data collection

The Terrifying “Smart” City of the Future

Smart cities are loosely defined as urban centers that rely on digital technology to enhance efficiency and reduce resource consumption. This happens by means of ubiquitous wireless broadband, citywide networks of computerized sensors that measure human activities (from traffic to electricity use), and mass data collection that analyzes these patterns.

U.S. House Of Reps Votes To Ban Purchase Of License-Plate Cameras

Moving to protect privacy amidst increased public fear about government surveillance, the U.S. House of Representatives voted Tuesday to ban certain federal agencies from purchasing cameras that capture images of license plates. The measure passed, 254-172, as an amendment to the Transportation and Housing and Urban Development funding bill under consideration on the House floor. […]

Controversy Surrounds India’s Biometric Database

Questions about the security of India’s giant biometric database continue to be raised by privacy advocates. Established in 2009 by executive order, the Unique Identification Number Authority of India (UIDAI) has taken on the monumental challenge of issuing each resident of the country with a Unique Identification Number (UID), more commonly known as the Aadhaar […]

CO State Lawmakers Want To Restrict How Long Governmental Surveillance Can Be Kept On Citizens

DENVER – Republican lawmakers at the state Capitol want to send "Big Brother" to his room. Legislation being proposed would require government entities to purge their surveillance video and images within six months of the recording. According to the bill’s sponsor, State Rep. Polly Lawrence, R-Roxborough Park, this is in direct response to surveillance concerns at the federal level. "It has really been brought to our attention with the NSA and their surveillance techniques and their data collection on everyone across the United States," said Lawrence. "I don’t think the government should be surveilling its citizens and retaining that information indefinitely." Government surveillance can include security cameras at state or local buildings, H.A.L.O. cameras, photo red light, photo radar and toll collection devices. Her proposal is to make sure government entities are not keeping tabs on citizens unnecessarily. "If we hadn’t had that in Boston, we wouldn’t have found the Boston bombers, but do we need to let the government retain that information indefinitely," said Lawrence. "Surveillance helped protect me in a significant way. My life would be very different without the vindication of that video," said Shawn Johnson. A downtown H.A.L.O. camera captured Denver police beating Johnson and his friend, Michael DeHerrera, in April 2009. "The surveillance helped our case significantly. It changed the narrative, it gave us a voice," said Johnson. Denver Police saved the video as part of the investigation. Denver Police policy is to purge H.A.L.O. recordings after 30 days, unless the recording is needed […]

Wisconsin’s Rep Larson Introduces Bill Preventing Schools From Collecting Biometric Data

Rep. Tom Larson (R-Colfax) introduced a bill barring schools from collecting or using students’ biometric data, such as blood pressure, without their parents’ or guardians’ consent. No school district in Wisconsin is known to engage in these practices. In fact, no Wisconsin law exists regarding the collection or usage of biometric data one way or another, but times are changing fast. “As technology and teaching methods evolve, who can say what’s coming ten, twenty or thirty years down the road?” Larson asked. Larson said his bill is about preventing a potential problem. “I believe the legislature owes it to students and their families to be proactive and address the issue of biometric data before it can become a problem.” Larson introduced the bill in response to a recommendation from the Assembly Select Committee on Common Core Standards.