EFF in the News
The issue of privacy has been nagging Facebook for quite awhile now, and it looks like advocacy groups are still not happy with the company’s progress in the space. In an open letter to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the ACLU, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and eight other groups are asking the site to do more.
In an open letter on Wednesday, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the ACLU of Northern California, and the Center for Democracy and Technology urged Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to make "instant personalization" opt-in by default and provide more privacy options including allowing users to "control every piece of information they can share via Facebook."
Other security experts say Goatse did nothing wrong. "I don't have a problem with what they [Goatse] did," said Jennifer Granick, civil liberties director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, who has worked on many disclosure cases. "No one was put at risk as a result of it."
"These are organizations that are formed for the purpose of suing, and they view the legal system as a system for making money and then use it to fund additional lawsuits," said Jennifer Granick, an attorney at the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has tried to help those in this situation by organizing willing groups of local lawyers around the country. The EFF made that list public today; if you need help, this is a good place to start.
If other strong Net Neutrality supporters like the Electronic Frontier Foundation realize that FCC regulation might very well have a negative effect on freedom of expression on the Internet.
At least insofar as the proposed class actions were concerned, Jennifer Granick, a civil liberties attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, suggested having a judge or a so-called “special master” sift through the data to determine whose data Google obtained. That should only happen if Google is found to have done something unlawful, she said.
“This raises my eyebrows,” she said. “I don’t think we need to know what any of this data is yet, because there’s nothing to suggest Google did this intentionally.”
Jennifer Granick, civil liberties director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act generally prohibits unauthorized access to computers. The question is whether typing information into a public website is unauthorized, she said.
U.S. law prohibits the unauthorized accessing of computers, but it is unclear whether the script that the Goatse group used violated the law, said Jennifer Granick, civil liberties director with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. "The question is, when you do an automated test like this, [are you] getting any type of unauthorized access or not," she said.
If it turns out the data in question was not misused, it is unlikely that federal prosecutors will press charges, she added.
Eckersley said the collection of personal information from private networks was inexcusable, especially for a company with as many resources as Google.