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Privacy News: August 19

Introducing a new section on student privacy!

A computer keyboard with an extra "privacy" key, in green right below the caps lock key

Trying something different today and including short descriptions with the links. If you've got thoughts on this format – or anything else – please send feedback to newsletter-feedback {at} thenexus {dot} today  

Also, a new section on student privacy!

Student privacy

A Tool That Monitors How Long Kids Are in the Bathroom Is Now in 1,000 American Schools

Joseph Cox on

e-HallPass, a digital system that students have to use to request to leave their classroom and which takes note of how long they’ve been away, including to visit the bathroom, has spread into at least a thousand schools around the United States.  

Would ADPPA, the consumer privacy bill Congress is currenty considering, help prevent this kind of monitoring?  My initial thought is no: e-HallPass is a a service provider collecting and processing data on behalf of the school (which isn't covered, and retains ownerhip of all the data).  It'd be interesting to see some more detailed analysis.

Privacy after Roe

FTC threatens to sue firm allegedly revealing abortion clinic visits

Cat Zakrzewski on The Washington Post (

The FTC is threatening to sue adtech company Kochava for (allegedly) revealing people’s visits to sensitive locations – including reproductive health clinics, according.  And that's not all:

In addition to women’s reproductive health clinics, the agency argues that the data can be used to trace people to therapists’ offices, addiction recovery centers and other medical facilities.

Last Friday, Kochava decided to strike first and preeemptively sued the FTC.

As Zakrzewski notes

The action is an early indication of how the agency might assert itself as a defender of health-related data, in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in June.

Hundreds of Google workers demand abortion care protections

Johana Bhuiyan, The Guardian (

Alphabet Workers Union wants the company to

  • extend access to reproductive healthcare benefits already offered to full-time employees to temporary and contract workers; s
  • top any and all political lobbying of politicians or organizations “because these politicians were responsible for appointing the supreme court justices who overturned Roe v Wade and continue to infringe on other human rights issues”.
  • stop storing health-related data that could later be used to criminalize users
  • address the disinformation and misinformation found in search results – such as sending people searching for abortion information to crisis pregnancy centers.

AWU has details on Twitter.


TAKE ACTION! Tell Google to stop profiting from anti-abortion disinformation using Center for Countering Digital Hate's form.

And ...

Ring’s new TV show is a brilliant but ominous viral marketing ploy, Eileen Guo on MIT Technology Review ( Ring Nation wants to lure you in with funny content—and push you to buy a Ring camera to make your own.

AI Use Case Inventory | Homeland Security, on U.S. Department of Homeland Security logo ( an inventory of non-classified and non-sensitive Artificial Intelligence (AI) use cases.

GPS tagging of migrants breaches UK data protection law, says Privacy International complaint, Bill Goodwin, on (  Privacy group files complaints with Information Commissioner’s Office and Forensic Science Regulator over Home Office’s GPS monitoring of migrants.

The U.S. Congress-TikTok data privacy dance on a loop | Biometric Update, Jim Nash on (  It is hard to imagine an escape for the U.S. government and TikTok executives as they circle each other in what probably is an unresolvable spiral of distrust.

Facial Recognition Bans Begin To Fall Around the US as Re-Funding of Law Enforcement Becomes Politically Popular, Scott Ikeda on CPO Magazine ( Some cities and states that were early to ban law enforcement from using facial recognition software appear to be having second thoughts as crime spikes become a major political issue.

Image credit: Privacy, by Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 Alpha Stock Images