Loss of Privacy

Keeping you informed on recent losses to privacy and civil rights worldwide.

Each of the records, which are gathered by license plate cameras mounted on police cars or at fixed locations, includes a photograph and the time and place that a particular vehicle was imaged. Strung together, the records can paint a picture of where a person has traveled — whether to the scene of a crime, a doctor’s office or to church.

The system can instantly alert patrol officers of a “hit” on a stolen car or, more often, a vehicle whose registration has lapsed and is ripe for ticketing. Stored records also can be accessed later as part of criminal investigations.

Records used for those purposes, though, constitute only a small fraction of all the data being saved. The vast majority of the vehicles tracked in the license-plate data were driven not by scofflaws or criminals but by innocent citizens who happen to be photographed driving to work or while running errands.

And least nine of New York’s most populous counties — Monroe, Erie, Onondaga, Albany, Broome, Westchester, Suffolk and Nassau — are now engaged in long-term storage of these records.

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Have you ever been confused about whether or not you can use a photo you find on the Internet? The Visual Communication Guy has made a handy flow chart infographic to help you out.

I created the guide below to help sift through the complexity of it all. The reality is, though, as long as you become familiar with four terms–copyright, fair use, creative commons, and public domain–you’ll have a pretty good idea what you can and can’t do with images. If it’s all new to you, spend most of your time learning the fair use clauses. That’s where the ambiguity in copyright laws exist. As with most laws, the ambiguity is for our benefit, but it sure can make copyright laws fuzzy at times.

My rule above all else? Ask permission to use all images. If in doubt, don’t use the image!

Infographic_CanIUseThatPicture

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Privacy watchdogs are in uproar following revelations the U.S. government may have been behind a recent Facebook experiment. Marina Portnaya reports.

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I’ll spend whatever it takes to keep my donor’s bottom line safe.

My name is Gil Fulbright, honest politician, and I’m only in this thing for the money. I’m running for Kentucky Senate against Mitch McConnell and Alison Lundergan Grimes to bring a little honesty to the most expensive Senate race in the history of the United States.

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