A federal appeals court ruled today that an amendment to the federal robocall ban is unconstitutional. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act prohibits automated calls to cell phones, except in emergencies or with the consent of the called party. But in 2015 Congress created an exception for calls made to collect debts guaranteed by the federal government. The court in AAPC v. FCC found that the debt-collection exemption "undercuts" the privacy protections in the law. So the court found the exception unconstitutional and struck it from the law. EPIC filed a "friend of the court" brief in Gallion v. Charter Communications, a similar case in the Ninth Circuit, arguing that "the TCPA prohibitions are needed now more than ever." EPIC has testified in support of the TCPA and has submitted extensive comments and amicus briefs on the consumer privacy law.
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 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.
EPIC 2019 Champions of Freedom Awards
Join EPIC on June 5, 2019 for our Champions of Freedom Awards at the National Press Club. EPIC is celebrating 25 years of protecting privacy in the digital age!
EPIC 2019 International Privacy Champion Awards
At the Computers, Freedom, and Data Protection conference in Brussels, EPIC presented the 2019 Champion of Privacy awards to EDPS Giovanni Buitarelli and former EDRi director Joe McNAmee. Also pictured are Kristina Irion, Marc Rotenberg, Max Schrems, Shoshana Zuboff, and members of the EDPS staff.
Consumer Organizations Announce New Framework for US Privacy Protection, Propose Privacy Agency
EPIC joined 16 organizations in support of a “A Framework for Privacy Protection in the United States. The consumer framework states that the Federal Trade Commission has failed to enforce the orders it has established and calls for a U.S. data protection agency.
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.
Universal Guidelines for Artificial Intelligence
New developments in Artificial Intelligence are transforming the world, from science and industry to government administration and finance. The Universal Guidelines set out 12 principles to "inform and improve the design and use of AI. The Guidelines are intended to maximize the benefits of AI, to minimize the risk, and to ensure the protection of human rights."
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.
After soliciting public comments, the Federal Trade Commission has renewed the CAN-SPAM Rule (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing). The FTC rule requires subject-line labeling of commercial emails containing sexually explicit material. The rule also clarifies that a recipient of unwanted emails may not be required to pay a fee, provide additional information or take any steps beyond sending an email or visiting a web page to opt out. In confirming the final rule, the agency specifically referenced EPIC's comments in support of the rule: "For example, the Electronic Privacy Information Center ('EPIC'), a consumer advocacy group, asserted that, '[w]hile the volume of spam is lower than it was just a few years ago, the need for the Rule continues.'" EPIC continues to push the FTC to safeguard consumer privacy with the Enforce the Order campaign, urging the agency to act against Facebook.
An EPIC Freedom of Information Act request has revealed that the Census Bureau obtains vast quantities of noncitizens' personal data from the Department of Homeland Security without having first conducted a required Privacy Impact Assessment. Under a written agreement disclosed to EPIC, the DHS transfers the "Legal Permanent Resident File" to the Bureau each year, which includes citizenship, immigration status, marital status, and other sensitive personal information. Yet the Census Bureau conducted no analysis of the privacy risks and failed to describe the personal data gathered. In EPIC v. Commerce, EPIC has charged that the Census Bureau failed to complete required Privacy Impact Assessments prior to adding the citizenship question to the 2020 Census. The Bureau concedes that it must complete the impact assessments but has so far failed to do so. EPIC's motion to halt the citizenship question will be argued before the D.C. Circuit on May 8.
Mueller Report: Russian Hacking of 2016 Election Much Greater Than Previously Known, Critical Information Still Withheld »
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EPIC in the News
Facebook expects up to $5B FTC fine
April 25, 2019
Facebook sets aside billions of dollars for a potential FTC fine
April 25, 2019
Eleni Kyriakides, EPIC International Counsel
Eleni Kyriakides, EPIC International Counsel
Future of Privacy Forum
Caitriona Fitzgerald, EPIC Policy Director
National Press Club
Alan Butler, EPIC Senior Counsel
ABA Annual Meeting
San Fransisco, CA
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 urge the FTC to enforce the 2011 Consent Order with Facebook.
The Curse of Bigness