Month: September 2020

Using Subpoenas in COVID Raise Privacy, Overpolicing Questions

By Tammy Joyner

Last of two parts.

The seven-month-old COVID-19 pandemic has raised a thorny ethical issue: When is it necessary to override a person’s privacy? And is policing obstinate behavior during a pandemic ethical?

“There’s very much this tension between individual privacy and protecting the public,” Kelly Hills, a bioethicist and co-principal of the Rogue Bioethics consultancy in Lowell, Mass., told Digital Privacy News. “We’re still working out what it means to do public-health ethics.”

Americans total 4% of the world’s population but account for nearly one in four of the world’s coronavirus cases — and a little more than one in five of the deaths globally, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.

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NY Suburb Turns to Subpoenas to Stop Parties During Pandemic

By Tammy Joyner

First of two parts.

Tracking a killer is exhaustive work, especially when witnesses won’t cooperate.

Partygoers in the tony New York suburb of Rockland County recently found that out the hard way.

After being stonewalled, Rockland public-health officials in July served a group of obstinate revelers with subpoenas that carried a $2,000-a-day fine.

Rockland County contact-tracers, or disease detectives, had learned that some residents had contracted COVID-19 after attending a party of as many as 100 20-somethings in mid-June.

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Hacking-for-Hire Growing Bigger, Refined — and Far Too Common

By Nora Macaluso

Hacking-for-hire is becoming a bigger and more sophisticated tool in corporate espionage — and the market for such services is likely to continue, even as reports of high-profile, targeted attacks come to light, experts told Digital Privacy News.

Hacking-for-hire has become “more than just cracking a database and selling the information,” said Robert Siciliano, chief security architect at Protect Now in Boston. “Hacking today is a service, like hiring a lawyer or an accountant.”

Citizen Lab, a Toronto-based research laboratory focused on the intersection of digital technologies, human rights and global security, recently exposed a massive hacking operation targeting individuals and high-profile institutions worldwide.

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Saskatchewan Law Against Domestic Violence Raises Privacy Concerns

By David Gargaro

Saskatchewan has the highest rates of domestic violence per capita of all the 10 Canadian provinces — 1,066 incidents reported to police per 100,000 people in 2018, for instance — and officials recently took steps to curb such actions.

In June, Saskatchewan was the first province to enact the Interpersonal Violence Disclosure Protocol Act, also known as Clare’s Law.

Municipal police can now disclose information about an individual’s history of violent or abusive behavior to help protect potential future victims of domestic abuse.

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Q&A: The Markup’s Nabiha Syed

Privacy Has Its Roots in Outrage

By C.J. Thompson

Nabiha Syed is a media attorney and president of The Markup, an independent news website dedicated to illuminating concerning privacy issues.

“Part of our mission is to help people understand exactly how their privacy is being affected by technology,” she told Digital Privacy News.

The need for new privacy laws and regulation are primary components of a landscape that has never been more complex, cluttered — and, in many ways — cloaked.

But Syed remains encouraged by the current wave of public activism, as it is exactly what’s needed to provoke meaningful privacy protections. 

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