Subscribe and listen LIVE every Sunday morning at 8am PACIFIC

New Tests for the Fourth Amendment

Elizabeth Gotein on NSA Surveillance in the Big Data Era

Subscribe at BobZadek.com

Americans have been partially aware of the NSA’s surveillance of the public thanks to whistleblowers like Edward Snowden. But do they know that their own cell phone carriers and beloved apps are often complicit in these constitutionally questionable breaches of privacy?

The Fourth Amendment guarantees “no unreasonable search and seizure,” but this hasn’t stopped government agencies from prying into our vast stores of personal data such as location information, shopping habits, etc. — all in the name of public safety. It should come as little surprise that tech companies do not discriminate against the government when it comes to selling our data to third parties, and this loophole has been exploited by the NSA and other agencies to create a brand new form of crony capitalism.

I was joined by Elizabeth (Liza) Goitein, who co-directs the Brennan Center for Justice’s Liberty & National Security Program and is a Senior Practitioner Fellow at the University of Chicago’s Center for Effective Government. Goitein has written a fascinating and frightening article in the Washington Post revealing how technology has rendered previous Supreme Court decisions protecting our privacy moot.

Can we preserve the Fourth Amendment in an age of mass data collection, or have we become so complacent that we are willing to surrender our privacy to Big Tech operating as a proxy for Big Government? Goitein and I will discuss the implications of a Supreme Court decision that was supposed to make this kind of behavior more difficult, and how Senators like Rand Paul are trying to shore up the abuses in the legislature.

TRANSCRIPT

Bob Zadek 00:17

Liza Goitein has written an article entitled “The Government Can’t Seize Your Digital Data. Except by Buying It.” By buying it and end-running around the Fourth Amendment, is that what’s going on? Yes, my friends, I’m afraid that is what’s going on.

We are going to be discussing the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution in the Bill of Rights. It is, in general, the right to privacy. Much more specifically, it is the right to be secure in your home, in your person, and in your property from unreasonable searches and seizures by the government:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated.”

It goes on to explain that the only way the government can intrude into your right to privacy is by a court order — by an impartial judge allowing it, and even that upon oath or affirmation, by some government official that this is necessary for the administration of justice. These words are important — persons, houses, papers and effects. Four ordinary words — persons, houses, papers and effects.

We will do a deep dive this morning into what those four nouns actually mean because that dictates where you can tell the government, “Butt out. It’s none of your business.” This is a cherished right. Our country and our Constitution protects this right to privacy, this right to be left alone, more so than probably any other Western democracy. We do it the best or at least we try to, but we don’t do it perfectly. To help us understand how the advent of modern technology has compromised this right and has raised very difficult questions for the courts to sort out, I’m happy to welcome to the show Liza Goitein.

Liza is with the Brennan Center for Justice, Liberty, and National Security. She writes extensively on this subject. She has served on the Hill. She was counsel to former Senator Russ Feingold, a special senator, in my opinion. She’s a graduate of Yale Law School, and has also clerked for Judge Michael Daly Hawkins in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Liza will help us understand the intersection between data, big data, new data, complex data, and the Fourth Amendment. Liza, welcome to the show this morning.

Liza Goitein 06:06

Thanks very much. It’s my pleasure to be here.

Introduction to the Fourth Amendment

Bob Zadek 06:09

Every one of our listeners is generally aware of the collection, the commodification, and the sale of data as its own commodity by Big Tech. Data — information about us — is a valuable commodity. There’s probably nothing wrong with that, but the same data in the hands of the government is a different deal.

Help us set the stage. Tell us the story of data collection and the Fourth Amendment. Start with what you and I will refer to as “the good old days” because it’s not that far in the past that the world was a far different place in terms of the government spying on us. Help tell us the story of the growth of big data and the growth of governmental spying as a result.

Liza Goitein 07:39

That’s a long story. Let me just start with what you started with, which is the four things that the Fourth Amendment protects. It protects our persons, our houses, our papers, and our effects. When the Fourth Amendment was passed, that was pretty much the universe of what the government could look at that would violate your privacy, and it’s a lot of what the Fourth Amendment was designed to do.

An interesting fact about the Fourth Amendment that not everybody knows is to protect the First Amendment. It is essentially to protect people’s ability to freely hold the belief that they had, including dissenting beliefs, beliefs that were in opposition to the government without the threat that the government was going to break into their house and look at their papers, and in some way, harass or persecute them because of their political beliefs. Those were things you worried about: your houses, your papers, that kind of thing.

As the universe of information evolved dramatically starting in the last century — and how that information gets out into the world, how that information can be acquired and processed and used by the government — it took the courts a very long time to catch up, and to say that may not be technically a paper or an effect. An effect is hard to define. It is something that gets at the heart of why we have the Fourth Amendment and it needs to be protected.

The most obvious example is telephone calls — your electronic communications. Obviously, there were no electronic communications in the 18th century. There was a property based conception of the Fourth Amendment right up until 1967. The Supreme Court, when it first looked at government surveillance of electronic communications phone calls in 1920, said, “No, the Fourth Amendment doesn’t apply to that. It’s not an intrusion into your house. It’s not an intrusion into your property for the government to put a wiretap on a phone line and pick up your communications.”

It wasn’t until 40 years later that the Supreme Court said, “Oh, no, wait a minute. Yes, that violates a reasonable expectation of privacy.” If it violates a reasonable expectation of privacy, then the Fourth Amendment is implicated.

Today, we are still playing catch up with new technologies. It wasn’t until 2018 that the Supreme Court said that your location information is covered by the Fourth Amendment. Now, that may seem a little weird if you’re outside and out and about in the world that information about wherever you’re standing at any given moment could be protected by the Fourth Amendment. If you think about it, your cell phone is constantly reaching out to cell phone towers nearby and signaling your location constantly, whether you’re on the phone or not.

That’s the first thing — that you have all those data points that you’re putting out there without even knowing it. Here’s the second technological issue: If the government can collect all those data points, then the government can send those data points through incredibly sophisticated computer algorithms, computer programs that can sift through that data, then those programs can piece together incredibly sensitive information about you, including your associations, your activities, your political affiliations, your religious beliefs. It’s really remarkable what can be learned about you from that information.

Reasonable Expectation of Privacy and the Race Between Law and Technology

Bob Zadek 11:54

I want to make sure our listeners appreciate the importance of the phrase “reasonable expectation of privacy.” The courts will ask themselves whether the average American reasonably expects that the government not have access to certain information. It is private. This is a moving target, the reasonable expectation of privacy. Collectively, what is reasonable?

It is a fair prediction that technology will always outpace the law. The law is always catching up and will never catch up. It cannot. The law simply has to adjust. A lot of what Liza is talking about is going to be the attempt by the Courts and the legislature to catch up with technology and to apply principles and the words that may perhaps made sense in 1787 and 1786, but are difficult to apply to today’s technology.

Liza Goitein 14:10

I think one of the issues is a combination of two things you just said, a reasonable expectation of privacy, then you add on to that the lag time that it takes for the courts to resolve these issues. The reasonable expectation of privacy test is a very problematic test because what that means becomes very subjective in the minds of the judge. Part of the problem is that to the extent you are looking at the public and what the average person in the public expects, if the court starts looking at the case 10 years after the government has started collecting this data in bulk or whatever the data may be, there has been 10 years of this common practice of your data being available to the government. At that point, nobody expects that data to be private anymore because for 10 years it hasn’t been private. At that point, the court is more likely to say, “You don’t have a reasonable expectation of privacy because this stuff is used by the government all the time.” That is just circular. It’s a result of this problematic lag time with the courts.

Congress should be acting more quickly than the courts to respond to these challenges. Congress can implement a standard that’s different, at least that’s higher than reasonable expectation of privacy. We all know what some of the problems there are. In order to stop playing catch up all of the time, what needs to happen is for Congress to enact legislation that has basic principles in it. These need to be principles that can withstand changes in technology. We can’t just have a whole piecemeal system with every individual technology being addressed by a different law. That’s not the answer. We need to come up with some better overall statutory safeguards by Congress for Americans’ privacy.

Bob Zadek 16:22

I’d like to distinguish the collection of data by the government — and you and I can discuss whether the mere collection is itself somehow harmful to the democratic process — and the effect upon behavior that we are concerned about. If that has a chilling effect upon what we think, what we say, how we express an opinion, and what our conscience is, that is the death of democracy. If it was just collection, like collecting coins and collecting artwork, and nothing more, we wouldn’t be having the conversation. If the government was in the hobby of collecting buying habits, who cares? It is the chilling effect.

I don’t care if the government knows what I purchased on Amazon, except to the extent that I fear that the government might misuse that data. Therefore, I might not make the very same honest legitimate purchase, which means the government’s use of data has a chilling effect upon my lawful behavior. It is the latter that I think is very important because democracy hangs in the balance, not the mere collection. Any thoughts on that? Can we just accept that?

Liza Goitein 18:28

Yes, if the government collected your data and literally never looked at it — just put it in a box and then threw it away after a few years and had no plans to do anything with it — we wouldn’t have any concerns. Nobody collects anything to never look at it and never do anything with it. That includes stamp collections or anything else. Obviously, the government has stuff it wants to do with the data. Unfortunately, for some of those things that it wants to do, the data might be legitimate things that we want the government to be able to do when it comes to law enforcement. Unfortunately, if you take the position that the government can collect everything, and that’s not a problem, then we’ll just put in protections on the back end for what the government can actually do with it, those don’t work. We have seen it a million times in a million different ways that when you let the government collect everything and then you say, “You can’t look at it unless you meet this and this and this standard, and you can only look at it for this purpose,” it doesn’t matter. They just look at it, and they use it for how they want to use it.

There are more case examples of that than I can count.

You have these massive government databases of sensitive information just sitting there. They’re vulnerable to being hacked by all kinds of different actors who can then get that information and use it. Even if the government never did anything wrong, the mere act of collection and the potential for that very sensitive information about you to be used in a way that it shouldn’t be used has a chilling effect. We have really seen this. We’ve written about this. After Edward Snowden revealed in 2013 the NSA’s spying activities, Americans’ search habits on Google and search engines changed measurably. It was studied and shown that there was a measurable drop in the use of search terms that were considered government sensitive — people googling “CIA”, for example, and things like abortion or that kind of thing.

It was clear that people were worried that they were going to trigger some kind of surveillance to these sorts of government search terms.

We saw that when the NYPD was infiltrating mosques and Muslim student organizations and that came out, there was a drop in participation. There was a drop in participation in student associations, a drop in attendance at mosques — tragic outcomes because people were worried about what might happen. That chilling effect you’re talking about is not hypothetical. It’s real. It has been measured. So we have to worry about collection because that’s what enables all the problems. That’s what causes the chilling effect.

Changes in Privacy Since 9/11

Bob Zadek 21:44

You have highlighted the events on 9/11 as a bit of a game changer, not profoundly but certainly things pre-9/11 and post-9/11 from the data collection and data use standpoint of the government changed dramatically. Outline for us of those changes not because the changes themselves mean a lot but because it shows how strong government policy can be, and the powers the government can find under the cover of an existential threat. Tell us a story in brief about the pre- and post-9/11 world from a privacy standpoint.

Liza Goitein 22:40

I would say that the changes after 9/11 were profound. I think they were incredibly consequential. These were changes in the law. In order to put them in context, I have to go back further than the immediate pre-9/11. I have to talk about the early decades of the Cold War when the government spying domestically on law-abiding American citizens was rampant. At the time, there were very few legal limits on government surveillance, particularly in the national security space. The NSA is the National Security Agency, and it’s a part of the Department of Defense. It should have no business spying on Americans. It should be focused outward. The NSA, the CIA, also with no legitimate domestic role, and the FBI were all spying on anti-war protesters. During Vietnam, they were spying on social justice movements, racial justice movements. Most notoriously, the FBI spied on Martin Luther King, Jr. and tried to discredit him with private information that the FBI found. Essentially, it was a free-for-all spying on people based on their political, ideological, racial characteristics. This all came out in the 1970s. When it came out, it came out through an investigation by a special committee in the Senate, the Church Committee. When it came out, the response from Congress and from government agencies was to implement a whole range of new laws and policies to restrain government spying domestically.

The principle that you saw in all of these laws and policies was the same. It was the principle that law enforcement and intelligence agencies could not collect personal information about Americans unless they had some level of individualized fact-based suspicion of wrongdoing. They had to have some factual reason to believe that that person was involved in some kind of criminal or other bad activity. That was the standard for 30 years. It didn’t work perfectly, but it helped a lot in terms of limiting some of the abuses that had been happening in the decades previous.

Then came 9/11. What happened after 9/11 is that Congress and government agencies have moved as quickly as they could to relax all of the limitations that have been put into the laws and policies and to make it easier for the government to collect information about Americans without any individualized fact-based suspicion of wrongdoing. In some cases, the government was able to collect information without any reason to suspect wrongdoing.

I just want to point out that this was not responsive to 9/11 in the sense that the 9/11 Commission found fault with a lot of things that the US government did leading up to 9/11. It never said, “We need to be able to collect more information about Americans with less reason to suspect them.” That was not a recommendation. It wasn’t needed. It hasn’t helped. All it has done is to create this incredible deluge of information that has just made it harder for the government to pick out the actual threats from the noise of all the irrelevant data. That is a story of 9/11 and how it changed the law. Almost any relevant law you can think of or policy you can think of was changed after 9/11.

The Problem with Mass Surveillance

Bob Zadek 26:49

I’m glad that you emphasized by changing your tone, individualized as opposed to group surveillance. The government has said, “This person is a Muslim. Until we can sort out which are the bad Muslims, if any, we have to collect data on all of them.” No, you don’t because the Fourth Amendment makes it clear. It has to be specific. The sworn affirmation mentioned in the Fourth Amendment is about this person. Obviously, the mass collection of data is mass collection of data. It’s not individualized. That writes part of the Fourth Amendment out of the Constitution. I just wanted the audience not to miss your appropriate emphasis on individualization because if you want to know in total in one sentence, what’s wrong with that collection of data, it’s ignoring the concept of individualization because the group has a lot of individuals.

Liza Goitein 28:06

Can I give you the best example of how a change in the law removed the individualized component and what happened after that? This relates to the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of Americans telephone records. Before 9/11, if the government wanted to get Americans telephone records, under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance law, which is what it was using, it had to show to a court that the person that it wanted to collect information about was a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power. Under the definitions in the law, if you’re an American and you’re an agent of a foreign power under this law, it basically means you’re committing a crime. It basically means you’re conducting espionage. They had to show that to the court. They didn’t have to show probable cause, but they had to show that they had reasonable grounds to believe that you were doing these bad things, specifically individually.

After 9/11, that standard was changed. So all the government had to show was that the information was somehow relevant to an investigation that it was doing. It was just a standard of relevance, which doesn’t necessarily mean that the subject of those records themselves is suspected of anything. Under this relevant standard, the government decided that Americans’ phone records — these are records of who you call when you call them and how long you speak to them — were relevant to counterterrorism investigations broadly and that all of these counterterrorism investigations would benefit by collecting all Americans telephone records indiscriminately. It’s what they call bulk collection without any attempt to differentiate between who was being collected on. They were just vacuumed in.

The theory was that even though the vast majority of these records were not, in fact, going to be relevant to any counterterrorism investigation, they could still say that the entire pool was relevant because there would probably be some relevant records buried within them. And the only way to find the relevant records was to collect all of the irrelevant ones. Based on that interpretation of relevance, the NSA started its bulk collection of Americans’ phone records. That program has ended. It stopped. Congress ended it. We’ve had a lot of studies of that program. Guess how useful it was? It wasn’t useful at all. Predictively, it is not how you find terrorists — by just collecting everything and hoping that something is going to stand out. Over the course of time that this program existed, it had extremely little counterterrorism benefit, while at the same time, collecting billions of law-abiding Americans records was just an incredible intrusion into our collective privacy. I think that is, in some ways, the best example of that phenomenon we were just talking about.

The New Threat to the Fourth Amendment

Bob Zadek 31:33

It just feels wrong for the government to be collecting data about you just in case or on the basis of almost no standard. Intuitively, it’s in our DNA that that has to be violative of the Fourth Amendment. Now we have the backdrop of the government trying to use its powers to collect data and Congress attempting to impose some limitations on that power. We get to the article you wrote, which brought this all to my attention, which is “The Government Can’t Seize Your Digital Data. Except by Buying It.” Tell us what prompted you to write the article and why you felt it was important to call this specific transaction to the attention of your readers.

Liza Goitein 32:50

I wrote the article because over the last year, there have been several investigative reports that found out that government agencies — the IRS, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Department of Defense — had been buying these databases of cell phone location information that included Americans’ information, so that they could use them for whatever purposes. We don’t even know because all of this had been done very secretly and was only exposed by investigative reporting.

The government should not have been able to do this for two reasons. The first reason is that in 2018, as I mentioned before, the Supreme Court held that this kind of information — your location information — is so sensitive that the government should need to get a warrant in order to compel a company that holds that information to give it to the government. That’s what the Supreme Court said in 2018. At the same time, long before that, dating back to 1986, Congress had passed a law that said that telephone companies and certain other providers of communications services and computing services cannot voluntarily give customer information to government agencies with a few exceptions. For both of those reasons, it seems that, legally, the government should not be able to get this very sensitive data.

Because the law that Congress passed was passed back in the 80s and hasn’t really been meaningfully updated since then, it doesn’t apply to most of the apps that exist today because they don’t qualify under the definitions in the statute. It doesn’t apply to digital data brokers that the phone company can sell the data to and that the digital data broker can just turn around and sell it to the government. They can basically just launder this data through a middleman. That’s because this law is so old that nobody was thinking about digital data brokers or app developers. They’re just not covered. There’s this huge loophole in the law.

You might say, “Still, the Supreme Court has said that the government needs a warrant. How can they get away with this? How can they get this even from the data broker? How can they get this information without a warrant?” The answer is that the government has taken the position that the Supreme Court’s ruling only applies when the government forces a company to turn over the data. As long as the company’s willing to sell it to the government, then the government doesn’t need to get a warrant, which is an extremely dubious and self-serving reading of the Supreme Court’s opinion. It will take years for the Supreme Court to get back to this if it does. In the meantime, unless Congress acts, unless we see state legislators acting, this practice will continue. We’re talking about huge databases of information. The Supreme Court has said the government should have to have a warrant to get it. Instead of a warrant the government is just throwing cash at the problem.

Bob Zadek 36:38

It shouldn’t be that the government can buy data, which will intrude upon people’s privacy. I’m going to make an absurd analogy. Liz, you and I are lawyers. We often argue and reason by analogy, and that’s what I’m going to be doing. Please forgive the banality of my analogy. Should the government be prohibited from buying binoculars because they might use those binoculars improperly to spy without a warrant upon individuals? Tell me why it’s okay for the government to buy binoculars, which it might misuse or not, but it’s not okay for the government to buy data, which it might misuse or not?

Liza Goitein 38:03

The Supreme Court has not said that a warrant is required in order to misuse data, to misuse your personal information. The Supreme Court has said that this information is so private that the government needs a warrant to collect it. It is a privacy intrusion for the government to collect this information without a warrant. It’s not a question of “could the government use this information in a way that would be proper?” — the warrant requirement. Nobody says the government doesn’t need a warrant to go into your house as long as once they go into your house and search around, they only see something that looks like evidence of a crime, and they only use it to prosecute you in court. That’s not the point. The point is they need a warrant to go in the door. Whether the government is going to use this data correctly or misuse it really isn’t the point there. They are buying their way around the warrant requirement that applies just to get the data. In that sense, I think the analogy breaks down.

Let’s just talk about what you can see with binoculars. I suppose you could look into somebody’s house with binoculars. If they’ve left their window open, that’s not considered a Fourth Amendment issue. There’s not a lot of Fourth Amendment implications there. The police could use the binoculars outside to look closer at somebody who’s outside — not a huge intrusion on what we might think of as a reasonable expectation of privacy, acknowledging the problems with that standard. What we’re talking about, this geolocation information is a comprehensive record of everywhere you have been day in, day out stretching back months, potentially years. This is a historical and ongoing record of your precise whereabouts that can be used to determine some of the most sensitive possible information about you. The government should need a warrant to collect it, and it shouldn’t be able to just buy his way around that requirement.

On Cancel Culture and Misuse of Public Data

Bob Zadek 40:22

I couldn’t agree more with the principle. I’m all-in on the thesis of your article. What I found myself thinking about in a parallel line of communication or line of thought is what’s going on today with the so-called cancel culture where information the same kind of data that’s publicly available if you drill down, whether you have to buy it or you can just find it — how the cancel culture crowd will misuse in a way publicly available data to profoundly harm the victims. They do that by finding this data — some embarrassing thing, conclusions one can draw about geolocation of where you are. You know that kind of information.

I find the damage is different. The government carries guns. They can take away our liberty and take away our life. Government is different. I would say, my goodness, the private sector also misuses data, which is the same. It has the same chilling effect. If you’re a college student now, and you’re ambitious — you are planning on being in public life, in politics — you now, as a youngster, would think twice, perhaps if you’re mature enough, as to what you put in social media for fear that it will come back to haunt you in later life. I agree with you that by the government doing it, it has a chilling effect. If you want to see the chilling effect, just look at what’s happening in the private sector, and multiply that by some factor. That’s what the government could do with the data.

Liza Goitein 42:47

I think you’re conflating a couple of very different things. You do have a point in there for sure. I want to get to that. First, let me just separate out those things, which is the issue of what you put on social media, and what could happen in terms of cancel culture. That’s different because what you put up on social media, you put up on social media completely voluntarily to make it public in general. That is not the case when you don’t deliberately make public your location information where you are all day, every day over the course of months. It’s also different because the kinds of people who are engaged in what you refer to as “cancel culture” are not people who are going to be buying massive amounts of data.

This cell phone location information is sold in these huge databases to wealthy buyers, who have the technology to run the algorithms to figure out what it is they’re trying to figure out. That’s not going to be people who are going to engage in a campaign of trying to cancel somebody who said something that people don’t like on social media. That’s a whole different thing. If you’re talking about the fact that digital data brokers and app developers can also sell your data to marketers, and private entities that do have the wherewithal to purchase these databases and use them, I don’t know that. I don’t think that causes a chilling effect. It doesn’t seem to cause a chilling effect to the fact that marketers and private entities have access to this data. I do think it’s very problematic. I do think that we need stronger legal protections against sales or disclosures to private entities of this personal information.

I don’t think that app developers should freely be able to sell your geolocation information to data brokers at all. I think there should be restrictions on that as well. I think the analogy isn’t directly comparable between your data being sold to marketers and your data being sold to the government. Marketers who are targeting you, they want to sell you things. That’s annoying. They want to sell you things. They want to make money off of you.

The government has the power to put you in jail. Even if you are an American citizen, if you are overseas, our government claims the power to gather information, and use it to engage in targeted killing if they think they’ve met whatever internal standards they have. The government has these tremendous coercive powers over the individual that the private sector does not have. The government also has the incentive and the ability to target, harass, and persecute someone based on their ideology whereas the private sector is just trying to make money. It doesn’t help them to make money to persecute people based on their politics or their race. The harms that can come from government access to this kind of information are different in kind than the harms that we worry about from disclosure. I want to help Americans have better privacy rights. These are the private sector vis-à-vis the government. I think that’s really important.

How to Improve the Pending Legislation

Bob Zadek 46:54

In your article, you aspire to legislation that would help alleviate or diminish this problem. Tell us what your ideal legislation would be like. You mentioned in your piece that there is some legislation being sponsored. Tell us what the pending legislation is, and how it doesn’t go far enough. The reason I want to do that is not because we are having a conference now rewriting draft legislation, but in your analysis of what’s wrong with it. Our listeners will understand the problem a bit better.

Liza Goitein 47:55

The legislation is called The Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale Act. It would prohibit law enforcement and intelligence agencies — not public health agencies, for example, or not education agencies — from purchasing or essentially exchanging for value this type of information that we’re talking about. It would include geolocation information. It would certainly include communications content. It would include all of the things that currently telephone companies are not allowed to sell to the government under statutory law. I think that is a really good start. It captures a lot of the problems we have. I did mention that it allows public health agencies and other agencies to collect the data, but it prohibits those agencies from sharing the data with law enforcement and intelligence agencies. Those are the agencies that were really concerned about how they might misuse the data.

Bob Zadek 49:29

In what ways it doesn’t go far enough?

Liza Goitein 49:32

It doesn’t prohibit voluntary disclosures without payment of this data to the government. I think the reason it doesn’t is because the whole idea is that the business model is to sell this information. That’s what we’re worried about. That’s what happens. There are plenty of reasons why a company might actually just give information to the government. They might be trying to curry favor to get another contract or a contract for some other kind of data arrangement with the government. They might be trying to avoid regulations to try to get on the good side of the government to avoid any other legislation or regulation. We think it’s important to also make clear that it’s not just the sale of data, it’s the disclosure under any circumstances. This kind of personal data requires a court order, requires a legal process, It can’t just be done either voluntarily or for money.

Bob Zadek 50:44

Please follow Liza Goitein’s work at the Brennan Center. She writes frequently and with great thought. She’s wonderful to follow. If you have enjoyed this podcast please indicate that with lots of stars and any comments you have — suggestions on how to make the podcast better and better as the weeks go by. They are gratefully appreciated.

LINKS:

RELATED SHOWS:

--

--

http://bobzadek.com • host of The Bob Zadek Show on 860AM – The Answer.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store