By: Jeff Chester | Aug 29 2016
Washington, DC (August 29, 2016) – The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) today filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, stating that the WhatsApp plan to transfer user data to Facebook is unlawful and that the FTC is obligated to block the proposed change in business practices.
The EPIC-CDD complaint responds to a recent announcement from WhatsApp that the company plans to disclose the verified telephone numbers of WhatsApp users to Facebook for user profiling and targeted advertising.
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 13 2016
Researchers of the University of Amsterdam’s Institute for Information Law (IViR) have published an independent study today commissioned by BEUC, EDRi, CDD and TACD. The study shows that the European Union (EU) does not sufficiently safeguard citizens' personal data and privacy rights in its trade agreements.
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.
We believe that the absence of any FCC rulemaking to protect the privacy of broadband customers would significantly add to the already prevalent sense of confusion and sense of loss of control among broadband internet customers under the existing FTC regime. Instead, the proposed rules will give ISP customers much needed control over their data and are much more likely to increase consumer confidence.
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 | Jun 10 2016
In the Matter of Petition of Public Knowledge, Center for Digital Democracy, Consumer Watchdog, Consumer Federation of America, and TURN —The Utility Reform Network
By: Staff | Jun 10 2016
Addressable TV was launched in 2012 by DIRECTV. Multi Video Program Distributors (MVPDs), such as DIRECTV, are currently the only entities offering true Addressable TV due to required access of both the video distribution system and data center. MVPDs offer Addressable TV in the ad breaks they receive from program networks, such as ESPN and CNN, as part of their carriage agreements.
By: Jeff Chester | May 28 2016
The Center for Digital Democracy (CDD), a nonprofit organization representing the interests of consumers in the digital marketplace, strongly supports the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) proposal to empower individuals to make effective decisions regarding their privacy on broadband networks. Broadband Internet access service (BIAS) plays a powerful and distinctive role in the commercial digital media marketplace, requiring precisely the set of sensible safeguards offered by the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM).
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 | Apr 21 2016
The Center for Digital Democracy (CDD), which works to empower and protect consumers in the digital marketplace, endorses the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) important proposal to provide both choice and competition in the provision of navigational devices for video and related content. CDD strongly believes that the FCC should proceed with its plan to allow third parties to build and sell navigational devices.
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 | Mar 4 2016
This brief is submitted on behalf of several Consumer Privacy Organizations who seek to protect consumers from data breach, financial fraud, and identity theft. The Consumer Privacy Organizations associated with the EPIC amicus brief believe that a court order to compel Apple to develop a technique to break security features designed to keep out third parties will result in an increase in crime against consumers.
By: Staff | Nov 23 2015
ABSOLUT threw a party at Brooklyn's trendiest music club, but wanted to invite people nationwide. Pernod-Ricard partnered with Forever Beta & Crowdtap to create the Absolut Reality experience by creating a 360-degree trailer of a 17-minute virtual reality concept. Thousands of free Google Cardboard VR headsets allowed technology-lovers to participate in the event. The event lit up social networks. Ongoing conversations provided feedback to the brand. The campaign made the party accessible to an additional 600 virtual livestream parties hosted across the United States.
Coors Light, Attract Media (TouchTunes), Kinetic, Initiative and Common Ground collaborated to develop and implement the “reFRESH” music campaign, creating a fully interactive user experience across multiple screens that drove brand awareness, engagement and on-premise sales at thousands of targeted social venues. The custom-designed full-screen touchscreen experience placed users in control, enabling them to take and share real-time photos with friends and embark on a digital tour through the history and culture of hip-hop while experiencing its regional flavors and unique features.
By: Jeff Chester | Nov 16 2015
1. Why has the FTC waited so long to review this serious threat to our privacy?
By: Jeff Chester | Oct 6 2015
Today’s historic decision by the European Court of Justice, which overturned the purposely ineffective “Safe Harbor” deal enabling data to flow to the U.S., is very welcome. As one reads the court’s findings, it’s clear that for the EU, fundamental and human rights include the right to have your personal privacy protected. That means from both governmental surveillance (such as the NSA and other intelligence agencies) and also with commercial Internet companies—as Google or Facebook.
By: Jeff Chester | Sep 19 2015
The FTC requested that comments for the upcoming October 30, 2015 workshop on lead generation be submitted by September 20th so that issues could be addressed during the sessions. USPIRG and CDD submitted initial comments, which are attached below and also summarized. One of our findings from a recent analysis of the online "lead gen" marketplace was that digital industry leaders--including Google and Facebook--engage and support online lead generation in ways that raise substantive consumer protection concerns. USPIRG and CDD have been working for the last several years to encourage pol