• EPIC Champions of Freedom Awards

    2021 EPIC Champion of Freedom Awards

    Join EPIC on November 3, 2021 as we celebrate this year's Champions of Freedom!

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  • Gillibrand DPA press conference photo

    Sen. Gillibrand Reintroduces Data Protection Act

    Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has reintroduced the Data Protection Act which would create an independent Data Protection Agency in the U.S. to safeguard the personal data of Americans. EPIC, many leading consumer and civil rights organizations, privacy experts, and scholars support Senator Gillibrand's non-partisan bill. Last year, EPIC Advisory Board Member Professor Ari Waldman and EPIC Deputy Director Caitriona Fitzgerald stood with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand for introduction of the bill.

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  • What the FTC Could Be Doing (But Isn't) To Protect Privacy

    EPIC Report: What the FTC Could Be Doing (But Isn't) To Protect Privacy

    EPIC has released a report highlighting numerous statutory authorities that the Federal Trade Commission has failed to use to safeguard privacy. The report, What the FTC Could Be Doing (But Isn't) to Protect Privacy, identifies untapped or underused powers in the FTC's toolbox and explains how the FTC should deploy them to protect the public from abusive data practices.

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  • EPIC Champions of Freedom Awards 2021

    Save the Date: EPIC Champions of Freedom Awards, Nov. 3

    Save the date for EPIC's Champions of Freedom Awards, taking place on November 3rd! This will be a hybrid event, pursuant to local health guidelines, with both in-person and virtual attendance options. EPIC will honor privacy advocates who work tirelessly to ensure that personal data is protected and to tackle the most important emerging privacy issues. Please save the date and join EPIC's celebration of those who protect privacy, freedom of expression, and democratic values in the information age!

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  • Liberty At Risk

    Liberty at Risk: Pre-trial Risk Assessment Tools in the U.S.

    Federal, state, and local governments use Risk Assessment Tools to make key decisions about defendants in criminal cases, depriving accused individuals of their liberty based on subjective assessments of the likelihood that they will flee or commit crimes in the future. Many of these tools are opaque and not subject to independent review. "Liberty at Risk: Pre-trial Risk Assessment Tools in the U.S." provides an overview of Risk Assessment Tools that practitioners and scholars can use to understand the nature of these systems, understand the broader context in which they are used, and help focus their evaluations of the fairness of these systems.

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  • Defend Privacy. Support EPIC.

    Defend Privacy. Support EPIC.

    EPIC is on the front lines of the major privacy and civil liberties debates. In 2020, EPIC has worked to protect democratic institutions, promote algorithmic transparency, and defend the right to privacy. We need your support. And EPIC is a top-rated non-profit - Charity Navigator (Four Star) and Guidestar (Gold). Please donate to EPIC today.

    Defend Privacy. Support EPIC. »

  • EPIC Word Cloud 2021

    EPIC 2021

    EPIC is on the front lines of the major privacy and civil liberties debates. In 2021, EPIC has important work to do on artificial intelligence, face surveillance, data protection, and algorithmic fairness, among many other issues. Please donate to EPIC today to help us continue this important work.

    Defend Privacy. Support EPIC. »

  • Alan Butler on CBS

    EPIC Files Complaint with FTC about Employment Screening Firm HireVue

    EPIC General Counsel Alan Butler discussing EPIC's case about the use of AI for employment screening on CBS News.

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  • Jeramie Scott on CBS

    EPIC's Jeramie Scott: Ban Face Surveillance

    EPIC Senior Counsel Jeramie Scott on CBS News discussing the dangers of face surveillance.

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  • EPIC - Ban Face Surveillance

    EPIC Launches Campaign to Ban Face Surveillance

    EPIC has launched a campaign to ban face surveillance. EPIC will publish information on face surveillance laws, reports, and protests worldwide.

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Top News

EPIC Urges National AI Research Resource to Empower Developers to Design Fair and Accountable AI

In comments to the newly established National Artificial Intelligence Research Resource Task Force, EPIC called on the Task Force to prioritize privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties by creating resources for companies to develop purposeful, accountable, transparent, and fair AI. EPIC also urged the Task Force to provide regulators with the resources required to enforce civil rights and consumer protection laws against companies that deploy AI systems. EPIC recently submitted comments to the Office of Management and Budget and the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence advising both agencies to follow the Universal Guidelines for AI and to push for actionable legal rights to protect against algorithmic harms.


Facebook Pauses Development of “Instagram Kids”

Facebook announced today that it is pausing its work on a kids’ version of Instagram after facing widespread criticism. In March 2021, reports leaked that Facebook was planning to build a version of Instagram for kids under the age of 13. Regarding today’s announcement, Fairplay’s Executive Director stated, “Today is a watershed moment for the growing tech accountability movement and a great day for anyone who believes that children’s wellbeing should come before Big Tech’s profits.” The earlier reports faced swift backlash as consumer protection advocacy groups and politicians asked Facebook to halt its plan. This announcement came after senators announced an investigation into Facebook’s negative effects on teenagers and a series of investigations by the Wall Street Journal which revealed that Facebook is aware of its harmful effects on users. EPIC signed onto a letter by Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, now known as Fairplay, urging Facebook to cancel its plan for Instagram Kids. EPIC has fought for transparency and accountability for Facebook's privacy abuses for over a decade, from filing the original FTC Complaint in 2009 that led to the FTC's 2012 Consent Order with the company, to moving to intervene in and filing an amicus brief challenging the FTC's 2019 settlement with Facebook.


Ninth Circuit Says Warrantless Search of Google Files Automatically Reported to Police Violated Fourth Amendment

The Ninth Circuit announced today police violated a defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights when they warrantlessly searched files that Google automatically reported using a proprietary algorithm designed to detect child sexual abuse material (“CSAM”). Prosecutors in the case, United States v. Wilson, had argued that the police officer’s search of the defendant’s files did not violate the Fourth Amendment because Google, a private party, had conducted the initial search. The district court agreed, finding that there was a “virtual certainty” that the files Google sent to police were identical to files previously identified by a Google employee as CSAM. But no Google employee reviewed the defendant's files before sending them to police—instead, Google automatically forwarded the files to law enforcement after a proprietary algorithm matched the files to previously-identified CSAM images. EPIC filed an amicus brief in the Ninth Circuit appeal to explain that prosecutors had failed to show that the proprietary Google algorithm reliably matched images. EPIC also urged the court to narrowly apply the private search exception. The Ninth Circuit found that the police search “allowed the government to learn new, critical information” and “expanded the scope of the antecedent private search because the government agent viewed Wilson’s email attachments even though no Google employee—or other person—had done so.” The Ninth Circuit also echoed EPIC’s amicus brief: “on the limited evidentiary record, the government has not established that what a Google employee previously viewed were exact duplicates of Wilson’s images.” The decision in this case diverges from previous federal appeals and state court decisions on the issue and may lead the Supreme Court to review the important privacy implications of mass automatic file scanning programs.


Senators Call on FTC to Conduct Privacy Rulemaking »

NJ Court Denies Dog Owners’ Privacy Rights (But Appears to Recognize Privacy Rights of Dogs) »

EPIC, Coalition Urge DHS to End Broad, Unwarranted Surveillance Programs »

UN Calls for Moratorium on Harmful AI, Establishment of Data Protection Legislation and AI Regulation »

EPIC, Coalition to Senators: Reject Plan Requiring SSN Collection by Peer-to-Peer Payment Services »

Senators Announce Probe into Facebook's Alleged Coverup of its Negative Influence on Children and Teens »

EPIC news Archive »

EPIC's Work

Open Government image

Open Government »

EPIC v. DOJ: Seeking the final report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller concerning Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

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Appellate Advocacy »

Department of Commerce v. New York: Whether the Department of Commerce and Census Bureau violated the Administrative Procedure Act when it added a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.

US Capitol

EPIC Policy Project »

EPIC provides expertise to shape strong privacy and open government laws at both the state and federal level.

US Needs a Data Protection Agency

Privacy Campaigns »

EPIC recently launched a campaign to promote the creation of a Data Protection Agency in the U.S.