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Privacy White Paper_final

Privacy White Paper_final

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Published by Celeste Katz

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Published by: Celeste Katz on Aug 18, 2010
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07/07/2011

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The Surveillance Society: Brodsky Planto Protect New Yorkers againstGovernment and Corporate Intrusions
 Introduction
 The right to privacy is one of the most cherished personal rights in a democracy; it isimperative that the state protect this right, and that the next Attorney General use the powers of the office to protect people against intrusions by large corporations and largegovernments. Most New Yorkers assume that their traditional anonymity and privacy is being maintained. Not so. As you drive or walk down public streets, your picture is takenand data files are maintained. Often the data is stored or sold for commercial purposes.Governments and corporate knowledge of peoples spending habits, internet use, andwhereabouts are pervasive and growing. Most New Yorkers know little about this andeven less about how to protect themselves from these intrusions.The AG must be the first protector of the rights of the people. As invasions of privacy
 
 become more the rule rather than the exception, the next Attorney General must lead thestruggle to protect the legitimate privacy interests of all New Yorkers.There is no doubt that these are complicated issues in a post 9/11 world. The nation’s
 
attitudes towards personal and national security have in many areas overtaken our traditional concerns for privacy and liberty. But the bulk of privacy invasions are not for security reasons, but rather for commercial and governmental uses; it is for this reason
 
that the next Attorney General must lead.
 Background 
 
 
The information age has forced us to revisit our right to privacy. Technology has beena force for change, both good and bad. It has connected people around the world and
 
eased daily life while simultaneously created a potential “surveillance society.” Newtechnology has resulted in vast networks of cameras on highways monitoring traffic,allowed online advertisers to monitor and mine a person’s detailed internet activity, and
 
created law enforcement’s ability to “enter” a home remotely—by thermal heat detectorsand other means.[1] 
 
People have begun to feel the impact of these developments.Professor Alan Westin found that contemporary society has developed a deep concern
 
over the increasing technological advancements in surveillance because they are contraryto American’s core privacy values.[2] 
 
The impetus of our privacy concerns stem from a long American tradition of mistrust
 
of governmental intrusion in individual matters. Technology has allowed government tointrude into the daily lives of citizens with greater ease. Supreme Court Justice WilliamDouglas was right when he said, “We are rapidly entering the age of no privacy, where
 
everyone is open to surveillance at all times; where there are no secrets fromgovernment.”[3] 
 
However, that’s only half the story. Technology has allowed private
People for Brodsky
155 White Plains Rd., Tarrytown, NY 10591
914-332-4940,
 
Printed in House, Labor Donated
 
corporations to likewise intrude into every aspect of our private lives. Every time you usea cell phone, go online, use a credit card, and participate in a number of necessarymodern day activities, you give up privacy. As Kevin Bankston, staff attorney, ElectronicFrontier Foundation said, “[online data] is practically a printout of what’s going on inyour brain: What you are thinking of buying, who you talk to, what you talk about… It isan unprecedented amount of personal information, and these third parties (such asGoogle) have carte blanche control over that information.”[4] 
 
As Attorney General, Richard Brodsky will aggressively use the resources of the officeto defend every New Yorker’s right to privacy. Already he has spent a career crusadingagainst intrusions into the private matters of New Yorkers. He fought for regulations toinclude privacy protections in the New York Department of Transportation’s vastsurveillance Closed Circuit Television System in the Hudson Valley—a surveillancesystem providing government with the ability to monitor, identify and disseminateinformation about individuals on a large-scale. He also passed innovative laws to protectonline privacy rights and he has fought to enshrine privacy rights in the StateConstitution. Recently, he launched an inquiry into the Google Maps feature that allowsusers to see 360-degree photographs of a road or avenue. While conducting the mapssurvey, the company tapped into unsecured WiFi connections and was able to store e-mails of unwitting computer users.
 
The Attorney General’s Office can be a central advocate for increased privacy rights.From advocating for stronger laws[5]
 
to bringing cases to protect the privacy of NewYorkers, the Office can be a forceful agent for change.[6] 
 
As Attorney General, Brodsky
 
will continue and have greater focus on protecting the right to privacy of all NewYorkers.
The Brodsky Roadmap to Protect New Yorkers’ Privacy in theInformation Age
 
The following is a comprehensive approach to protecting privacy in the InformationAge. It includes statutory and constitutional changes, increased coordination between thevarious watch dog agencies and a focus on enforcing current laws to maximize andprotect New Yorkers’ privacy rights.
 Enshrining the Right of Privacy in the New York State Constitution
 There are many important ways the State and the Attorney General’s office can pursueto ensure that the right of privacy is protected. The most important is an amendment to
 
the State Constitution. The State Constitution is a social contract between citizens and thestate. There are certain rights that individuals have that are inalienable and need to be protected. The state has a constitutional obligation to protect a person’s right to
 
education, a safe work place, free speech, and other central attributes of personal liberty.The right to privacy should be added to this list. As Attorney General Richard willintroduce the following text, and see it become part of our constitution, “that the inherentright of each person to personal privacy shall not be infringed."
People for Brodsky
155 White Plains Rd., Tarrytown, NY 10591
914-332-4940,
 
Printed in House, Labor Donated
 
 
Creation of a Special “Privacy” Task Force in the Attorney General’s Office
In order to facilitate greater cooperation among bureaus within the Attorney General’soffice, Richard Brodsky will create a special Task Force on privacy issues, with a missionto ensure that all citizens’ rights to privacy are protected.[7]
 
 It will coordinate activitiesamongst the Internet, Civil Rights, and Anti-Trust Bureaus to create a comprehensivestrategy to protect citizens’ privacy rights; this will culminate with working closely withthe legislative and executive branches to create comprehensive privacy legislation. TheTask Force will also take complaints from individuals who claim privacy right violationsin cooperation with other Bureaus.The Task Force will be in charge of coordinating statewide the investigation and prosecution of law enforcement actions involving the Internet, primarily regardingfraudulent, deceptive, or otherwise illegal conduct occurring online. The Task Force willfield complaints received directly from consumers who visit the Attorney General'swebsite and respond to inquiries by other bureaus and from other governmental and lawenforcement agencies. The Task Force will also review and prepare legislation wherecurrent laws appear inadequate to address the integration of the Internet into themarketplace of the 21st century. The Brodsky plan for this new organization within the
 
AG’s office will help focus on the laws Brodsky himself has already written to ensurethat privacy is maintained.
 Better Coordination with Other Agencies
In addition to the creation of the Privacy Task Force within the Attorney General’s
 
Office, Richard Brodsky will also work closely with the New York State Office of Cyber Security. The Office of Cyber Security coordinates the State’s cyber incident responseteam, monitors the State's networks for malicious cyber activities, coordinates the process
 
 by which State critical infrastructure data is collected and maintained, and leads andcoordinate geographic information technologies.Chief among the Office of Cyber Security’s responsibilities is to help enforce the
 
“Security Breach and Notification Act”[9]
 
 —a law Assemblyman Brodsky helpeddraft[10]
 
. The law requires all state entities – persons or businesses – conducting business in New York which own or license computerized data that includes private
 
information to disclose any breach of the data to New York residents. If a breach occurs,that entity must notify the Attorney General, the Office of Cyber Security and theConsumer Protection Board. The law was a key in protecting personal privacy; RichardBrodsky will ramp up such efforts.
 Specific Steps to Secure Your Privacy from Corporate Surveillance
 
 
As Attorney General, Richard Brodsky will introduce new legislation: the
OnlineConsumer Protection Act.
It will establish rules and privacy policies with respect to how
 
website publishers and advertising networks collect and disseminate online behavior of 
People for Brodsky
155 White Plains Rd., Tarrytown, NY 10591
914-332-4940,
 
Printed in House, Labor Donated

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