New Paper on "Moving the Encryption Policy Conversation Forward"

September 2019: Executive Director Laura Moy joined other experts on a new working group paper on moving the encryption policy conversation forward. The paper offers suggestions for this issue along with principles and use cases to be used to evaluate emerging policy proposals related to encryption.

Op-Ed: Why Is It OK for Employers to Constantly Surveil Workers?

September 2019: Law Fellow Gabrielle Rejouis published an op-ed in Slate's Future Tense on the dangers of workplace surveillance and the need for privacy protections.

New York Times: NYPD Face Recognition Program Includes Juvenile Photos

August 2019: The Center's research was featured in a front-page article in The New York Times about the NYPD's inclusion of juvenile photos in its face recognition program.

Executive Director Speaks to Marketplace Podcast

August 2019: Executive Director Laura Moy spoke on the Marketplace "Make Me Smart" podcast about what privacy means in the era of big tech.

DMV Searches by ICE Earn Criticism and Calls for Investigation in Utah

July 2019: After The Washington Post reported the Center's research on ICE's FR searches on DMV databases in Utah and Washington, Utah Lt. Gov. Cox expressed concern and said the they would be investigating ICE's access. The Center's findings left lawmakers and civil society groups in Utah outraged.

Center Report Spurs Debate, Legislation in Detroit

July 2019: Citing America Under Watch, Detroit Free Press details the problems with FRT on Green Light cameras. The Center's research has been central to the fight to limit FRT use by law enforcement in Michigan, including two bills in the MI legislature, House Bill 4810 and Senate Bill 0342.

Law Fellow Speaks on IGF-USA Panel

July 2019: Law Fellow Gabrielle Rejouis spoke on the IGF-USA "Which National Privacy Strategy Should the US adopt?" panel. The panel examined different privacy frameworks and the benefits of each approach.

Law Fellow Speaks on Paying for Our Privacy Panel

July 2019: Law Fellow Gabrielle Rejouis spoke on the OTI "Paying for Privacy" panel discussing how federal privacy legislation may impact current online business models.

Washington Post: FBI, ICE Use Driver’s License Photos for FR Searches

July 2019: Center Freedom of Information Act requests showed that ICE had asked at least three states that offer undocumented people driver’s licenses to run face recognition searches of their DMV photos. The documents were released via an exclusive with The Washington Post.

Center Files Location Privacy Complaint with FCC

June 2019: The Center, with New America's Open Technology Institute and Free Press, filed a complaint with the FCC against wireless carriers for sharing customers' location information without consent. The Center was represented by the Samuelson-Glushko Technology Law & Policy Clinic at Colorado Law.

Op-Ed: How Data Practices Hinder the Spread of Information

June 2019: Law Fellow Gabrielle Rejouis wrote an op-ed connecting the history of Juneteenth, when news of emancipation reached Texas slaves, to current digital disruptions of communication, including optimization algorithms and disinformation.

New York Times Calls for Regulation of Facial Recognition

May 2019: Citing the Center's reports, The New York Times' editorial board called for regulation of NYPD's use of face recognition, warning that "dragnets become tools aimed at minority populations." Earlier, columnist Farhad Manjoo called for a moratorium on the technology based on Center reports.

House Oversight Committee Hearing on Face Recognition

May 2019: Senior Associate Clare Garvie testified before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. She argued that in the absence of regulation police use of face recognition poses risks to our First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights. Because of those risks, a moratorium is appropriate.

NPR: San Francisco Bans Facial Recognition Tech

May 2019: Senior Associate Clare Garvie spoke with NPR's On Point about the recent San Francisco face recognition ban and the privacy and civil liberties concerns surrounding police use of the technology.

Report: America Under Watch: Face Surveillance in the United States

May 2019: Senior Associate Clare Garvie and Executive Director Laura Moy explained how police agencies in Chicago and Detroit have purchased citywide face surveillance networks that are capable of scanning the faces of city residents in real time as they walk down the street.

Report: Garbage In, Garbage Out: Face Recogition on Flawed Data

May 2019: Senior Associate Clare Garvie explained how police agencies across the country misuse face recognition technology, referencing actual use cases from the NYPD. Analysts using these systems sometimes submit forensic sketches and routinely doctor low-quality photos to make them clearer.

Executive Director Delivers Presentation Before Washington State Supreme Court

May 2019: Executive Director Laura Moy delivered a presentation on "Equity and Policing Technologies—The Use of Predictive Policing, Face Surveillance, and Cell-Site Simulators" at the annual symposium of the Washington State Supreme Court.

Encryption Working Group Releases Two Papers

April 2019: Executive Director Laura Moy has been part of a working group on encryption policy since 2018. The working group released two papers: one on "Likely Future Adoption of User-Controlled Encryption," and one on "Implications of Quantum Computing for Encryption Policy."

Coalition Letter Sent to Commerce Committees on Disproportionate Data Harms

April 2019: The Center joined 25 other digital rights and civil rights organizations elevating particular harms experienced by vulnerable communities. Addressed to the House and Senate Commerce committees, the letter raised key provisions data practices legislation should include.

Center Endorses Algorithmic Accountability Bill

April 2019: The Center endorsed the Algorithmic Accountability Act of 2019, introduced by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY). The bill requires companies to evaluate the algorithms they use for bias.

Center Associate Endorses Wasserman Bill

April 2019: Associate Harrison Rudolph endorsed Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz's (D-FL) bill, the Families, Not Facilities Act. The bill would prohibit the use of children's information to find and deport their loved ones.

Founding Director Delivers Chavez Lecture on Privacy and Civil Rights

April 2019: Founding Director Alvaro Bedoya delivered the U.S. Senator Dennis Chavez Endowed Lecture on Law & Civil Rights at the University of New Mexico School of Law. In his lecture, he drew upon the research underlying several Color of Surveillance conferences to argue that privacy should be considered a civil right, not just a civil liberty.

EFF Highlights Chavez Lecture

April 2019: In an blog post sent to close to half a million Twitter followers, Shahid Buttar of the Electronic Frontier Foundation promoted our founding director's Chavez lecture on the connection between privacy and civil rights. Buttar argued that the lecture, along with the Center's Color of Surveillance conference series, are "key pieces of a growing effort to ensure that privacy and protection from surveillance are seen as part of defending civil rights."

The Hill: Lawmakers, Tech Set for Clash over AI

April 2019: The Center's Policy Associate Jameson Spivack was interviewed and quoted in The Hill about recent legislative efforts to combat the potential discriminatory effects of AI. "I think that any legislation needs to recognize that while these technologies affect everyone, they disproportionately affect vulnerable people."

Amici Curiae Brief in support of Petitioner

March 2019: The Center joined ACLU, EFF, and Innocence Project in filing an amicus brief in support of Willie Allen Lynch, petitioner to the Florida Supreme Court. The brief argues that the state failed in its obligation to disclose information about its use of face recognition technology to the petitioner.

Local Government, Facial Recognition, and Privacy

March 2019: Senior Associate Clare Garvie participated in a workshop at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law on regulating the use of face recognition by law enforcement and commercial entities.

Talk on Location Privacy at SXSW Festival

March 2019: The Center's Executive Director, Laura Moy, delivered a talk at SXSW on location privacy. She explained the growing scale and sophistication of numerous location tracking technologies, and made the case for policies to salvage our disappearing location privacy.

Coalition Letter on Federal Privacy Conversations Calls for Centrality of Civil Rights

February 2019: The Center joined 42 other digital rights and civil rights organizations calling for Congress to prioritize civil rights debates, hearings, and legislation.

Coalition Comments to FTC responding to Artificial Intelligence Hearing

February 2019: The Center drafted, organized, and filed comments, signed by ten other organizations, elevating the need for proactive action in response to the widespread use of algorithmic decision-making. The Center argued action must be taken to curb unavoidable, discriminatory harms to marginalized communities.

Federal Law Pauses Parent Trap

February 2019: A federal law was signed prohibiting the use of children's information for deportation purposes until September 30, as part of the 2019 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill. The law followed a November 2018 letter, coordinated by the Center and co-signed by 111 other NGOs, calling for the termination of an interagency agreement that used children's information to find and deport their relatives.

Coalition Calls on Congress to Address Data-Driven Discrimination

February 2019: The Center signed on to a letter from 47 organizations calling on legislators to protect civil rights, equity, and equal opportunity in the digital ecosystem. The letter draws directly from the Civil Rights Principles for the Era of Big Data released in 2014 and includes a call for for fairness in automated decisions and an end to high-tech profiling.

Opportunities for Bipartisan Tech Policy

January 2019: Executive Director Laura Moy spoke at an event co-hosted by Next Century Cities, the American Action Forum, and Public Knowledge exploring opportunities for bipartisan action on technology policy issues in the new Congress.

Data for Black Lives: Abolition in the Age of Big Data

January 2019: Executive Director Laura Moy spoke at the second annual Data for Black Lives conference on a panel discussing "Abolition in the Age of Big Data."

Safe Face Pledge

December 2018: The Center worked with computer scientist Joy Buolamwini to create a pledge for vendors of automated facial analysis technologies to sign signalling their commitment to responsibility and accountability.

Washington Post: Facial Recognition Could Make Us Safer—and Less Free

December 2018: The Washington Post's Editorial Board reiterated its call for Congress to step in and decide the line between acceptable and unacceptable uses of face recognition technology, after the Department of Homeland Security announced a real-time face surveillance pilot at the White House.

Congressional Letter re: DHS' Parent Trap

December 2018: 15 Democratic senators, led by Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), sent a letter to two federal agencies calling for them to stop using immigrant children's data to deport their relatives. The letter followed a public pressure campaign coordinated by the Center and its allies on the Immigrant Surveillance Working Group.

New Yorker: Should We Be Worried About Computerized Facial Recognition?

December 2018: The New Yorker talked to Senior Associate Clare Garvie for an in-depth examination into how face recognition is revolutionizing everything from farming in Ireland to policing in the United States.

Comments to FTC on "Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century"

December 2018: Executive Director Laura Moy filed comments relevant to a planned Federal Trade Commission hearing on competition and consumer protection in the 21st Century. She argued that discriminatory data practices should not be allowed and that when consumers cannot avoid sharing their information, heightened privacy protections should apply.

Coalition Comments to DHS & HHS on Unaccompanied Immigrant Children

November 2018: The Center drafted, organized, and filed comments, signed by thirteen other organizations, regarding the administration's use of children's information to deport their relatives. The comments explain that deporting families using information collected to place unaccompanied children is not only inhumane, but also unlawful and poor policy.

Coalition Letter to DHS and HHS About Both Agencies' Parent Trap

November 2018: The Center coordinated a letter to the Departments of Health and Human Services and Homeland Security calling for the recission of an interagency agreement that uses children's information to deport their relatives. 111 other civil rights and civil liberties organizations signed on to the letter, which received coverage in the Associated Press.

Comments to NTIA on "Developing the Administration’s Approach to Consumer Privacy"

November 2018: The Center submitted comments to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration urging the agency to move further in the direction of strong consumer protection as it defines the privacy outcomes and high-level goals that this administration will prioritize.

Public Interest Privacy Legislation Principles Signed by 34 Organizations

November 2018: The Center co-drafted principles outlining essential components to be included in comprehensive privacy legislation. The principles were backed by 34 organizations.

NIST International Face Performance Conference

November 2018: Senior Associate Clare Garvie spoke at the National Institute of Standards and Technology's first conference, on a panel about technical factors affecting the deployment and use of face recognition technology. Clare's remarks focused on the real-world consequences of differential error rates, including in the law enforcement context.

Wall Street Journal: Facial Recognition Tech Aims to Identify Good and Evil

November 2018: The Wall Street Journal featured Senior Associate Clare Garvie in an episode of its “Moving Upstream” video series. In the interview, Clare discusses the use of face recognition technology by schools, police departments, border security organizations, and others.

Trevor Paglen's "Sights Unseen"

November 2018: Founding Director Alvaro Bedoya reflected on artist Trevor Paglen's "Sights Unseen" exhibition at a panel convened by the Smithsonian Museum.

Senate Testimony on Consumer Privacy

October 2018: Executive Director Laura Moy testified about consumer privacy before the Senate Commerce Committee. She called for increased attention to commercial data practices that can lead to societal harms, such as discrimination, erosion of trust online, amplification of hate speech, and dissemination of propaganda, misinformation, and disinformation.

The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018

October 2018: On October 5, 2018, a federal law was signed requiring privacy and racial bias assessments of the federal government's use of biometric technologies at airports—the first ever federal law requiring artificial intelligence bias testing. The law was enacted following the Center's December 2017 report, Not Ready For Takeoff, which found privacy and bias problems in these deployments.

DHS OIG Audit of Biometric Exit

September 2018: The Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security conducted an audit of the agency's use of face scans at airport departure gates that closely tracked and validated many of the concerns raised in the Center's Not Ready for Takeoff report. OIG reported, among other things, that the program exhibits age bias, causes traveler delays, and may end up being far more costly than initial estimates.

Turning the Tide on Police Surveillance

September 2018: Executive Director Laura Moy spoke on a panel hosted by New America on police surveillance and the adoption—by a growing number of cities—of ordinances that help create opportunities for communities to exercise control over the surveillance technologies their police agencies have and use.

Face Off: Recognizing and Challenging the Use of Facial Recognition Technology

September 2018: Senior Associate Clare Garvie participated in a training webinar for public defenders on police use of face recognition technology convened by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Coalition Comments to FTC on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century

August 2018: The Center drafted, coordinated, and filed comments signed by 16 organizations in response to the Federal Trade Commission's inquiry on 21st Century competition and consumer protection. The comments highlight the harms faced by marginalized communities on online platforms.

Defender Summer School's Facial Recognition Software and Eyewitness Identification Series

August 2018: Senior Associate Clare Garvie conducted a training on police use of face recognition technology to the Ninth Judicial Circuit 2018 Defender Summer School at Barry University in Orlando, FL.

House of Representatives Testimony on Consumer Privacy

July 2018: Executive Director Laura Moy testified about consumer privacy before the House Energy & Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Communications and Technology. In her testimony, Laura called for privacy legislation that establishes rulemaking authority and strong enforcement, and does not eliminate existing protections for consumers' data

Location Privacy After Carpenter v. United States, Part I

July 2018: The Center hosted a half-day event discussing the implications of the Supreme Court's decision in Carpenter v. United States, a landmark case about the privacy of cell phone location information.

Location Privacy After Carpenter v. United States, Part II

July 2018: The Center hosted a half-day event discussing the implications of the Supreme Court's decision in Carpenter v. United States, a landmark case about the privacy of cell phone location information.

The Color of Surveillance: Government Monitoring of American Religious Minorities

July 2018: The third annual Color of Surveillance conference delved into the surveillance of religious minorities in the United States. In addition to discussions about this issue's contemporary impact, the conference featured a historian who spoke about surveillance of the Pilgrims in England.

Op-Ed: Facial Recognition Threatens Our Fundamental Rights

July 2018: Senior Associate Clare Garvie wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post about how face surveillance technology risks changing our expectations of privacy, our right not to be investigated unless suspected of wrongdoing, and our freedom from deeply flawed policing practices.

Washington Post: Facial Recognition Poses Serious Risks. Congress Should Do Something About It.

July 2018: Citing The Perpetual Line-Up, the Editorial Board of The Washington Post endorsed the Center's view that in the ever-expanding field of face recognition, Congress should regulate, finding ways “to balance the public benefits of facial recognition with the obvious privacy concerns.”

Op-Ed: A License to Discriminate

June 2018: Executive Director Alvaro Bedoya argued in an op-ed for The New York Times that "the impact of consumer tracking varies greatly by race, class, and power."

Oppression of the Future in “Safe Surrender”

May 2018: Deputy Director Laura Moy responded in Slate to a new science fiction short story by Meg Elison. In her reaction, Laura reflected on the story's themes of prejudice, outright racism, and the role of government surveillance in maintaining systems of oppression.

Extreme Vetting Software Abandoned by ICE

May 2018: After months of advocacy coordinated by the Center and others in the Immigrant Surveillance Working Group, the Department of Homeland Security formally dropped its "Extreme Vetting Initiative." It would have automatically and continuously scanned American immigrants' social media posts to flag 10,000 individuals annually for deportation investigations.

House Homeland Security Committee Leaders Urge DHS to Abandon ICE's Online Vetting Plan

April 2018: Key ranking members on the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee called on the Department of Homeland Security to drop its plan to use machine learning to automatically screen the social media posts of American immigrants.

Coalition Letter to Axon's AI Ethics Board

April 2018: The Center co-wrote a 42-organization coalition letter to Axon's new "AI Ethics Board." The letter urges the board to center the experiences of policed communities in its process, and argues that integrating face surveillance with body-worn cameras would be "categorically unethical."

Georgetown Law & MIT Privacy Legislation Presentations

April 2018: For the fourth year, Georgetown Law and MIT students convened to pitch experts on the proposed privacy legislation they drafted in a course co-taught by Alvaro Bedoya, Laura Moy, and David Vladeck. The judges' panel included a state legislator, the former general counsel of the FBI, and representatives of the ACLU and the Department of Justice.

Op-Ed: Silicon Valley Lobbying and Consumer Privacy

April 2018: In a New York Times op-ed, Executive Director Alvaro Bedoya warns against rushing to pass broad federal privacy legislation, cautioning that it could be easily co-opted by powerful interests.

Face-Off: Facial Recognition Technologies and Humanity in the Era of Big Data

April 2018: Clare Garvie and Executive Director Alvaro Bedoya, along with Jonathan Frankle, presented the findings of The Perpetual Line-Up at a symposium on face recognition and big data organized by Boston University's Division of Emerging Media Studies in their College of Communication.

Congressional Black Caucus Highlights Racial Bias of ICE Online Vetting Plan

March 2018: Citing the AI Experts Letter coordinated by the Immigrant Surveillance Working Group, the Congressional Black Caucus called on DHS to drop its "Extreme Vetting Initiative," a plan to use machine learning to automatically vet American immigrants' online activities, and flag a minimum of 10,000 individuals annually for deportation investigations.

Bipartisan Senate Oversight Letter of Biometric Exit

December 2017: Senators Edward Markey (MA) and Mike Lee (UT) sent a letter urging the Department of Homeland Security to "stop the expansion" of its Biometric Exit program and to address privacy concerns about the program. The letter cited the Center's December 2017 report on the program, Not Ready for Takeoff, which raised many of the same concerns.

Center Report: Not Ready For Takeoff

December 2017: The Center released a report on the Department of Homeland Security's airport face scanning program, finding that the program never was justified, may violate federal law, is technically flawed, and has not been sufficiently evaluated for bias. The report recommends a suspension of the program pending correction of these problems.

Cato Institute Surveillance Conference 2017

December 2017: Clare Garvie and Founding Director Alvaro Bedoya spoke at Cato Insitute's annual surveillance conference about the "Digital Muslim Ban" and the ever-increasing use of face recognition technology by police.

House of Representatives Testimony on Algorithmic Decision-Making

November 2017: Deputy Director Laura Moy testified on algorithmic decision-making and privacy before two subcommittees of the House Energy & Commerce Committee. She called for consumer protections that are forward-looking, flexible, strongly enforced, and contextually appropriate.

Machine Learning Experts Denounce ICE Online Vetting Plan

November 2017: The Center co-wrote and coordinated a letter signed by 50 computer scientists and AI specialists that called on the Department of Homeland Security to halt its planned use of machine learning to screen immigrants' social media posts. The Center also co-wrote and coordinated a letter signed by over 50 NGOs denouncing the program.

House of Representatives Hearing on the Equifax Data Breach

October 2017: Deputy Director Laura Moy testified on privacy and data security before the House Finance Committee. She called for enhanced rulemaking and enforcement authority for federal agencies that oversee data security, and cautioned Congress against establishing new data security protections that eliminate important existing protections.

Op-Ed: Facial Recognition Is Here. The iPhone X Is just the Beginning

September 2017: In an op-ed published in The Guardian, Clare Garvie argued that Apple’s incorporation of face recognition into the iPhone X may lead to a dangerous complacency to the risks of the pervasive deployment of the technology.

The Color of Surveillance: Government Monitoring of American Immigrants

June 2017: The second annual Color of Surveillance conference examined the issue of government surveillance of American immigrants. The event encompassed historical perspectives of immigrant surveillance in the 20th and 21st Centuries and included a discussion with Professor Xiaoxing Xi, a US-based physics professor who was falsely accused of being a spy.

Center on Privacy & Technology v. NYPD

May 2017: The Center sued the New York City Police Department under the state's Freedom of Information Law for the department's refusal to disclose records pertaining to its use of face recognition technology. Litigation is ongoing.

House Oversight Hearing

March 2017: Executive Director Alvaro Bedoya testified before the House Oversight Committee about law enforcement's use of face recognition technology, with a focus on the threat the technology poses to privacy and civil rights. Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) called the hearing in direct response to the Center's October 2016 Perpetual Line-Up report.

Op-Ed: Who's Logging Your Face?

March 2017: On the same day as the U.S. House Oversight hearing on law enforcement's use of face recognition, Executive Director Alvaro Bedoya penned an op-ed for The Washington Post describing the dangers of a society where every face is scanned. "Perhaps you have nothing to hide. But do you resemble someone who does?"

Center Report: The Perpetual Line-Up

October 2016: The Center conducted a year-long investigation into how police use face recognition technology. The ensuing report is the most comprehensive survey to date on the topic and the risks this technology poses to privacy, civil liberties, and civil rights. It contains recommendations to police, legislators, and others, as well as a model state and federal bill that would control the use of face recognition technologies.

Center-Led Coalition Presses FBI to Protect Fingerprint Data

June 2016: The Center built and mobilized a coalition to press the FBI to reject changes that would enshroud its massive fingerprint database in secrecy.

Google Stops Marketing Payday Loans

May 2016: Google publicly announces that it will no longer serve ads for payday loans, financial products that routinely harm low-income people, and that were being targeted to vulnerable consumers who searched for terms like "I need money for rent" and "I need money for groceries." This comes after months of engagement with the Center, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Upturn, and other allies.

The Color of Surveillance: Government Monitoring of the African American Community

April 2016: The inaugural Color of Surveillance conference focused on the disproportionate amount of government surveillance on the African American community. It hosted robust conversations on the historic and current surveillance of this group, including a debate between a Pulitzer-winning MLK biographer and the general counsel of the FBI.

Everyone is Watched—But Everyone is Not Watched Equally

January 2016: In an essay for Slate, Executive Director Alvaro Bedoya argued that surveillance debates must reckon with "the color of surveillance"—the disparate impact of government monitoring. "Across our history and to this day, people of color have been the disproportionate victims of unjust surveillance."

Comment to the FTC on Lead Generators

December 2015: Clare Garvie and Founding Director Alvaro Bedoya filed a comment which examines how online lead generation creates and perpetuates the disparate impact of payday loans on African American borrowers. They urged the FTC to use its authority under ECOA and Section 5 of the FTC Act to investigate and bring enforcement actions against responsible companies.

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