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In this issue

Take Back Your Privacy with CDT


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Consumer privacy has been a hot topic in recent weeks. Whether it’s mobile location, high-speed broadband or even the electrical grid, privacy issues abound, and CDT has been working hard to ensure that strong privacy protections are built into the latest technologies affecting our lives.

Advocating for Smart Grid Privacy

Sweeping efforts are underway to make the electric power grid “smarter,” with potential improvements in efficiency, reliability, cost and environmental impact. One element of this nationwide initiative is the installation of “Smart Meters,” which will collect and transmit granular and nearly real-time data on home energy usage. Such data is expected to support a proliferation of services for home energy management, but, at the same time, it will reveal intimate details of home life – when you are cooking, when you are on vacation, and when you have guests. With the assistance of UC Berkeley’s Samuelson law clinic, CDT has been raising privacy concerns – and advocating adoption of a workable privacy protection framework -- in forums that are developing policy for the Smart Grid, including the FCC, NIST and the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy. Most recently, we contributed comments and testimony in California, calling on the Public Utilities Commission to adopt the Fair Information Practice principles for the quickly emerging Smart Grid.

FCC Releases National Broadband Plan

On March 16, the Federal Communications Commission released its long-awaited national broadband plan. As CDT’s Erica Newland explains, the plan details the privacy concerns that must be addressed as education, health care, voting, and energy move online, and emphasizes the importance of integrating privacy protections into the adoption of these services. Another interesting thread that runs through the plan is the importance of secure, trusted authentication for innovative online technologies. As Heather West noted, the plan recommends specific steps to spur the growth of a marketplace for trusted identity providers that will help consumers manage their data.


CDT was at South by Southwest this year, introducing our work to new audiences and soaking up the latest on social media and advocacy. Adam Rosenberg and Cyrus Nemati immersed themselves in all things location-enabled (to the point of complete overload). They offer their take-aways on free expression,, behavioral advertising and open government. Check out the full wrap-up of CDT at SXSW.

More from CDT's PolicyBeta Blog

Brock Meeks responds to the EU Parliament’s call for an end to the secrecy surrounding negotiations on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.

Emma Llanso reports on Maine’s movement towards repeal of the controversial marketing-to-minors legislation, adopted last fall.

Alissa Cooper analyzes the potential privacy implications for location information sharing through Facebook.

CDT’s Tech Policy Download is a bi-weekly e-newsletter published by the Center for Democracy and Technology. To unsubscribe, click the following link. Unsubscribe

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