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Civil Liberties in the Digital Age: Weekly Highlights (1/27/2012)

A sinister internet graphic.
A sinister internet graphic.
Caitlin O'Neill,
Criminal Justice and Drug Policy Associate,
ACLU of Northern California
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January 27, 2012

In the digital age that we live in today, we are constantly exposing our personal information online. From using cell phones and GPS devices to online shopping and sending e-mail, the things we do and say online leave behind ever-growing trails of personal information. The ACLU believes that Americans shouldn’t have to choose between using new technology and keeping control of your private information. Each week, we feature some of the most interesting news related to technology and civil liberties that we’ve spotted from the previous week.

Revealed: The FBI Wants to Monitor Social Media [Mashable]
“The FBI is looking to develop a web application that can monitor social networks, including Facebook and Twitter, in order to gain better real-time intelligence about current or potential future security threats or situations.”

Twitter may censor tweets in individual countries [SF Gate]
“Twitter has refined its technology so it can censor messages on a country-by-country basis.”

ACLU Lens: Google’s New Privacy Policy [ACLU Blog of Rights]
… The new privacy policy makes clear that Google will, for the first time, combine the personal data you share with any one of its products or sites across almost all of its products and sites (everything but Google Chrome, Google Books, and Google Wallet) in order to obtain a more comprehensive picture of you. And there’s no opting out.
See also: If Google’s New Privacy Rules Have You Ready To Flee, Here’s How To Close Your Account

New Google privacy policy won’t affect Apps for business, government

Supreme Court Decision on GPS Tracking: A Spur to Action for Congress [ACLU Blog of Rights]
As we told you earlier, the Supreme Court ruled yesterday in U.S. v Jones that the government violated the Fourth Amendment when it used a GPS device to track a suspect’s location for 28 days without a valid warrant. It is fantastic privacy decision from the Court, and we’re hoping it also leads to some fantastic privacy decisions by Congress. The law must catch up with new technology; ask Congress to support the GPS Act now!
See also: What Does the Supreme Court GPS Ruling Mean for Privacy?
Supreme Court’s GPS Ruling Has Broad Implications On Tech
Why the Jones Supreme Court Ruling on GPS Tracking Is Worse Than It Sounds

Facebook Timeline Now Pushed To Everyone, Users Get A Week To Clean Up Profiles [Tech Crunch]
“You can run, but you can’t hide. Facebook’s biggest user interface overhaul since the Wall, the Facebook Timeline, is now becoming mandatory for all users.”

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