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EPIC Alert 17.02

                            E P I C   A l e r t
Volume 17.02                                            January 29, 2010

                           Published by the
               Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)
                           Washington, D.C.


		     "Defend Privacy. Support EPIC."

Table of Contents
[1] EPIC Hosts 15th Annual Privacy Coalition Meeting
[2] Worldwide Celebration of International Privacy Day 2010
[3] Experts Urge U.S. to Ratify Privacy Convention 
[4] European Union Rejects U.S. Demands on Body Scanners
[5] EPIC Continues to Fight for the Privacy Rights of Facebook Users
[6] News in Brief
[7] EPIC Bookstore: "Privacy in Context"
[8] Upcoming Conferences and Events

TAKE ACTION: Stop Airport Strip Searches!

- JOIN Facebook Group "Stop Airport Strip Searches" and INVITE Friends to JOIN

[1] EPIC Hosts 15th Annual Privacy Coalition Meeting

The annual meeting of the Privacy Coalition held in Washington DC on
January 21-23, 2010 hosted discussions among activists, policy makers,
government decision makers, and federal chief privacy officials.
Congressman Bennie G. Thompson served as the Keynote speaker at the
dinner held on Thursday evening. At the event Beth Givens, founder and
director of Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, was presented with the EPIC's
U.S. Privacy Champion Award for 2010.

The meeting was an opportunity for members of the Privacy Coalition,
Federal Chief Privacy Officers, and academics to review the previous
year's most challenging privacy, consumer protection, and civil
liberties issues. The gathering provided the rare opportunity for
coalition members to be physically in the same location for in-depth
review of each priorities and to make their best case for the coalition
to sponsor efforts related to their privacy related projects.

The day-long meeting held on Friday, January 22, included panel
participation by Federal Privacy and Civil Liberties Officers, which
author Bruce Schneier moderated. There was a panel on Privacy
Implications of Biometric Identification Systems, Moderated by
Professor Anita Allen. Following the government privacy panel, Chip
Pitts, President of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, moderated a
discussion on Privacy, Civil Liberties, and Civil Rights with advocate
organizations.  In the afternoon, the topics turned to consumer privacy
issues, beginning with a lunch discussion on the cutting-edge privacy
issue of Smart Grid. Following lunch, Privacy Times founder, Evan
Hendricks, moderated a discussion among consumer advocates on their
list of top issues for 2010. Later that afternoon, privacy expert,
Chris Wolf, led moderated a discussion on Legislative Staff and Agency
Led Discussion with a panel of legislative experts.

A few of the advocacy groups participating in the meeting included
EPIC, Consumer Federation of American, Consumer Watch Dog, Consumer
Action, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, PrivacyActivism, ACLU,
Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, US Bill of Rights
Defense Committee, Liberty Coalition, the Brennan Center, The American
Bar Association, CyLab Carnegie Mellon University, and the American
Association of Law Libraries.

Federal agency and Hill Committee Staff participation featured panelist
from the Department of Homeland Security, Transportation Security
Administration, Department of Justice, Office of the Director of
National Intelligence, Bureau of the Census, Federal Trade Commission,
Federal Communication Commission, House Committee on Homeland Security,
and Congressman Ed Markey's (Co-Chair of the House Privacy Caucus)

The meeting closed on Saturday following a strategy session on the top
issues the coalition will work on for 2010.

Privacy Coalition


[2] Worldwide Celebration of International Privacy Day 2010

January 28 is International Privacy Day, celebrating the day that the
first international convention on privacy was signed. The Council of
Europe and the European Commission initiated this commemoration in
2007. This year marks its fourth edition, and a wide variety of
activities are being held in cities around the world to underscore the
importance of privacy protections.

In Europe its aim is to give "European citizens an opportunity to
understand what kind of data about them is collected and processed, why
this is done, and what rights they have in respect of such processing.
It is also an opportunity for them to become more aware of the inherent
risks associated with the unlawful use or clandestine processing of
their personal data," as noted by the Council of Europe.

A Pecha Kucha night to honor Data Protection day is being held in
Brussels. The Pecha Kucha, which is Japanese for the sound of
conversation(bla bla or chit-chat), is a series of show-and-tell
presentations by artists, designers and advocates. EPIC Executive
Director, Marc Rotenberg will presenta typical Pecha Kucha series of 20
images x 20 seconds each on the "Invasion of the Body Scanners."

In the United States, Governors in North Carolina, Arkansas,
Washington, Maryland, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, West Virginia, and Wisconsin
have declared Data Privacy Day on January 28, and several events will
be held in different cities in the U.S. and Canada. In Berkeley, the
Federal Trade Commission is hosting a series of roundtable discussions
on January 28 to explore the privacy challenges posed by the vast array
of 21st century technology and business practices that collect and use
consumer data. Lillie Coney, EPIC Associate Director, will present the
Privacy implications of social networks.

This year, Mexico joins the celebration for the second time. The
Federal Institute for Access to Public Information and the House of
Representatives are organizing the seminar "Constitutional amendments
to data protection: Challenges and legal views". The event seeks to
promote the discussion of an enforceable data protection law for
Mexico. Katitza Rodriguez, EPIC International Privacy Project Director,
will present the comparative international legal aspects of privacy and
data protection.

For Civil Society Groups the key objective on January 28 is to motivate
people to action - not just by checking their privacy settings,
shredding old bank statements or installing a browser extension, but by
raising awareness about why meaningful regulation of privacy and
enforcement of privacy rights is key for the protection of the ability
to control personal data.

For instance, the supporters of the Madrid are urging countries:

"that have not ratified Council of Europe Convention 108 together with
the Protocol of 2001 to do so as expeditiously as possible;"

"that have not yet established a comprehensive framework for privacy
protection and an independent data protection authority to do so as
expeditiously as possible;"

"that have established legal frameworks for privacy protection to
ensure effective implementation and enforcement, and to cooperate at
the international and regional level."

On International Privacy Day, EPIC will honor eminent Australian Jurist
Michael Kirby for his role in the development of the OECD Privacy
Guidelines of 1980. EPIC describes the Honorable Kirby as "The father
of the OECD Privacy Guidelines." Previous recipients of the EPIC
International Privacy Champion Award include Italian jurist Professor
Stefano Rodota.

EPIC, Council of Europe Privacy Convention

Council of Europe Privacy Convention

Council of Europe Data Protection Day
International Privacy Day Campaign (with activities)

The annual Conference Computers, Privacy and Data Protection

PechaKucha Night

Data Privacy Day is January 28, 2010

FTC Roundtable: Exploring Privacy

Madrid Privacy Declaration

Think Privacy

EPIC, "Privacy and Human Rights"

[3] Experts Urge U.S. to Ratify Privacy Convention 

Twenty-nine experts in privacy and technology have sent a letter to
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to urge that the United States
begin the process of ratification of the Council of Europe Convention
on Privacy. More than forty countries have ratified the Convention,
which was opened for signature on January 28, 1981.

The convention, which has been adopted by both members and non-members
of the Council of Europe, aims to ensure that the rights of the
individual would be protected even as governments and private
organizations took advantage of new systems of automation. Accordingly,
the letter states that "Just as communications networks can be used for
good and ill, so too can computer technology."

That outlook is reflected in Secretary Clinton's recent remarks on
Internet Freedom, in which she stated that "Just as steel can be used
to build hospitals or machine guns, or nuclear power can either
energize a city or destroy it, modern information networks and the
technologies they support can be harnessed for good or for ill."
Secretary Clinton also stressed the importance of freedom of expression
and privacy protection as fundamental rights in the digital age and
noted the ongoing importance of the Universal Declaration of Human

The letter also calls attention to the Madrid Declaration, in which
civil society groups have urged countries that have not yet ratified
the Council of Europe Convention to do so as soon as possible. The
signatories state, "privacy is a fundamental human right. In the 21st
century, it may become one of the most critical human rights of all." 

Council of Europe, Convention on Privacy

Secretary Clinton's Remarks

Madrid Declaration Website

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

[4] European Union Rejects U.S. Demands on Body Scanners

EU President Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba announced on January 21, 2010 that
European countries would not rush to install body scanners as the
United States has urged. He said that studies must be conducted to
determine whether the devices "are effective, do not harm health, and
do not violate privacy." The European position in the current dispute
is strengthened by the recent adoption of the Lisbon Treaty and the
entry into force of the Charter of Fundamental Rights.

The European countries have agreed that they will adopt a unified
position on the body scanner proposal. Spain, which is the current
European Union president and therefore sets the agenda for the EU, is
calling for a unified position in order to avoid inconsistent screening

Importantly, many senior officials in the European Commission have
indicated opposition to the scanners. The incoming justice commissioner
of the European Commission, Viviane Reding, stated that "Europe's need
for security cannot justify an invasion of privacy. Our citizens are
not objects: they are human beings."

Similarly, Germany will not install the scanners because privacy
concerns have not been addressed. France will only equip certain
airports with scanners.  British Conservative member of parliament, who
used to work for QinetiQ, a scanning technology firm, has stated that
scanners would probably not have detected the explosives reportedly
strapped to Abdulmutallab's leg. "In all the testing that we undertook,
it was unlikely that it would have picked up the current explosive
devices being used by Al Qaeda," Ben Wallace said of the scanners.

Website for EU President Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba

Lisbon Treaty

Charter of Fundamental Rights

EPIC: Whole Body Imaging

[5] EPIC Continues to Fight for the Privacy Rights of Facebook Users

The FTC has sent a letter to EPIC regarding the December 2009
complaint, submitted by privacy organizations, about Facebook's recent
changes to user privacy settings. The changes were made in response to
a complaint by students at the Canadian Internet Policy and Public
Interest Clinic and the Canadian Privacy Commissioner. In the letter,
the Bureau of Consumer Protection Director states that the complaint
"raises issues of particular interest" for the FTC. Further, Vladeck
stresses the importance of providing "transparency about how this data
is being handled, maintained, shared, and protected . . . " The
Commission, however, cannot confirm or deny whether an investigation
has been launched.

The letter came one day before EPIC filed a supplemental complaint
regarding Facebook's privacy practices. The new complaint provides
additional evidence of Facebook's unfair and deceptive trade practices
relating to Facebook CEO's public statements, the most recent version
of the Facebook for iPhone application, Facebook Connect, and
"web-suicide" applications.

Facebook is also being met with opposition regarding a recent
settlement involving Facebook Beacon. EPIC and other privacy groups
sent a letter to the federal judge overseeing the class-action
settlement against Facebook in California, opposing the settlement as
unfair and unreasonable.

As proposed, the settlement does not provide any benefit for Facebook
users whose private data was illegally exposed by Facebook "Beacon."
Instead, the deal would create a new "privacy foundation" subject to
Facebook's influence. Fair settlements typically provide compensation
to class members or a remedy that addresses the underlying harm, which
in this case was a violation of federal privacy law. The letter from
EPIC proposes alternatives that would enable stronger privacy
safeguards for Facebook users in the future.

FTC, Letter to EPIC regarding the December 2009 Facebook Complaint

CIPPIC, Complaint to Canadian Privacy Commissioner Re:Facebook Privacy

EPIC, et al., FTC Complaint, In re Facebook

EPIC, et al., FTC Supplemental Complaint, In re Facebook

EPIC, et al., Letter in Opposition to Facebook Beacon Settlement

Facebook, Beacon Class Settlement

EPIC: Facebook Privacy

[6] News in Brief

EPIC Hosts Press Event Regarding Whole Body Imaging

Leading privacy law scholars Anita Allen and Jeffrey Rosen, acclaimed
author and surveillance authority James Bamford, world renowned
security technologist Bruce Schneier, and EPIC President Marc Rotenberg
participated in a National Press Club event,  on Monday, January 25,
2010. The speakers engaged in a panel discussion on "Body Scanners and
Privacy." The event took place as Congress began its second week of
hearings to determine whether to deploy full body imaging devices in US

EPIC: Whole Body Imaging Technology 
Event Materials and Handouts on Whole Body Imaging

EPIC: Events
Inspector General Funds Egregious Breakdown in FBI Oversight 

The Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General has issued a
report on the FBI's use of "exigent letters" and other means to obtain
telephone records from three unnamed phone companies. The 300-page
report concludes that many of the FBI's practices "violated FBI
guidelines, Department policy," and the Electronic Communications
Privacy Act. The report also found that "the FBI sought and acquired
reporters' telephone toll billing records and calling activity
information" through improper means. The report concludes that "the
FBI's initial attempts at corrective action were seriously deficient,
ill-conceived, and poorly executed" and makes several recommendations
for improvement. In a 2007 letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee,
EPIC recommended that the FBI's National Security Letter authority be

DOJ: Office of the Inspector General

DOJ, Report on Exigent Letters
EPIC, Letter to Senate Judiciary Committee EPIC:

National Security Letters

EPIC Urges Increased Privacy for "Global Entry" Registered Traveler Program

EPIC filed comments with the US Customs and Border Protection, urging
the agency to "to revise its establishment of the Global Entry program
and to reconsider the privacy and security implications of the
program." Customs and Border Protection proposed to make permanent the
Global Entry program, under which pre-registered international
travelers can bypass conventional security lines by scanning their
passports and fingerprints at a kiosk, answering customs declaration
questions, and then presenting a receipt to Customs officials. EPIC
urged Customs and Border Protection to ensure that Global Entry
complied with the Privacy Act and to conduct a separate Privacy Impact
Assessment. Those measures are particularly pressing in light of recent
problems, including data breaches and bankruptcy, experienced by
"Clear," a similar registered traveler program. In 2005, EPIC testified
before Congress that the absence of Privacy Act safeguards for
registered traveler programs would jeopardize air traveler privacy and

EPIC, Comments to Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Customs and Border Protection Global Entry Website

Customs and Border Protection, Press Release 
EPIC: Global Entry 
EPIC: Air Travel Privacy 
EPIC, Congressional Testimony Regarding Registered Traveler

Microsoft to Delete Search Data After 6 Months

In order to comply with European privacy law, Microsoft announced that
it will delete user search data, including IP addresses, after six
months. In 2008 the Article 29 Working Group, which includes data
protection officials across the European Union, met with Microsoft,
Google, and Yahoo to discuss their data retention practices. Following
a determination that records are subject to European privacy law, the
Article 29 Working Group asked the search engine companies to eliminate
online user data, including IP addresses and search queries, after six
months. Microsoft will redesign its new Bing search engine to comply
with the request. It is unclear at this point what Google and Yahoo
will do. In early 2008, EPIC urged the European Parliament to protect
the privacy of search histories. 

Microsoft Announcement Regarding Search Data Deletion

Article 29 Working Group Website

Article 29 Working Group Determination 

EPIC, Submission to European Parliament 

EPIC: Search Engine Privacy

EPIC Supports Privacy in Cloud Computing and Social Networking Services

EPIC submitted comments to the Federal Trade Commission prior to the
agency's second privacy roundtable. EPIC warned of the ongoing privacy
risks associated with cloud computing and social networking privacy,
highlighting the Google cloud computing complaint and Facebook privacy
complaint filed by EPIC in 2009. The comments note that the Commission
has failed to take any meaningful action with respect to either
complaint, demonstrating the Commission's "lack of leadership and
technical expertise." EPIC's comments also draw attention to the
success of international privacy initiatives, in hopes of encouraging
the Commission to take meaningful action to protect American consumers.

EPIC, Comment to the Federal Trade Commission

Federal Trade Commission Privacy Roundtables Page

EPIC, Federal Trade Commission Complaint in In re Google

EPIC, Federal Trade Commission Complaint in In re Facebook

EPIC: Cloud Computing

EPIC: Social Networking Privacy

Congress Begins Hearings on the "Trouser Bomber" and Intelligence Reform

Several Senate committees have opened hearings on airline security and
the intelligence failure on December 25. Questions about privacy and
civil liberties have been raised frequently by senators. Specifically,
senators have asked about the adequacy of privacy safeguards for the
body scanners, database profiling, biometric identification, and the
status of the President's Civil Liberties and Privacy Oversight Board.
According to documents obtained by EPIC through a Freedom of
Information Act request, the body scanners ordered by the TSA are
designed to store and record images of American air travelers. 

President's Civil Liberties and Privacy Oversight Board
EPIC: Biometric Identifiers
TSA, Procurement Specification for Whole Body Imaging Machines

[7] EPIC Bookstore: "Privacy in Context"

In Helen Nissenbaum's "Privacy in Context", Nissenbaum seeks to define
privacy in terms of contextual integrity.  According to Nissenbaum,
"privacy is neither a right to secrecy nor a right to control but a
right to appropriate flow of personal information."  The framework of
contextual integrity is described as being made up of social contexts
and informational norms that affect personal information flow, such as
transmission, communication, and dissemination.  Throughout the book,
Nissenbaum explains the state of information technology today, why a
new framework is needed, and how this contextual integrity framework is

Part I begins with a quote by Samuel Warren and Louis Brandeis:
"instantaneous photographs and newspaper enterprise have invaded the
sacred precincts of the private and domestic life; and numerous
mechanical devices threaten to make good the prediction that 'what is
whispered in the closet shall be proclaimed from the house-tops.'"  In
the 1890's, photography was the looming privacy threat in America. 
Today, so much has changed, with more privacy-invasive technologies
emerging each year.  Nissenbaum sets out to describe these evolving
technologies and discuss the privacy risks and harms associated with
them, from the more obvious online monitoring to perhaps the less-known
radio frequency identification (RFID) technology.  She writes of
datamining, Google Earth, and social networks - technologies and
practices that have recently surfaced, and surely were not anticipated
by Warren and Brandeis over a century ago.

In Part II, Nissenbaum describes the value of privacy today, and
discusses current theoretical frameworks that help to define and
understand the value and risks associated with privacy.  She breaks up
the theories into two categories: theories that "allow morally
legitimate privacy claims to range over all information, delineating
the extent and boundaries . . . in terms of their capacity to promote
other significant moral and political values," and "theories that
attribute the moral legitimacy of privacy to privacy's capacity to
protect a private zone for humans."  In Chapter 6, Nissenbaum describes
the shortcomings of these theoretical frameworks, and seeks to propose
the contextual integrity framework as a way to fill the gaps left by
other approaches.

Part III introduces the fundamentals of contextual integrity and
applies the framework to help define our modern understanding of
privacy.  Nissenbaum uses this framework as a model for "understanding
and predicting reactions to alterations in information practices." To
illustrate this idea and the value of informational norms, Nissenbaum
uses real events.  For example, she uses the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal
to describe how Linda Tripp violated informational norms of friendship
by recording intimate phone conversations without permission and
transmitting these recordings to third parties.  According to
Nissenbaum, "that she betrayed a friendship seems to be an irrevocable
judgment readily modeled in the framework of contextual integrity." 
She explains that according to the contextual integrity framework,
people are bothered not by the fact that information practices take
away control over information or expose secret or private information,
but rather that they violate context-relative informational norms.  It
is these norms that "preserve the integrity of the social contexts in
which we live our lives, and they support and promote the ends,
purposes, and values around which these contexts are oriented."

Nissenbaum concludes that while we do have a moral and political right
to privacy, it is not privacy as traditionally understood - controlling
one's personal information or having the access to one's information. 
Rather, it is "a right to live in a world in which our expectations
about the flow of personal information are . . . met, . . . [shaped by]
a general confidence in the mutual support these flows accord to key
organizing principles of social life, including moral and political
ones."  This framework anticipates the constantly changing attitudes
and expectations regarding privacy, along with the constantly evolving
technologies that continue to pose new threats to privacy.

--Kim Nguyen

EPIC Publications:

"Litigation Under the Federal Open Government Laws 2008," edited by
Harry A. Hammitt, Marc Rotenberg, John A. Verdi, and Mark S. Zaid
(EPIC 2008). Price: $60.
Litigation Under the Federal Open Government Laws is the most
comprehensive, authoritative discussion of the federal open access
laws. This updated version includes new material regarding the
substantial FOIA amendments enacted on December 31, 2007. Many of the
recent amendments are effective as of December 31, 2008. The standard
reference work includes in-depth analysis of litigation under Freedom
of Information Act, Privacy Act, Federal Advisory Committee Act,
Government in the Sunshine Act. The fully updated 2008 volume is the
24th edition of the manual that lawyers, journalists and researchers
have relied on for more than 25 years.


"Information Privacy Law: Cases and Materials, Second Edition" Daniel
J. Solove, Marc Rotenberg, and Paul Schwartz. (Aspen 2005). Price: $98.

This clear, comprehensive introduction to the field of information
privacy law allows instructors to enliven their teaching of fundamental
concepts by addressing both enduring and emerging controversies. The
Second Edition addresses numerous rapidly developing areas of privacy
law, including: identity theft, government data mining and electronic
surveillance law, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act,
intelligence sharing, RFID tags, GPS, spyware, web bugs, and more.
Information Privacy Law, Second Edition, builds a cohesive foundation
for an exciting course in this rapidly evolving area of law.


"Privacy & Human Rights 2006: An International Survey of Privacy Laws
and Developments" (EPIC 2007). Price: $75.

This annual report by EPIC and Privacy International provides an
overview of key privacy topics and reviews the state of privacy in over
75 countries around the world. The report outlines legal protections,
new challenges, and important issues and events relating to privacy.
Privacy & Human Rights 2006 is the most comprehensive report on privacy
and data protection ever published.


"The Public Voice WSIS Sourcebook: Perspectives on the World Summit on
the Information Society" (EPIC 2004). Price: $40.

This resource promotes a dialogue on the issues, the outcomes, and the
process of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). This
reference guide provides the official UN documents, regional and
issue-oriented perspectives, and recommendations and proposals for
future action, as well as a useful list of resources and contacts for
individuals and organizations that wish to become more involved in the
WSIS process.


"The Privacy Law Sourcebook 2004: United States Law, International Law,
and Recent Developments," Marc Rotenberg, editor (EPIC 2005). Price:

The Privacy Law Sourcebook, which has been called the "Physician's Desk
Reference" of the privacy world, is the leading resource for students,
attorneys, researchers, and journalists interested in pursuing privacy
law in the United States and around the world. It includes the full
texts of major privacy laws and directives such as the Fair Credit
Reporting Act, the Privacy Act, and the OECD Privacy Guidelines, as
well as an up-to-date section on recent developments. New materials
include the APEC Privacy Framework, the Video Voyeurism Prevention Act,
and the CAN-SPAM Act.


"Filters and Freedom 2.0: Free Speech Perspectives on Internet Content
Controls" (EPIC 2001). Price: $20.

A collection of essays, studies, and critiques of Internet content
filtering. These papers are instrumental in explaining why filtering
threatens free expression.


EPIC publications and other books on privacy, open government, free
expression, crypto and governance can be ordered at:

EPIC Bookstore


EPIC also publishes EPIC FOIA Notes, which provides brief summaries of
interesting documents obtained from government agencies under the
Freedom of Information Act.

Subscribe to EPIC FOIA Notes at:

[8] Upcoming Conferences and Events

"Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection: An Element of Choice,"
Brussels, Belgium, January 29-30, 2010.
For more information:

"RSA 2010"
San Francisco, March 1-5, 2010.
For more information:

"7th Conference on Privacy and Public Access to Court Records"
Williamsburg, VA, March 3-5, 2010.
For more information:

"Association for Practical and Professional Ethics"
Cincinnati,OH, March 5, 2010.
For more information:

"Privacy 2010"
Stanford, CA, March 23 - 25, 2010.
For more information:

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About EPIC

The Electronic Privacy Information Center is a public interest research
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Digital Telephony proposal, national ID cards, medical record privacy,
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