Apple and Google should be held accountable for privacy violations.

AuthorSchuster, Steve

Byline: Steve Schuster,

There has certainly been no shortage of media headlines about the National Security Agency's gathering of metadata in the interest of national security and protecting Americans in the wake of Edward Snowden leaking classified documents back in 2013 unveilng the Agency's practices. Collection of metadata has been proven to be among NSA's most useful tools in the war against terrorism.

For months, perhaps even years, headlines circulated about NSA's data controversial collection practices, which in reality have saved millions of Americans lives through the use of legal tools and technology deployed through the use of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

"What we're doing is we're collecting metadata to go after bad guys who use the same devices and the same equipment that we do. They hide amongst us to kill our people. Our job is to stop them without impacting your civil liberties and privacy. And so these programs are set up to do that, and I think I think, from my perspective, we do a good job on it," said General Keith Alexander, director, National Security Agency (NSA) and commander, United States Cyber Command in 2013 at the Aspen Security forum.

According to the National Security Agency, in the U.S. the FISA Court plays an important role in helping to ensure that signals intelligence collection governed by FISA is conducted in conformity with the requirements of the statute.

"All three branches of the U.S. Government have responsibilities for programs conducted under FISA, and a key role of the FISA Court is to ensure that activities conducted pursuant to FISA authorizations are consistent with the statute, as well as the U.S. Constitution, including the Fourth Amendment," NSA officials said.

Metadata, which is basically data about data, is everywhere.

Using the latest Apple iPhone iOS version, if you swipe up on a photo you can see the date and time the photo was taken. If location is enabled, that is also visible, along with the type of camera used to take the photo, the Lense and resolution.

Yet, companies such as Facebook, Google and Apple take much more than just metadata of from American households, sell it for pure profit (not in the interest of our national security) and do so without much government regulation, at least as of the present.

Headlines about the private information that private sector companies compile rarely make headlines.

One such example...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT