Silicon Valley braced for expected Brussels scrutiny

Duncan Robinson, Financial Times,  Friday, May 01, 2015

Uber, Apple, Amazon, Netflix — almost every internet company that has succeeded in dominating its sector appears to be a potential target for Brussels, which is expected to launch an investigation of internet platforms by the end of the year. In a 17-page draft of its new blueprint for a “digital single market”, which still must be approved by the full 28-member European Commission next week, officials stopped short of naming specific companies that would be targeted in the new inquiry.

Justice Dept. will spend $20 million on police body cameras nationwide

Mark Berman, Washington Post,  Friday, May 01, 2015

The Department of Justice plans to launch a pilot program aimed at expanding the use of body cameras worn by police officers across the country. These cameras are meant to help local and tribal law enforcement agencies improve relationships with the public, a goal that follows a year of protests across the country aimed at the way police officers use lethal force, particularly toward black men and boys.

Google Voices Support for Surveillance Reform Bill

Jaikumar Vijayan, eWeek,  Friday, May 01, 2015

Google has voiced its support for a surveillance reform bill introduced in Congress this week that, among other things, would allow Internet firms to disclose more details of secret requests they receive from the government for customer data.

Students, Data, and Blurred Lines

Tracy Mitrano, Cornell University,  Thursday, April 30, 2015

As technology transforms the classroom, Internet companies and government leaders have a vital role to play in assuring that the privacy and integrity of the data that existed in the physical world for youth and students remains consistent in the digital era.

Unhappy Anniversary, Google

Tracy Mitrano, Inside Higher Ed,  Thursday, April 30, 2015

In a year of tremendous growth, we can celebrate the innovations of Google along with advancements in education technology. In the meantime, with one year under Google’s belt since announcing that it would no longer scan student data for advertising purposes, unanswered questions remain at best, deception at worst – and until these questions are addressed, educational institutions have reason to proceed with caution.

EU to probe popular US sites over data use and search

Duncan Robinson and Alex Barker, Financial Times,  Thursday, April 30, 2015

Brussels is set to widen its front against US tech companies just two weeks after the launch of its landmark competition case against Google by initiating a separate probe into a wider range of online platforms. The move marks a first step towards tighter EU regulation of the internet and comes with the European Commission under pressure from France and Germany to take a tougher line on tech groups such as Amazon and Google.

U.S. Student Digital Data Privacy and Parental Rights Act of 2015 Introduced

Bradley Shear by Bradley Shear, Law Office of Bradley S. Shear
Thursday, April 30, 2015

Earlier this year, I advocated for my home state of Maryland to enact a similar student privacy bill which was also modeled after California's SB 1177. I was very troubled to witness Facebook and Google (here is a link to the hearing where you will see that the representatives of these companies were actively trying to thwart passage of robust student privacy protections) advocate for amendments to gut the bill's privacy protections for our children. My hope is that Facebook, Google, etc... realize that their continued refusal to accept appropriate limits on student data collection, processing, and usage will continue to make parents suspicious about their motives for providing educational technology tools. These companies are two of the largest advertising entities in the world and their actions so far clearly demonstrate that they want access to personal student data for marketing purposes.

The Next Privacy Fight Will Happen in the Cloud

Andrew Quinlan, Inside Sources,  Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The issue originates from an investigation by Justice against an Irish citizen. Information sought as part of the investigation was stored on a cloud computing system owned by an Irish company and hosted entirely in Ireland. Were the information requested a piece of paper instead of a byte of data, the Justice Department would be forced by treaty obligation to request that the Irish government obtain a warrant on its behalf to obtain the information. Such requests among allies are commonplace and are not a significant hurdle if the case has merit.

Bill to protect student privacy introduced in Congress

Rich Lord, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,  Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Two members of Congress today introduced legislation intended to keep the burgeoning education technology industry from selling data on students, or using it to steer targeted advertising. Luke Messer, R-Indiana, and Jared Polis, D-Colorado, said the proposed Student Data Privacy and Parental Rights Act would prevent misuse of personal information submitted by students and parents to educational websites and apps, while allowing innovation in K-12 classrooms to flourish.

European disintegration threatens business on the internet

Richard Allan (Facebook), Financial Times,  Wednesday, April 29, 2015

National regulators in a number of countries, including Belgium and the Netherlands, appear to be initiating multiple, overlapping investigations of Facebook, revisiting basic questions about how our services work. In effect, this would mark a return to national regulation. If it is allowed to stand, complying with EU law will no longer be enough; businesses will instead have to comply with 28 independently shifting national variants. They would have to predict the enforcement agenda in each country.