Through a Freedom of Information request, EPIC has obtained records concerning Utah’s "Healthy Together” COVID-19 app. The documents include a presentation from Twenty Holdings, Inc., the company that developed the app, and include details of its development. The records reveal that “[o]nce the economy resumes normalcy, the App will continue to provide the mechanism to monitor any emerging risks.” It has been reported that Twenty hopes to sell the app and app back end to other states and private companies. The developers of the app plan to integrate the Apple/Google API when it is available. The app current methodology relies on collated location data from all users, rather than decentralized proximity tracking. The Utah Governor’s Office of Management and Budget found no records of any audits or independent privacy assessments of the contact tracing app. EPIC has called on Congress to ensure that government agencies and private companies establish privacy safeguards for digital contact tracing. But without audits and independent privacy assessments, contact tracing apps like Healthy Together cannot be "robust, scalable, and provable."
EPIC 2020 Champions of Freedom Awards
Join EPIC on June 3, 2020 as we recognize those who protect fundamental rights in extraordinary times.
EPIC Policy Panel: Privacy and the Pandemic
Join EPIC on June 3, 2020 for a webinar on "Privacy and the Pandemic." Panelists include Bruce Schneier, Asad Ramzanali, Alan Butler, and Jane Bambauer. The panel will be moderated by EPIC Board Chair Anita Allen.
Kasparov, Experts, NGOs Urge OECD to Back Democratic Values
More than 70 NGOs and Experts, including former world chess champion Garry Kasparov, have asked the OECD Secretary General to reaffirm support for democratic values as the international organization develops policies for national governments that are battling the pandemic.
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 2019, 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 2020, EPIC has important work to do on artificial intelligence, face surveillance, data protection, and election security, 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.
The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence is seeking public comments on federal AI policy—a step that EPIC has repeatedly urged the Commission to take. The Commission is charged with developing recommendations on the use of AI in national security and defense contexts. But the Commission has conducted much of its work in secret and without public input, leading EPIC to file an open government lawsuit against the Commission. EPIC won a court ruling that the AI Commission is subject to the Freedom of Information Act, and the Commission has begun disclosing its records. EPIC is also litigating to enforce the Commission's obligation to hold open meetings. Public comments to the AI Commission are due by September 30, 2020.
Members of Congress have introduced two bills to restrict the microtargeting of online political advertisements. EPIC supports both bills. The Banning Microtargeted Political Ads Act, sponsored by Rep. Anna Eshoo (CA-18), would prohibit online platforms from targeting ads at users on the basis of their personal data. "This is an important step forward in protecting Americans’ privacy and in protecting our democratic institutions," said Caitriona Fitzgerald, EPIC Interim Associate Director and Policy Director. The Protecting Democracy from Disinformation Act would restrict microtargeting of political ads based on demographic characteristics and personal data collected online. "This bill will help ensure that the democratic process isn't distorted by privacy-invasive and discriminatory targeting of political ads," said John Davisson, EPIC Counsel. The bill is sponsored by Rep. David Cicilline (RI-1) and co-sponsored by Reps. Sean Casten (IL-6), Alcee Hastings (FL-20), Jahana Hayes (CT-5), Henry Johnson (GA-4), and Stephen Lynch (MA-8). Both bills would allow consumers to sue platforms that engage in illegal microtargeting. EPIC’s report Grading on a Curve: Privacy Legislation in the 116th Congress sets out the key elements of a modern privacy law.
Subscribe to the EPIC Alert
The EPIC Alert is a biweekly newsletter highlighting emerging privacy issues.
Privacy and COVID-19
Dr. Michael Ryan, World Health Organization on Battling the Pandemic and Fundamental Rights
EPIC in the News
DOJ, Privacy Advocates Forced To Seek Surveillance Info Deal
May 23, 2020
OECD Experts and NGOs endorse
Statement on COVID-19, Privacy, and Fundamental Rights
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