EPIC has renewed its request with the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence for records and access to Commission meetings. Created by Congress in 2018, the AI Commission is tasked with considering "the methods and means necessary to advance the development of" AI to address national security and defense needs. But the Commission has operated almost entirely in secret, unlawfully refusing to publish any meeting notices or to allow any public participation. The Commission is dominated by representatives of large tech firms, including Google and Microsoft. EPIC previously requested records about the AI Commission and has urged Congress to ensure that the Commission operates transparently.
EPIC Report Finds Privacy Bills in Congress Lacking Basic Elements
EPIC has released a detailed analysis of the privacy bills in Congress. According to EPIC, Senator Ed Markey's Privacy Bill of Rights ranks #1. EPIC's report — Grading on a Curve: Privacy Legislation in the 116th Congress — reviews recent developments, sets out a model bill, and assesses pending legislation. The EPIC Report finds that many of the bills in Congress lack the basic elements of a privacy law, such as an opportunity for individuals to enforce their rights.
EPIC Challenges FTC-Facebook Settlement, Asks Court to Hear from Privacy Groups
EPIC has filed a Motion to Intervene in United States v. Facebook to protect the interests of Facebook users. EPIC said the settlement "is not adequate, reasonable, or appropriate."
EPIC Testifed at 2017 Senate Hearing on Equifax Data Breach
EPIC's Marc Rotenberg warned the Committee that "the Equifax data breach is one of the most serious in the nation's history." Pictured (L to R), Sam Lester, Alan Butler, Marc Rotenberg, Eleni Kyriakides, and Christine Bannan, and industry witnesses.
EPIC Launches Campaign For a Data Protection Agency
EPIC has launched a campaign promoting the creation of a Data Protection Agency in the United States. While the FTC helps to safeguard consumers and promote competition, it is not a data protection agency. The U.S. needs a federal data protection agency focused on privacy protection, compliance with data protection obligations, and emerging privacy challenges.
EPIC Publishes The Mueller Report
EPIC has published The Mueller Report: EPIC v. Department of Justice and the Special Counsel’s Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election. This collection, edited by EPIC President Marc Rotenberg, includes the version of the Mueller Report provided to EPIC in EPIC v. DOJ, the original EPIC FOIA request, and more.
EPIC Seeks Public Release of Mueller Report
EPIC has filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit to obtain the final report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller concerning Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. There was a hearing in federal district court in Washington, DC Tuesday, April 9, at 9 am in EPIC v. DOJ.
More than 26,000 Complaints Pending Against Facebook
More than 26,000 complaints against Facebook are currently pending before the FTC. In the eight years since the Commission announced the consent order against Facebook it has not taken a single enforcement action against Facebook. EPIC and a coalition of consumer privacy organizations filed the original complaint against Facebook in 2009.
EPIC is on the front lines of the major privacy and civil liberties debates. In 2019, EPIC has important work to do on algorithmic transparency, facial recognition, data protection and democracy, among many other issues. Please donate to EPIC today to help us continue this important work.
Defend Privacy. Support EPIC.
EPIC is on the front lines of the major privacy and civil liberties debates. In 2019, EPIC will work to protect democratic institutions, promote algorithmic transparency, and defend the right to privacy. We need your support. And EPIC is a top-rated non-profit - Charity Navigator (Four Star) and Guidestar (Gold). Please donate to EPIC today.
In a statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee, EPIC urged lawmakers to press the FTC and the Department of Justice on Enforcement of the Antitrust Laws. EPIC wrote that "companies that protect user privacy are being absorbed by companies that do not protect privacy." EPIC pointed to the Facebook-WhatsApp deal and the failure of the FTC to protect the personal data of WhatsApp users after the merger. EPIC previously testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee about mergers in the online advertising industry after EPIC told the FTC that Google's acquisition of DoubleClick would diminish privacy and stifle innovation. EPIC also warned that Google's acquisition of YouTube would skew search results. EPIC, Color of Change, and the Open Markets Institute urged the FTC to require Facebook to spin-off WhatsApp and Instagram as part of the recent enforcement action. The FTC failed to do so.
The D.C. Circuit has refused to void an earlier ruling in EPIC v. Commerce, EPIC's suit to halt the collection of citizenship data in the 2020 Census due to the government's failure to complete required privacy impact assessments. Under the E-Government Act, federal agencies must make privacy impact assessments "publicly available" before undertaking a new collection of personal data. Yet a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit ruled that the statute does not "vest a general right of information in the public" that would allow EPIC—one of the leading privacy organizations in the country—to obtain information about the government's data collection practices. EPIC asked the full D.C. Circuit to take the rare step of revisiting the panel's decision, but the court declined. The case is eligible for appeal to the Supreme Court, which blocked the citizenship question from being added to the 2020 Census in June. EPIC's case is EPIC v. Commerce, No. 19-5031 (D.C. Cir.).
Subscribe to the EPIC Alert
The EPIC Alert is a biweekly newsletter highlighting emerging privacy issues.
EPIC in the News
Senate Rules: Blackburn’s Closed-Door Sessions A-OK
POLITICO Morning Tech
September 13, 2019
EPIC v. DOJ: Seeking the final report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller concerning Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Department of Commerce v. New York: Whether the Department of Commerce and Census Bureau violated the Administrative Procedure Act when it added a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.
EPIC provides expertise to shape strong privacy and open government laws at both the state and federal level.
EPIC recently launched a campaign to promote the creation of a Data Protection Agency in the U.S.
The Mueller Report
Edited by Marc Rotenberg