States Rally Behind Alabama's Lawsuit Against Census Bureau's Use of Differential Privacy

April 2021

According to The Associated Press, sixteen states have jointly filed a brief in support of Alabama's lawsuit challenging the U.S. Census Bureau's implementation of differential privacy. This statistical method involves introducing intentional errors into data to safeguard individuals' privacy, and it is intended for use in the redrawing of congressional and legislative seats. However, the brief argues that alternative privacy-preserving methods could be employed instead. It further contends that the deliberate introduction of false information through differential privacy hinders states from accessing vital municipal-level data necessary for performing essential government functions.

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Proposed Facial Recognition Bills Introduced in Maryland and Alabama

February 2021

Maryland Senator Charles Sydnor, representing Baltimore County, has put forth the Facial Recognition Privacy Protection Act, aiming to regulate the government's utilization of facial recognition services. This proposed bill includes provisions such as the requirement of accountability reports on facial recognition usage, restrictions on specific purposes for which facial recognition can be employed, and the mandate of disclosing its usage.

In a parallel development, Alabama Senator Arthur Orr, from Decatur, has introduced a bill that would prohibit law enforcement agencies from conducting ongoing surveillance through facial recognition technology. Additionally, the bill would prevent the use of facial recognition results as the sole basis for arrest or establishing probable cause. These measures aim to address concerns surrounding the potential misuse and overreliance on facial recognition technology in law enforcement activities.

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Privacy Concerns Surround Alabama's Crimson Tide Loyalty App

September 2019

According to The New York Times, privacy concerns have emerged regarding a loyalty app implemented to encourage student attendance throughout Alabama Crimson Tide games. The Tide Loyalty Points app awards points to students who attend the games, with additional points granted to those who remain until the conclusion. To track the students' presence within the football stadium, the app utilizes location-tracking technology.

Alabama's athletic director initially indicated that privacy concerns were not raised during discussions with other departments and student groups regarding the program. However, privacy advocates argue that it is inappropriate to provide incentives to students in exchange for surrendering their privacy.

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Alabama Recognizes PLS Certification for Privacy Law Specialists

December 2018

According to, the Alabama Bar Association has officially approved the Privacy Law Specialist (PLS) certification, which is administered by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) and accredited by the American Bar Association. This certification marks the ninth specialty designation recognized in the state. J. Trevor Hughes, CIPP, President, and CEO of the IAPP, emphasized the increasing importance of legal teams being well-versed in the rapidly evolving field of privacy law. The PLS designation showcases each lawyer's qualifications to remain at the forefront of this legal domain and enables them to join other leaders at the crucial intersection of policy, law, and technology.

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Alabama Establishes Cybersecurity Operations Center and Promotes Awareness

October 2018

Alabama has established its first cybersecurity operations center to enhance detection and response to network threats, as announced by Governor Kay Ivey. The state has also launched a website to educate the public about cybersecurity. In addition, the Department of Justice's Cybersecurity Unit has issued updated best practices for cyber incident response and reporting. National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, starting in October, will focus on different themes each week to promote cybersecurity awareness.

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