By: Jeff Chester | Aug 29 2017
Personal health wearable devices that consumers are using to monitor their heart rates, sleep patterns, calories, and even stress levels raise new privacy and security risks, according to a report released today by researchers at American University and the Center for Digital Democracy.
By: Jeff Chester | Apr 3 2017
President Trump has killed the first real protections for commercial privacy that Americans have online. Phone and cable giants, allied with the GOP Congressional majority, have just voted to overturn the historic consumer-data safeguards adopted last year by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). AT&T, Comcast, Verizon—the country’s dominant providers of high speed broadband—along with industry and Congressional GOP allies, intensely opposed the new FCC rule. Why?
By: Jeff Chester | Mar 23 2017
Americans lost a crucial right today as the GOP-controlled Senate voted to overturn the only federal protection that could have protected their privacy online. This is a key victory for lobbyists from the ISP monopolies, such as AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon. These companies have built a “Big Data" business model to track—and profit from—our every move online. Today, Americans who use personal computers, mobile phones and other online devices are the victims of continuous monitoring of their digital activities.
By: Staff | Feb 13 2017
After a long and fair rulemaking process during most of 2016, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted ground-breaking privacy rules last October protecting the personal information of broadband Internet service customers. Both industry—including powerful phone and cable companies that provide the majority of broadband connections—as well as consumer, civil rights, and privacy groups, had ample opportunity to make their case—which they did.
By: Jeff Chester | Feb 8 2017
Statement of Jeff Chester, Executive DirectorCenter for Digital DemocracyFebruary 7, 2017
By: Jeff Chester | Feb 1 2017
This blog entry by Jeff Chester originally appeared on the Media Policy Blog of the London School of Economics and Political Science here.
By: Jeff Chester | Jan 14 2017
Edith Ramirez brought the FTC into the 21st century. Under her leadership, the agency made it clear that new technologies had to treat consumers fairly, including when it came to protecting their privacy. Through enforcement, litigation, and publicly exposing new threats, Edith Ramirez’s commission has created a unique consumer protection legacy that will have a long-lasting and positive impact. Ramirez’s tenure has also been marked by a strong commitment to protecting economically vulnerable and other at-risk consumers, including those who reflect the country’s diversity.
By: Jeff Chester | Jan 9 2017
The ease of promoting and profiting from fake news, the use of social media to spread disinformation and twist the truth and the ability to microtarget voters on all their devices reveal how political campaigns and special-interest groups are taking full advantage of the “Big Data”-driven digital marketing system that Google and Facebook have helped unleash. Campaigns now have needle-in-the-haystack capabilities, provided by commercial marketing and media companies, to find and motivate an individual voter.
By: Jeff Chester | Oct 27 2016
Statement of Jeff Chester, executive director, Center for Digital Democracy
By: Jeff Chester | Oct 22 2016
This proposed deal raises major challenges for consumers, subscribers and competitors. It reflects the “Big Data” and digitally data-driven imperatives that are reshaping the U.S.
By: Jeff Chester | Oct 21 2016
11 organizations write a letter urging Chairman Wheeler and Commissioners to vote next week to pass strong broadband privacy rules and not to yield to industry calls to weaken the current privacy proposal.
October 20, 2016
Re: WC Docket No. 16-106, Protecting the Privacy of Customers of Broadband and Other Telecommunications Services
By: Jeff Chester | Oct 6 2016
Washington, DC: Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler announced today that he is circulating a broadband ISP privacy proposal to the other four FCC Commissioners detailing a plan that would provide individuals with key safeguards regarding their data. The proposal is designed to help implement the FCC “Open Internet” order to ensure that ISPs respect the privacy of communications over broadband and mobile networks.
By: Jeff Chester | Jul 25 2016
Statement of Jeff Chester, CDD executive director: Regulators, including the DOJ and FCC, must prevent Verizon from taking anticompetitive and unfair advantage of its broadband ISP bird’s nest view of what their subscribers and consumers do—online and off. The proposed takeover of Yahoo’s core digital data advertising business, when combined with the capability to gather information from its wireless devices, broadband networks, and set-top boxes, gives it control over the key screens that Americans use today. Verizon has already supercharged its use of “Big Data” tactics to monitor th
By: Jeff Chester | Jul 7 2016
We the undersigned privacy scholars support the proposal of the Federal Communications Commission to apply and adapt the Communications Act’s Title II consumer protection provisions to broadband internet access services. We commend the Commission’s much-needed efforts to carry out its statutory obligation and to protect the privacy of broadband internet access customers.
By: Jeff Chester | Jun 15 2016
Alvaro Bedoya, Center for Digital Democracy, Common Sense Kids Action, Consumer Action, Consumer Federation of America, Consumer Watchdog, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, and U.S. PIRG
By: Jeff Chester | May 18 2016
Katharina Kopp, Ph.D., will join the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) on 6 June 2016 as its deputy director and director of policy. Dr. Kopp comes to CDD with decades of experience as an advocate, scholar, policy analyst, privacy expert, and corporate leader. She will develop and oversee a range of new initiatives at CDD, expanding the scope of its work on the role and impact of “Big Data” in contemporary society. Dr. Kopp will focus particularly on developing new policies to advance individual autonomy and consumer protections, as well as social justice, equity, and human rights.
By: Jeff Chester | Mar 31 2016
Phone and cable ISPs pose a major threat to the privacy of their subscribers and consumers. They have a growing arsenal of “Big Data” capabilities that eavesdrop on their customers—including families. Internet Service Providers are gathering data on what we do and where we go, using sophisticated algorithms and predictive analytics to sell our information to marketers. As CDD documented in a report released last week, ISPs have been on a data bu
By: Jeff Chester | Mar 29 2016
Americans face new privacy threats from the use of their facial and other biometric information, as personal details of our physical selves are captured, analyzed and used for commercial purposes. Facial recognition technologies are part of the ever-growing data collection and profiling being conduced daily on Americans today—whe
By: Jeff Chester | Mar 22 2016
Julie Brill faces a formidable task as she tries to balance what she knows are industry-wide practices that undermine privacy with the intense commercial pressures to financially harvest our data. Whether Julie can successfully act as a one woman privacy truth squad is to early to tell. She recognizes all the ways that companies take advantage of consumers today, including tracking them on every device and wherever they are.
By: Jeff Chester | Nov 16 2015
1. Why has the FTC waited so long to review this serious threat to our privacy?