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Updated: 22 hours 43 min ago

Hearing Thursday: EFF, ACLU Will Ask Court to Rule In Favor of Travelers Suing DHS Over Unconstitutional, Warrantless Searches of Cellphones, Laptops

Tue, 07/16/2019 - 16:30

Boston, Massachusetts—On Thursday, July 18, at 3:00 p.m., lawyers for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the ACLU will ask a federal judge to decide that the constitutional rights of 11 travelers were violated by the suspicionless, warrantless searches of their electronic devices at the border by the U.S. government.

The plaintiffs are ten U.S. citizens and a lawful permanent resident who, like many Americans, regularly travel outside the country with their cellphones, laptops, and other electronic devices. Federal officers searched their devices at U.S. ports of entry without a warrant or any individualized suspicion to believe that the devices contained contraband. Federal officers also confiscated the devices of four plaintiffs after they left the border, absent probable cause of criminal activity. The judge will decide whether a trial is needed or whether the evidence is so clear that the case can be decided now.

Evidence obtained in this lawsuit, Alasaad v. McAleenan, demonstrates the unconstitutionality of the challenged searches and confiscation of traveler’s devices at the border. It also demonstrates that the plaintiffs have standing to bring these claims. At Thursday’s oral argument, EFF Senior Staff Attorney Adam Schwartz will address the standing issues, and Esha Bhandari, staff attorney with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, will address the merits of the claims.

WHAT:
Oral argument on summary judgment motion in Alasaad v. McAleenan

WHO:
Adam Schwartz, EFF Senior Staff Attorney
Esha Bhandari, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project

WHEN:
Thursday, July 18, 3:00 p.m.

WHERE:
John Joseph Moakley U.S. Courthouse
Courtroom 11, 5th Floor
1 Courthouse Way, Suite 2300
Boston, Massachusetts 02210

For more on this case: https://www.eff.org/cases/alasaad-v-duke

Contact: Adam Schwartz
Categories: Privacy

EFF Sues AT&T, Data Aggregators For Giving Bounty Hunters and Other Third Parties Access to Customers’ Real-Time Locations

Tue, 07/16/2019 - 12:55

SAN FRANCISCO — The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP filed a class action lawsuit today on behalf of AT&T customers in California to stop the telecom giant and two data location aggregators from allowing numerous entities—including bounty hunters, car dealerships, landlords, and stalkers—to access wireless customers’ real-time locations without authorization.

An investigation by Motherboard earlier this year revealed that any cellphone user’s precise, real-time location could be bought for just $300. The report showed that carriers, including AT&T, were making this data available to hundreds of third parties without first verifying that users had authorized such access. AT&T not only failed to obtain its customers’ express consent, making matters worse, it created an active marketplace that trades on its customers’ real-time location data.

“AT&T and data aggregators have systematically violated the location privacy rights of tens of millions of AT&T customers,” said EFF Staff Attorney Aaron Mackey. “Consumers must stand up to protect their privacy and shut down this illegal market. That’s why we filed this lawsuit today.”

The lawsuit alleges AT&T violated the Federal Communications Act and engaged in deceptive practices under California’s unfair competition law, as AT&T deceived customers into believing that the company was protecting their location data. The suit also alleges that AT&T, LocationSmart, and Zumigo have violated California’s constitutional, statutory, and common law rights to privacy.

“The location data AT&T offered up for sale is extremely precise and can locate any of its wireless subscribers in real time, providing a window into the intimate details of their lives: where they go to the doctor, where they worship, where they live, and much more,” said Abbye Klamann Ognibene, an associate at Pierce Bainbridge.

“To sell this information without any notification to users is deceptive, extraordinarily invasive of their privacy, and illegal,” said Thomas D. Warren, a partner at Pierce Bainbridge.

The lawsuit, Scott, et al. v. AT&T Inc., et al., filed in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California, seeks money damages and an injunction against AT&T, as well as the involved location data aggregators, LocationSmart and Zumigo. The injunction would prohibit AT&T from selling customer location data and ensure that any location data already sold is returned to AT&T or destroyed. 

For the complaint:
https://www.eff.org/document/scott-v-att-geolocation-complaint

For more information about the case:
https://www.eff.org/cases/geolocation-privacy

Contact: Aaron Mackey
Categories: Privacy

Media Briefing Monday: EFF and Partners Will Discuss California Bills Aimed at Weakening State’s Consumer Privacy Law

Fri, 07/05/2019 - 14:55

San Francisco—On Monday, June 8, at 11 am, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the ACLU, Common Sense Media, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, and Consumer Reports will hold a conference call to brief reporters about five bills designed to weaken consumer privacy protections that are set for hearing in the California Senate.

Members of the media can RSVP to Stephanie Ong, song@commonsense.org, for call-in information to participate in the briefing.

Experts from the organizations will brief reporters on how the proposed measures will water down the California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA). The proposals, backed by Big Tech interests, will, among other things, create a massive loophole for companies that sell or share information with the government, remove most CCPA protections over data collected by companies about their employees, and increase the cost for Californians to assert privacy rights. The bills are set for hearing June 9 at 1:30 pm before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Experts on the call include:
Lee Tien, EFF Senior Staff Attorney
Hayley Tsukayama, EFF Legislative Activist
Elizabeth Gettelman Galicia, Vice President, Common Sense Kids Action
Ariel Fox Johnson, Senior Counsel, Policy & Privacy, Common Sense Media
Emory Roane, Privacy Counsel, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse
Jacob Snow, Technology and Civil Liberties Attorney, ACLU

WHAT:
Media Briefing Call

WHO:
EFF, ACLU, Common Sense Media, Consumer Reports, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse

WHEN:
Monday, June 8, 11 am
RSVP to Stephanie Ong, song@commonsense.org, for call-in information.

For more about the bills:
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2019/04/california-assemblys-privacy-committee-votes-weaken-landmark-privacy-law

Contact: Hayley TsukayamaRebecca FarmerStephanie Ong
Categories: Privacy