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Privacy News: July 13

Surveillance power grab in SF, Amazon's Ring sharing data with law enforcement, and more

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Surveillance critics blast SF police ‘power grab’

Eleni Balakrishnan on Mission Local (

San Francisco was the first city to pass a law regulating government use of facial recognition.  More recently, though, Mayor London Breed has been pushing to roll back protections; and she's just appointed a new "tough on crime" DA.  Now, the SFPD is proposing a dangerous new surveillance program that would let them live-monitor private security cameras all over town, including residential Ring and Nest doorbells.  The Rules Committee took public comments at their meeting last Monday, and is expected to vote next week.

TAKE ACTION: If you're in San Francisco, Fight SFPD’s Surveillance Grab using this form from ACLU of Northern California – or just call your supervisor and tell them to oppose SFPD's proposed policy to obtain sweeping access to private surveillance cameras.

SEE ALSO: Breed and New DA Jenkins Pushing Hard to Expand Police Access to Private Security Cameras All Over Town, Joe Kukura on SFist (

Senator Markey’s Probe into Amazon Ring Reveals New Privacy Problems

Senator Ed Markey on

Amazon's response to a letter Senator Markey sent last month "highlights the close relationship between Ring and law enforcement, including the proliferation of policing agencies on the Ring platform".   Thousands of police departments use the Neighbors Public Safety System, allowing them to request data from Ring users.  Amazon also shared data with law enforcement without the owners consent eleven times last year, when the company "made a good-faith determination that there was an imminent danger of death or serious physical injury to a person".

Zack Whittaker's Amazon’s Ring gave a record amount of doorbell footage to the government in 2021 on TechCrunch delves into Amazon's transparency reports.  Law enforcement demands for Ring data, mostly in the form of search warrants, increased 65% last year.

TikTok pauses policy switch in Europe after privacy scrutiny

Natasha Lomas on TechCrunch (

TikTok planned to introduce a privacy policy update in Europe which would have stopped asking users for their consent to be tracked to receive targeted advertising. Last week, Access Now sent open letters to TikTok to immediately halt these invasive changes, and to the European Data Protection Board and its members to intervene. Italy's Data Protection Agency quickly issued a formal warning to TikTok.  DPAs in Ireland and Spain also engaged with TikTok.  Now, the company's annouced plans are on hold.

Privacy after Roe

FTC says it will crack down on medical and location data sharing after abortion privacy concerns, Corin Faife on The Verge (  The FTC's announcement is at Location, health, and other sensitive information: FTC committed to fully enforcing the law against illegal use and sharing of highly sensitive data. Abortion pill site shares data with Facebook, Google, Issie Lapowsky on Protocol (

In a Post-Roe World, the Future of Digital Privacy Looks Even Grimmer, Natasha Singer and Brian X. Chen on NYTimes (

Facebook Has Been Targeting Users Who Visited Pregnancy Center Sites – How Could That Data Be Used?, Peter Suciu on Forbes (

Privacy advocates fear Google will be used to prosecute abortion seekers, Bobby Allyn on NPR (

And ...

A big success for Homo Digitalis: The Hellenic DPA fines CLEARVIEW AI with €20 million, Homo digitalis (

FTC Calls for Research Presentations for PrivacyCon 2022, the Premerger Notification Office Staff on Federal Trade Commission (

“Save the GDPR”: our message to the European Commission, Estelle Massé on Access Now (

UK Bill of Rights set to undermine UK_GDPR and Adequacy on Hawktalk (

How to Disable Ad ID Tracking on iOS and Android, and Why You Should Do It Now, Bennett Cyphers on Electronic Frontier Foundation (

Meta may be forced to suspend services in Europe over data transfer concerns, Kendra Clark on The Drum (

Federal and State Actions to Protect Robocall Invasion of Consumer Privacy, Paul C. Besozzi on The National Law Review (

The Holy Grail for DPA Negotiating: A Side-by-Side Comparison of the Contractual Requirements Found in Modern Data Privacy Statutes, David A. Zetoony on The National Law Review (

Image credit: Privacy, by Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 Alpha Stock Images