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Category archives for: Privacy

No Privacy: What Your Smart Home Reveals About You, and Possibly To The World

| October 11, 2015

As trends toward networked smart homes and connected cars continue, customers may not be aware of just how much information their devices collect about them and share with the world.

Proposed Florida Law Would Tell Employers to Butt Out of Employees’ Social Media Accounts

| October 6, 2015

The measure, which is filed for the 2016 legislative session, would prohibit employers from requesting access to private social media accounts, but pressure from business caused it to fail in two previous years.

Police Body Cams: Exemptions From Public-Record Disclosure Belie Intended Transparency

| September 26, 2015

Police body cams were intended to improve accountability and public access to cops’ work. Access exemptions in Florida and many other states are instead countering their intended purpose.

Anonymous Internet Browsing at the Public Library? Not if Homeland Security Finds Out.

| September 14, 2015

A library that allowed Tor users around the world to bounce their Internet traffic through the library, masking users’ locations reversed course after getting word from the Department of Homeland Security.

Florida’s New Drone Law, Restricting “Surveillance,” Is a Gift to Personal Injury Lawyers

| September 1, 2015

Like medical marijuana, there’s an entrepreneurial rush to get in on the drone business, but states like Florida have been stumbling their way to legislation., argues Nancy Smith.

Backdoor Snooping: Why the U.S. Is Wrong to Oppose Full Encryption of Your iPhone

| June 29, 2015

The U.S. argues that the country will be less safe if the proper authorities have no “backdoor” – a piece of code that lets them in. Software engineers call backdoors “vulnerabilities,” deliberate efforts to weaken security.

Taxpayers’ Tab in Gov. Scott’s Losing Drug-Testing Lawsuits: $1.5 Million

| June 19, 2015

The $1.5 million in legal fees, including nearly $1 million to civil-rights lawyers, are because of Gov. Scott’s failed push to force welfare applicants and tens of thousands of state workers to submit to suspicionless drug tests.

Flagler Court Clerk Throws a Switch, and Mass of Criminal and Civil Records Becomes Accessible Online

| June 16, 2015

Flagler County court records, from arrest affidavits to civil, criminal, county and probate court are now all available online, 24 hours a day, in a vast improvement of public record access ordered by the Florida Supreme Court.

As Pro-Choice Republicans See It: Abortion Decisions Don’t Belong on a Legislative Agenda

| April 26, 2015

Doctors and patients, not politicians, should determine the course of medical treatment, even when the treatment is abortion, writes Nancy Smith, a card-carrying member of the Republican Majority for Choice.

Florida Senate Votes 26-13 For Abortion Waiting period, Sending Bill to Gov. Scott

| April 24, 2015

Lawmakers earlier this week approved adding exceptions for victims of rape, incest, domestic violence or human trafficking to the bill. However, those victims could only get waivers of the 24-hour waiting period if they can produce police reports, restraining orders, medical records or other documentation.

Florida Lawmakers Float Measure to Regulate Drones Amid Buzz of Privacy Concerns

| April 14, 2015

The proposals prohibit the use of aerial drones to capture images that could infringe on the privacy of property owners or occupants but also give police some authority to use drones.

Florida Senate Calls For Police Policies on Body Cameras, Addressing Privacy and Data

| April 7, 2015

Body cams are worn by deputies at the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Jim Manfre instituted the practice when he took office in 2013 and has been an ardent defender of the cameras.

24-Hour Waiting Period for Abortion Clears Florida House Panel in Partisan 9-4 Vote

| March 12, 2015

Under the bill, a woman seeking an abortion would be required to meet with a physician to get information and then wait at least 24 hours before the procedure could be performed.

After Spending $300,000 in State Funds, Gov. Scott Quits Fight to Drug-Test Welfare Recipients

| March 6, 2015

The ACLU, which filed the challenge on behalf of single father and Navy veteran Luis Lebron, hailed the end of the drawn-out legal battle over the drug tests, an issue Scott campaigned on during his first bid for governor in 2010.

As FAA Issues Rules, New Palm Coast Drone Company Beguiles Realtors and Others

| February 23, 2015

CAVU Aerial Photography, a drone company in Palm Coast since August, has been showing Realtors, communications companies and others the many uses of drone technology, which is expected to boom with the FAA’s new, more permissive rules.

Is Your Facebook Account Private After You Die? Senate Bill Says Not So Fast.

| February 12, 2015

Florida Sen. Dorothy Hukill wants to permit online account access after an account holder has died. The Act seeks to open the book on our digital lives, even after we have uploaded to the great cloud in the sky, writes Peter Schorsch.

A Strip-Club Sin Tax That Also Takes Names? This Conservative Says No And No.

| February 5, 2015

Florida lawmakers are considering a measure that would charge a $10 surtax on sex-club patrons and require the business to keep a database of customers. Nancy Smith says no.

Education or Exploitation? When a Patient’s Death is Broadcast Without Permission

| January 4, 2015

Ethicists say medical reality shows exploit patients’ pain for public consumption, but their makers argue that they educate viewers and inspire people to choose careers in medicine.

“Personhood” Amendment Crushed Even in the Reddest State, Dealing Blow to Abortion Foes

| November 6, 2014

Two proposed constitutional amendments that would have declared life starting at conception were overwhelmingly defeated in North Dakota and Colorado, with two-thirds of voters opposed.

As Florida Bans Use of Biometric IDs in Schools, Other States Scale Back on Big Brother

| November 2, 2014

Laws cracking down on student-tracking technology reflect a growing sense of unease among parents over how biometrics are being used, what student data is being collected and stored and what security protects the information.

Does Life Begin at Conception? Nation Eyes Referendum That May Set Precedent

| November 1, 2014

The battle over North Dakota’s Measure 1 highlights the biggest trend in national abortion politics this November: wide-ranging pro-life ballot initiatives that would alter state constitutions in ways whose long-term repercussions are difficult to predict.

Florida Supreme Court Rejects Cell-Phone Tracking by Police, Citing Privacy Rights

| October 17, 2014

Justices, in a 5-2 decision, sided with a man who was arrested in 2007 in Broward County after a search of his vehicle uncovered a kilogram brick of cocaine hidden in a spare-tire well. Police tracked the man, Shawn Alvin Tracey, through location information given off when cell-phone calls are made.

FPL’s $13-a-Month Surcharge on Customers Who Refuse Smart Meters Draws Challenges

| October 1, 2014

The dispute involves only a fraction of FPL’s customers, but it is part of a broader controversy in which critics say they worry the new meter technology could pose threats to their privacy or health.

Nursing Home Surveillance: Should You Be Able to Spy On Your Grandma’s Caretakers?

| September 29, 2014

Illinois may be about to join at least four other states that have laws or regulations allowing residents to maintain cameras in nursing home patients’ rooms. Florida is not among them.

Domestic Spying: How Marketers’ Tracking of Your Web History Is Getting Creepier–Offline

| June 15, 2014

Online marketers are increasingly seeking to track users offline, as well, by collecting data about people’s offline habits—such as recent purchases, where you live, how many kids you have, and what kind of car you drive.

0-For-5: In latest Blow to Scott, U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Appeal on Drug-Testing State Workers

| April 21, 2014

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision not to take up the case means that the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling stands: Drug tests can’t be justified constitutionally for many of the 85,000 workers who would have been subject to Scott’s policy. The two sides continue to carry out a painstaking process of looking at different categories of workers to determine whether some could be subject to drug testing — a process stemming from the appeals court ruling.

Abortion Restrictions May Tighten in Florida as “Viability” Bill Diminishing Women’s Rights Moves Forward

| April 8, 2014

Under current law, third-trimester abortions are allowed if they are necessary to save a pregnant woman’s life or preserve her health, The proposals would make that standard more restrictive, and would exclude a woman’s psychological health as a reason to perform an abortion.

Flagler Beach Police Launch Initiatives to Protect Residents and Property, But Public Records Expose Vulnerability

| January 31, 2014

Though the initiatives are very well-meaning, participating residents who want their house watched while they’re away or who live alone and need a daily check-in must fill out detailed applications that reveal a lot of personal information and details about their property. The documents are public records, and may potentially create vulnerabilities for the very residents police are aiming to protect.

In an Unusually Brutal Arrest, a Palm Coast Woman Is Charged With Child Abuse Over Minor Pot Possession

| January 29, 2014

Sophia Zhudro, 30, was parked on a quiet, residential street in Palm Coast’s B-Section when she was detained, then arrested and charged with child abuse because deputies found a small amount of marijuana in her car (near in in the child seat). Zhudro’s traumatized child was forced out of her arms by four deputies and turned over to DCF.

Gov. Scott Now 0-For-4 on Drug-Testing as Federal Judge Harshly Criticizes Violation of Welfare Recipients’ Rights

| January 2, 2014

In a harshly worded, 30-page opinion, the judge concluded that “there is no set of circumstances under which the warrantless, suspicionless drug testing at issue in this case could be constitutionally applied.”



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