Daily Digest (5/14)

US Senate Narrowly Rejects New Limits on Internet Surveillance; AMA Issues Guidelines to Restore Trust in Data Privacy; Austrian Privacy Group Files Complaint Against Google Tracking ID; FPF Publishes White Paper on Strategic Plans for EU Data Regulators; Click “Continue Reading” below.

US Senate Narrowly Rejects New Limits on Internet Surveillance

The Senate fell one vote short Wednesday of approving a proposal to prevent federal law-enforcement agencies from obtaining internet browsing information or search history without seeking a warrant.

The bipartisan amendment died on a 59-37 vote, The Associated Press reports. Sixty votes were needed for adoption.

The vote to allow the secret searches to continue split both parties, with Republicans and Democrats voting for and against.

The amendment’s authors, Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon and Republican Sen. Steve Daines of Montana, long have opposed the expansion and renewal of surveillance laws that the government uses to track and fight terrorists.

The senators say the laws can infringe on individual rights.

“Should law-abiding Americans have to worry about their government looking over their shoulders from the moment they wake up in the morning and turn on their computers to when they go to bed at night?” Wyden posed after the vote. “I believe the answer is no.

“But that’s exactly what the government has the power to do without our amendment.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., encouraged senators to oppose the Wyden-Daines amendment, saying the legislation was already a “delicate balance.”

He warned changing it could mean that other, underlying provisions of the USA Freedom Act won’t be renewed.

Source (external link): Senate narrowly rejects new limits on internet surveillance

AMA Issues Guidelines to Restore Trust in Data Privacy

The American Medical Association (AMA) has issued new privacy principles backing an individual’s right to control, access and delete personal data collected about them.

Using the principles, the AMA said Monday that it would actively engage the White House, Congress and industry officials in discussions on the future direction of regulatory guardrails that were needed to restore public confidence in data privacy protections.

“Patients’ confidence in the privacy and security of their data has been shaken by repeated technology-sector scandals and the wired economy’s default business model that quietly gathers intimate glimpses into private lives — often without patient knowledge, consent or trust,” AMA President Patrice Harris, M.D., M.A., said in the announcement.

“As a result, patients are less willing to share information with physicians for fear that technology companies and data brokers will have full authority over the use of their indelible health data.

“Unfortunately, recently finalized federal regulations will make this more likely to happen,” Dr. Harris said.

Sources (external links):
AMA issues new principles to restore trust in data privacy
AMA Privacy Principles | AMA

Austrian Privacy Group Files Complaint Against Google Tracking ID

The Austria-based European Center for Digital Rights (also known as NOYB) on Wednesday filed a complaint to the Austrian Data Protection Authority alleging a form of Google tracking violates the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The group, founded by privacy activist Max Schrems, based its accusation on an Android advertising identification number that Google installed to mobile devices without user consent.

“Google’s system seems to structurally deny the exercise of users’ rights,” Stefano Rossetti, NOYB’s privacy lawyer, said. “In essence, you buy a new Android phone, but by adding a tracking ID, they ship you a tracking device.”

The group added in a statement: “The data collected with this unique tracking ID is passed on to countless third parties in the advertising ecosystem.

“The user has no real control over it: Google does not allow to delete an ID, just to create a new one.”

Source (external link): Complaint filed against Google Tracking ID

FPF Publishes White Paper on Strategic Plans for EU Data Regulators

The Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) released a white paper Tuesday analyzing the strategic plans and missions of certain EU data-protection authorities for the next decade and beyond.

The group, based in Washington, examined materials from 12 DPAs, including strategic plans, road maps, outlines and recent COVID-19 guidance.

Findings indicated DPAs were aiming to harmonize their applications of the GDPR by issuing clear guidance on existing and future technologies or data practices, as well as on protecting people who may be at risk from those technologies and practices.

Source (external link): FPF Charts DPAs’ Priorities and Focus Areas for the Next Decade

— By DPN Staff