PRIVACY + SECURITY BLOG

News, Developments, and Insights

The Privacy Act, Data of Milking, and the Milking of Data

Over at choof.org, my friend Chris Hoofnagle (Director, Electronic Privacy Information Center West Coast Office) points out a rather unusual new government database consisting of lactating mothers participating in the “Workplace Lactation Program.”  This database is regulated by the Privacy Act of 1974, which requires that the government provide notice in the Federal Register about its plans for the […]

Journalist Privilege and the Valerie Plame Case

Almost lost amid the Supreme Court fireworks last week was its decision to deny certiorari on a challenge by two reporters to a grand jury subpoena for the identity of White House sources. The imbroglio began back in 2003, when former Ambassador Joseph Wilson disputed White House claims about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. […]

Of Privacy and Poop: Norm Enforcement Via the Blogosphere

By way of BoingBoing comes this fascinating incident in Korea. A young woman’s dog pooped inside a subway train. Folks asked her to clean it up, but she told them to mind their own business. A person took photos of her and posted them on a popular Korean blog. Another blogger, Don Park, explains what happened next:

Josef K. – Justice Denied. Again.

Judge Alex Kozinski and his law clerk, Alexander Volokh recently published an opinion by a panel on U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in a law review article.  The article is called The Appeal, 103 Mich. L. Rev. 1391 (2005).  The judges on the panel were Judges Alex K., Bucephalus, and Godot.  No reason is given for the […]

Libraries, Privacy, and Law Enforcement

According to an NYT article: Law enforcement officials have made at least 200 formal and informal inquiries to libraries for information on reading material and other internal matters since October 2001, according to a new study that adds grist to the growing debate in Congress over the government’s counterterrorism powers. In some cases, agents used subpoenas […]

TSA’s Broken Promise About Secure Flight

Remember CAPPS II, the program for screening airline passengers by using databases of personal information?  This program was scrapped because the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was concerned that it posed an increasing threat to privacy and civil liberties.  Replacing CAPPS II was the nicely-monikered “Secure Flight.”  (EPIC’s website has a good […]

How HIPAA Was Undermined

The Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) of the DOJ has issued a highly suspect interpretation of the original HIPAA that seriously undermines the enforceability of HIPAA. Some background: In 1996, Congress Passed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).  The Act, at 42 U.S.C. § 1320d-6, provided in part for the protection of medical privacy – […]