A bill passed in Virginia will ban local law-enforcement agencies from using facial recognition technology without prior legislative approval starting July 1, 2021. The bill further requires any local police agency eventually authorized to have "exclusive control" over the facial recognition system, preventing the use of Clearview AI and other commercial FR products. However, Virginia State Police and other state law enforcement agencies may continue to use facial recognition. EPIC and a coalition recently urged New York City Council to enact a comprehensive ban on facial recognition. EPIC leads a campaign to Ban Face Surveillance and through the Public Voice Coalition gathered support from over 100 organizations and experts from more than 30 countries.
Liberty at Risk: Pre-trial Risk Assessment Tools in the U.S.
Federal, state, and local governments use Risk Assessment Tools to make key decisions about defendants in criminal cases, depriving accused individuals of their liberty based on subjective assessments of the likelihood that they will flee or commit crimes in the future. Many of these tools are opaque and not subject to independent review. "Liberty at Risk: Pre-trial Risk Assessment Tools in the U.S." provides an overview of Risk Assessment Tools that practitioners and scholars can use to understand the nature of these systems, understand the broader context in which they are used, and help focus their evaluations of the fairness of these systems.
Privacy and the Pandemic
EPIC is working to ensure that private and public sector responses to COVID-19 safeguard the privacy and civil liberties of all people. Through advocacy, oversight, and litigation, EPIC is ensuring that the coronavirus pandemic does not lead to erosion of individual rights. Visit epic.org/covid to see EPIC's resources on these issues.
Court Rules for EPIC in Mueller Case.
A federal judge has agreed to conduct an independent assessment in EPIC's case for the release of the complete Mueller Report. Judge Walton called the Attorney General's conduct in the case EPIC v. DOJ "distorted" and "misleading." EPIC has published a book about the case EPIC v. Department of Justice: The Mueller Report", available for sale at the EPIC Bookstore.
Defend Privacy. Support EPIC.
EPIC is on the front lines of the major privacy and civil liberties debates. In 2020, EPIC has worked 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.
EPIC is on the front lines of the major privacy and civil liberties debates. In 2021, EPIC has important work to do on artificial intelligence, face surveillance, data protection, and algorithmic fairness, among many other issues. Please donate to EPIC today to help us continue this important work.
EPIC Launches Campaign For a Data Protection Agency
EPIC Advisory Board Member Professor Ari Waldman and EPIC Policy Director Caitriona Fitzgerald with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand for introduction of Data Protection Act to establish a data protection agency in the United States.
EPIC Files Complaint with FTC about Employment Screening Firm HireVue
EPIC's Jeramie Scott: Ban Face Surveillance
EPIC Senior Counsel Jeramie Scott on CBS News discussing the dangers of face surveillance.
EPIC Launches Campaign to Ban Face Surveillance
EPIC has launched a campaign to ban face surveillance. EPIC will publish information on face surveillance laws, reports, and protests worldwide.
EPIC, Coalition Urge Attorney General and Senate Judiciary to Conduct Oversight and Restore Government Transparency
EPIC and a coalition sent letters to Attorney General Garland and the Senate Judiciary Committee urging them to conduct oversight and review agency implementation of the Freedom of Information Act. The coalition requested the Senate Judiciary to hold an oversight hearing on agency FOIA compliance. The committee's last oversight hearing on FOIA was more than three years ago. The letter to Senate Judiciary states, "[I]t is imperative that the Committee provide oversight of agencies' compliance with FOIA, both to understand FOIA implementation by the Trump administration, as well as to seek commitments to comply with the law from the newly confirmed Biden administration officials." The coalition also asked Attorney General Garland to follow the precedent of many former AGs and issue a memorandum to agencies on how to interpret and apply the FOIA and to support legislative reform. During Sunshine Week, Attorney General Garland remarked that for the Justice Department to succeed, it must adhere to "the principles that have become core to our DNA" and that "faithful administration of FOIA is essential to American democracy." EPIC recently published its 2021 FOIA Gallery highlighting EPIC's most significant open government cases and records obtained through government records requests.
A trove of sensitive personal data from more than 500 million Facebook users was posted online over the weekend, according to press reports. The leaked data includes names, phone numbers, email addresses, birthdates, location information, and biographical details. The original breach of personal data appears to have occurred in 2019. At least one privacy regulator, the Irish Data Protection Commissioner, has launched an investigation into Facebook's handling of the breach. The Commissioner's office said today that it had "received no proactive communication from Facebook" following the disclosure of personal data. EPIC has fought for transparency and accountability for Facebook's privacy abuses for over a decade, from filing the original FTC Complaint in 2009 that led to the FTC's 2012 Consent Order with the company, to moving to intervene in and filing an amicus brief challenging the FTC's 2019 settlement with Facebook.
EPIC, Coalition Urge States to Investigate Pharmacies Over Handling of Vaccine Recipients' Personal Data »
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EPIC in the News
Announcing the 2021-2022 YLJ Public-Interest Fellows
Yale Law Journal
April 12, 2021
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.
EPIC's Alan Butler on Location Privacy
Privacy Law Sourcebook 2020