enforcement Tracks Families | WIRED

France enacts Decree on application of data protection

On 1 June 2019 Decree No. 2019-536 of 29 May 2019 Enacted For the Application of Act No. 78-17 of 6 January 1978 on Data Processing, Files and Individual Liberties came into force.

The Decree clarifies procedural rules of the French data protection authority, including its control and sanctions, and further specifies data subject rights. It also brings Act on Data Processing, Files and Individual Liberties in line with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Directive with Respect to Law Enforcement.

Read the Decree here (in French).

Tracking Phones, Google Is a Dragnet for the Police

The tech giant records people’s locations worldwide. Now, investigators are using it to find suspects and witnesses near crimes, running the risk of snaring the innocent.

The warrants, which draw on an enormous Google database employees call Sensorvault, turn the business of tracking cellphone users’ locations into a digital dragnet for law enforcement. In an era of ubiquitous data gathering by tech companies, it is just the latest example of how personal information — where you go, who your friends are, what you read, eat and watch, and when you do it — is being used for purposes many people never expected.

Source: Tracking Phones, Google Is a Dragnet for the Police – The New York Times

DNA Testing Company Will Allow Customers to Opt Out of sharing data with FBI

FamilyTreeDNA drew heat from privacy advocates after it was revealed that the company let the FBI access its database.

The decision exposes the ethical and legal conundrums surrounding at-home DNA testing and illustrates the tension between protecting users’ privacy and aiding law enforcement in catching violent criminals. Law enforcement has increasingly been using genealogy to solve crimes.

Source: DNA Testing Company Will Allow Customers to Opt Out of Helping FBI Amid Privacy Concerns

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