Responding to concerns about privacy, the regional agency in charge of Clipper cards and FasTrak is considering reducing its retention of personal user data.
Currently, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, which oversees both programs, retains personal information for Clipper card users for seven years and FasTrak customers for 4½ years. The Clipper card allows public-transit users to pay on multiple systems, and FasTrak is the transponder used for tolls. Read More
Tech-savvy residents of the Bay Area carry around smartphones and tablet computers, devices that have allowed us to do vast amounts of work on the go while staying connected with friends and family. But as people walk around with these devices, they are collecting large amounts of data, including where they are at any given time — information that reveals much about our personal and professional lives. Read More
Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wasn’t kidding a few years ago when she said Congress had to pass Obamacare so the rest of the country could discover what it contained. Ever since then, a steady stream of problems has emerged as people pored through the law’s 2,700 pages of legalese. Just last week, Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., found a new shocker that ought to be especially worrisome to anybody who cares about protecting the privacy of their medical records. Read More
Facebook has admitted to secretly hiring one of the world’s largest public-relations companies to plant scaremongering stories about Google’s alleged privacy violations. The plan was exposed when a Silicon Valley blogger leaked emails offering to have an anti-Google story ghostwritten for him by a former big-name tech journalist now working for the PR firm. High-profile U.S. Read More
An Australian schoolgirl had to cancel her 16th birthday party after her Facebook invitation went viral and close to 200,000 people said they would show up at her house. She was just trying to invite “a few schoolmates” via Facebook, but was initially unaware of the settings needed to stop strangers from seeing the invitation, which included her address. Police said the girl’s original post had gone viral after being reposted by an “unknown person.” Read More
The New York Times gets around to reporting on the outrageous use of privacy laws to prosecute people who record about police officers: Read More
Cab conversations are at the center of a “big brother” debate as video and sound recordings of taxi drivers and passengers are now as common as the meter tracking your fare.
In recent months, cab companies began installing devices to record not just still photographs as mandated by city law, but also audio and video footage, according to Mark Gruberg, spokesman for United Taxicab Workers. Read More
“It’s good to be the king!” That’s Mel Brooks’ signature line in 1981’s “History of the World, Part I,” where he hammed it up as corrupt autocrat Louis XVI, using peasants for target practice and eagerly groping ladies of the court.In America, we’re supposedly king-free, and our Constitution bans titles of nobility. Still, our ruling class seems to do pretty well, privilege-wise. Read More
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger Thursday signed a bill that aims to protect the privacy of drivers who use the FasTrak payment system.
SB 1268, by Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, requires FasTrak to give subscribers notice of the company's privacy practices, according to a release.
"Relatively obscure transportation agencies have personal data and travel histories for well over a million Californians," Simitian said. Read More
A number of cases show how police continue to misunderstand citizens’ rights to record their behavior, and they’re now neatly compiled into a video from the Cato Institute. Read More