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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Privacy

Know Your Rights When Using Online Social Networks

Posted on in Privacy

The vast majority of young people living in the United States go online daily and use social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. With all this information-sharing, many questions about ownership of personal information and possible discipline for postings arise. The following guide will answer some of those questions so that you can better understand the rights you have when using social networking both in and out of school.

Social Networking, your privacy rights explained

GREENSBORO, NC - U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles granted in part a preliminary injunction today that will block enforcement of intrusive measures in the new North Carolina law requiring abortion providers to show women an ultrasound and describe the images in detail four hours before having an abortion, even if the woman objects.

Civil liberties advocates, including the ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation, the Center for Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and the American Civil Liberties Union, filed a lawsuit in the federal district court for the Middle District of North Carolina on September 29 challenging the constitutionality of the law, arguing that it violates the rights of health care providers and women seeking abortion care.

“We are extremely pleased that the court has blocked this clear attack on the fundamental rights of health care providers providing abortions in North Carolina,” said Bebe Anderson, senior counsel at the Center for Reproductive Rights. “The part of the law that the court blocked not only forces doctors to go against their medical judgment to deliver an ideological message to their patients, but also forces women to lie down and just take it. It’s hard to imagine a more extreme example of government intrusion into the private matters of individual citizens.”

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How Long Is Your Cell Phone Company Hanging On To Your Data?

Posted on in Privacy

What do you think about when choosing a cell phone provider? Their prices? Their coverage area? Whether they have spiffy, high-tech phones? Whether their phones work overseas or in the subway? What about how long they retain information about you and under what circumstances they turn it over to law enforcement?

All of the nation's major mobile carriers are retaining their customers' location data for at least a year, according to a chart the Department of Justice (DOJ) developed in 2010 — and that the ACLU of North Carolina received in response to our public records request about local law enforcement's use of cell phone location information. And location info's not all they hang onto. We gave a copy of this document to Wired.com, which has written about it here.

The chart begs the question, shouldn't all cell phone companies reveal their data retention policies and under what circumstances they turn over information to law enforcement in their user agreements or on their websites? And, shouldn't they justify why they are hanging onto information that doesn't serve a business purpose, like the content of your text messages? After all, your phone records are *your records,* and the information they reveal can be strikingly personal — you shouldn't be kept in the dark about who has access to them and for how long.

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RALEIGH AND NEW YORK – In a massive coordinated information-seeking campaign, American Civil Liberties Union affiliates across the nation today, including the ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation (ACLU-NCLF), are sending requests to local law enforcement agencies large and small demanding to know when, why and how they are using cell phone location data to track Americans. The campaign is one of the largest coordinated information act requests in American history. The requests, being filed under the states' freedom of information laws, are an effort to strip away the secrecy that has surrounded law enforcement use of cell phone tracking capabilities.

“We don’t yet know how widespread this practice is in North Carolina, so we are seeking this information as part of our ongoing efforts to protect the privacy of all North Carolinians,” said Katy Parker, Legal Director for the ACLU-NCLF.

The ACLU-NCLF is sending out requests to all 100 county sheriffs, as well as all police departments in cities and towns with populations of more than 30,000.

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