WBEZ | privacy http://www.wbez.org/tags/privacy Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Lawsuit challenges transgender locker room access at Planet Fitness http://www.wbez.org/news/lawsuit-challenges-transgender-locker-room-access-planet-fitness-113231 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/15844192161_a7fe99139b_k.jpg" style="height: 407px; width: 610px;" title="A sign over a Planet Fitness workout space touts &quot;no critics&quot;. The gym chain is at the center of a string of debates around policies to guard transgender people against discrimination. (flickr/ Peter Hale)" /></div><p>The gym chain Planet Fitness has found&nbsp;itself in the middle of a national debate over how to accommodate transgender people in single-sex spaces like bathrooms and locker rooms.</p><p>Earlier this year, Yvette Cormier complained to her gym in Midland, Michigan, after seeing a transgender woman in the women&rsquo;s locker room. Cormier took it upon herself to &ldquo;warn&rdquo; other customers of the transgender-friendly policy. The gym canceled her membership, and now she&rsquo;s suing.</p><p>On Monday,&nbsp;<a href="https://hereandnow.wbur.org/2015/10/05/gym-locker-rooms-transgender" target="_blank">we heard from two professors</a>&nbsp;who framed the issue&nbsp;as a new frontier for civil rights. But others say it&rsquo;s an entirely different issue and that transgender-friendly locker room policies are risky and misguided.</p><p><em>Here &amp; Now&#39;s</em> Jeremy Hobson speaks with&nbsp;David Kallman, an attorney whose firm is representing Cormier in her lawsuit against Planet Fitness.</p><hr /><h3><strong>Interview Highlights: David Kallman</strong></h3><p><strong>On Yvette Cormier&rsquo;s case against Planet Fitness</strong></p><p>&ldquo;The case is simply about the expectation of privacy that all people have in bathrooms, in locker rooms, and men&rsquo;s rooms and women&rsquo;s rooms. And essentially this case involves Planet Fitness, which has an unwritten policy that we believe creates a hostile sexual environment for women and children and it&rsquo;s essentially putting political correctness above common sense and common decency, so that&rsquo;s what the case is about. The lawsuit itself involves, like you say, invasion of privacy counts, breach of contract because there was no notification prior to our client signing up that this was their policy, and various violations under our state&rsquo;s civil rights law.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Does a person have a right to define whether they are a man or woman and then use the locker room that corresponds with this?</strong></p><p>&ldquo;That&rsquo;s a great question because I think that&rsquo;s a misconception about what this lawsuit&rsquo;s about. We&rsquo;re not attacking transgender people. We&rsquo;re not saying they don&rsquo;t have the right to self-identify however they want. I mean, I may disagree with it or whatever, but that&rsquo;s not the issue. The issue here is where now it&rsquo;s bleeding over into other areas of privacy and other rights that other folks have and the expectation that that has to be accepted in all circumstances. And I think, again, that there are lines that society can draw, and there&rsquo;s lines of common sense and common decency that, for example, biological men should not be allowed to undress and shower with women and 13-year-old girls &ndash; which would be the Planet Fitness situation &ndash; and impose their self-identification on other people. They&rsquo;re the ones doing the imposing here. So this is not an attack on that person, you know, that they don&rsquo;t have the right to make that choice for themselves. They can obviously choose to live their life how they see best, you know, what&rsquo;s best for them.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>On the comparison of&nbsp;transgender rights to those of people who are disabled or people of color</strong></p><p>&ldquo;Well, I don&rsquo;t think the comparison is valid at all. A disabled person is disabled, they&rsquo;re not transitioning to anything. An African-American is African-American, they&rsquo;re not transitioning to anything. And so what we have here is a situation where it&rsquo;s a biological man, OK, who&rsquo;s saying &lsquo;I have the right to impose myself on you in a women&rsquo;s locker room.&rsquo; That is not the same. You&rsquo;re not comparing apples to apples&hellip; They may see themselves as a woman, but other people don&rsquo;t at that point. And again, you know, you&rsquo;re asking individuals &ndash; this type of argument is so ripe for abuse. How are you going to determine if somebody is sincere in what they&rsquo;re doing at this point, or that they&rsquo;re actually on this journey or road to transition? How do you do that? I mean, this is so ripe for abuse, for somebody to just come in and say &lsquo;Oh, I&rsquo;m transitioning. I feel like I&rsquo;m a transgender person. I&rsquo;m gonna go in, use the women&rsquo;s locker room.&rsquo; And then bad things happen. This is possible under these kinds of policies, in fact, I&rsquo;m sure will happen. And I&rsquo;m not saying that about the person who&rsquo;s transgender, who&rsquo;s legitimately on that road, OK? I&rsquo;m talking about these policies are ripe for abuse by other people with more nefarious intentions.&rdquo;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP_833910851408.jpg" style="height: 357px; width: 310px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; float: right;" title="This Tuesday Aug. 25, 2015 photo shows Gavin Grimm standing on his front porch during an interview at his home in Gloucester, Va. Grimm is a transgender student whose demand to use the boys' restrooms has divided the community and prompted a lawsuit. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)" /></p><p><strong>What if a person transitioning from male to female doesn&rsquo;t feel comfortable in the men&rsquo;s locker room?</strong></p><p>&ldquo;Well, and lots of other people don&rsquo;t feel comfortable the other way. So we&rsquo;re talking about here &ndash; we&rsquo;re trying to accommodate these differences here, OK, and do it in a way that it&rsquo;s not subjecting other people to unwanted situations that they don&rsquo;t want to be in these locker rooms and showers. But back to your question, you know, is there some way to maybe have, you know, for lack of a better term, separate but equal. I mean I think that&rsquo;s always been shot down, and if you&rsquo;re talking in civil rights issues. But to have a locker room where maybe there&rsquo;s individual stalls or lockers with a shower or something that does not subject other people from either side to anyone being offended by them being present or that sort of thing. I mean, there may be some ways to do that. But the bottom line here is, I don&rsquo;t think the vast majority of people in America believe that it&rsquo;s appropriate for a women&rsquo;s locker room for a man, who is a man biologically, to simply be able to say &lsquo;I&rsquo;m transitioning and I get to come into this locker room and you have to put up with it.&rsquo; You know, call me old fashioned, you can say whatever. I don&rsquo;t think America as a whole is anywhere near that, and I don&rsquo;t think that imposing their moral viewpoint on the rest of us is appropriate either. So I&rsquo;m open to discussions of having some way to accommodate. I think that&rsquo;s a legitimate rational discussion, but that&rsquo;s where we&rsquo;re at.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>On Yvette Cormier returning to the gym three days in a row to warn about a &ldquo;man&rdquo; in the locker room</strong></p><p>&ldquo;She wasn&rsquo;t running around yelling, screaming, harassing people, that sort of thing. She was simply &ndash; in the conversations that people have at gyms and talking with people that they know there &ndash; was letting other women know, who had no idea that this was Plant Fitness&rsquo;s policy, letting them know that they were allowing biological men into the women&rsquo;s locker room and that they should be aware of that. That&rsquo;s all she was doing was letting people know that. And if this is a policy that Planet Fitness is so proud of and that they feel is appropriate, why would they be concerned that she&rsquo;s letting the patrons of Planet Fitness know about the policy? I mean, why does that bother them? I would think they would welcome that.&rdquo;</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2015/10/07/transgender-locker-room-lawsuit" target="_blank"><em>via Here &amp; Now</em></a></p></p> Wed, 07 Oct 2015 16:14:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/lawsuit-challenges-transgender-locker-room-access-planet-fitness-113231 Lawsuit seeks information on alleged CPD spying http://www.wbez.org/news/lawsuit-seeks-information-alleged-cpd-spying-111202 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/sskc.PNG" alt="" /><p><p>Activists say the Chicago Police Department is monitoring their cell phones at protests, and they are trying to use a lawsuit to prove it.</p><p>At issue are cell-phone interceptors called stingrays. These force mobile phones to communicate with them by mimicking a cell tower. For years, Chicago police denied owning any of these stingrays, but a 2014 lawsuit forced the department to turn over records proving the department had purchased several of them.</p><p>Government transparency attorney Matt Topic was the lead attorney on that case.</p><p>&ldquo;Once the stingray has tricked phones in the vicinity into thinking it&rsquo;s talking to a cell tower when it&rsquo;s actually talking to the police,&quot; Topic said. &quot;It can force the phones to broadcast to the police things like &hellip; the call logs and many think these can actually be used to intercept the content of the communications themselves.&rdquo;</p><blockquote><p><strong>Related: <a href="http://www.wbez.org/www.wbez.org/news/who-polices-police-chicago-its-increasingly-ex-cops-111194" target="_blank">Who polices the police? In Chicago, it&#39;s mostly ex-cops</a></strong></p></blockquote><p>Topic, who is an attorney at Chicago firm Loevy and Loevy, says because the interceptor mimics a cell tower it can only work within a certain radius.</p><p>&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t know what that radius is, but I believe it&rsquo;s a large enough radius that if the police department put one of these devices into a truck or into a car and drove it up next to a reasonably sized protest, they could certainly secretly obtain a lot of information from protesters who are there.&rdquo;</p><p>Topic says it is a reasonable concern that the Chicago Police Department may be using these stingrays to get information during demonstrations. He pointed to a post by the hacker group Anonymous of a recording allegedly taken from the Chicago police scanner. In the recording a man, who Anonymous says is a Chicago police officer, asks if the department is monitoring a protest organizer&rsquo;s cell phone conversation.</p><p>That recording, and pictures of an Office of Emergency Management and Communication vehicle allegedly following marchers, has sparked several allegations of police spying.</p><blockquote><p><strong>Related: <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-protestors-focus-future-111201" target="_blank">From pulpits to protests, Chicago clergy lead demonstrations</a></strong></p></blockquote><p>An OEMC spokeswoman says the SVU that has raised demonstrators&rsquo; suspicious is a vehicle equipped with mobile field cameras the city uses often in planned and unplanned large scale events and that it&rsquo;s nothing more. She says it does not have any sort of spying or monitoring capabilities beyond the ability to shoot video.</p><p>And a Chicago Police Department spokesman says the department hasn&rsquo;t used the stingrays during demonstrations.</p><p>But Ed Yohnka with the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois says that isn&rsquo;t good enough. Yohnka says the department refuses to admit how they are using the stingrays, which naturally leads people to be suspicious.</p><p>Yohnka says their use has been &ldquo;treated as a great secret by government at all levels.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;We know that this technology has been used in connection with protests in other places,&rdquo; Yohnka said. &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t know whether or not that&rsquo;s been used in Chicago. I would say that if this technology is being used to track people, if there are technologies that are being used to collect large swaths of communication, those are things that are very troubling and very wrong and I think people would rightly be concerned about them.&rdquo;</p><p>Topic&rsquo;s latest lawsuit, brought on behalf of privacy advocate Freddie Martinez, is meant to compel the Chicago Police Department to say when and where the stingrays are being used.</p><p>&ldquo;The second suit, which asks for broader records (as to the extent to which the equipment is being used, with what constitutional safeguards, what happens with data), that complaint was filed a while back and we&rsquo;re expecting the police department&rsquo;s answer to that complaint [this] week,&rdquo; Topic said.</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re very interested to see &hellip; whether these are wholesale constitutional violations and if so we intend to explore what can be done about them,&rdquo; Topic said.</p><p><em>Patrick Smith is WBEZ&rsquo;s morning news producer. Follow him <a href="http://twitter.com/pksmid" target="_blank">@pksmid </a></em></p></p> Mon, 08 Dec 2014 15:33:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/lawsuit-seeks-information-alleged-cpd-spying-111202 A humanitarian crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-06-12/humanitarian-crisis-us-mexico-border-110335 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP646672363735.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>American border control have seen an increase in unaccompanied minors crossing the border from Latin America, creating a growing humanitarian crisis. Adam Isacson, a senior associate for regional security policy with the Washington Office on Latin America, joins us to discuss the issue.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-18/embed?header=false&amp;border=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-18.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-18" target="_blank">View the story "Worldview: A humanitarian crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Thu, 12 Jun 2014 13:51:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-06-12/humanitarian-crisis-us-mexico-border-110335 Morning Shift: Evaluating our privacy in the digital age http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-01-17/morning-shift-evaluating-our-privacy-digital-age <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/surveillance Flickr jonathan mcintosh.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>We talk with a member of the White House panel tasked with crafting NSA reform. We also explore whether there are enough laws to protect our privacy in this digital age with The Nation&#39;s David Cole.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-evaluating-our-privacy-in-the-digita/embed?header=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-evaluating-our-privacy-in-the-digita.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-evaluating-our-privacy-in-the-digita" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Evaluating our privacy in the digital age " on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Fri, 17 Jan 2014 08:34:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-01-17/morning-shift-evaluating-our-privacy-digital-age In the age of social networking, there's no such thing as privacy http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-05/age-social-networking-theres-no-such-thing-privacy-107021 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/110207_zuckerberg_facbook_ap_328.jpg" title="File: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. (Paul Sakuma/AP)" /></p><div class="image-insert-image ">Surprise, surprise: Millenials are more willing than any other generation to share personal information online.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">According to a <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/04/21/millennials-personal-info-online/2087989/" target="_blank">new survey</a> from the University of California&#39;s Center for the Digital Future, Millenials, ages 18-34, were more likely to share their location in order to receive coupons from nearby businesses: 56 percent vs. 42 percent of those 35 and over. More than half of the Millenials surveyed also said that they would share private information with a company if they got something in return.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">This push for active participation in social media may seem harmless at first, until you look at the bigger picture and cringe at the Orwellian nature of it all.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">For example, have you ever bought a product at your favorite store, and then saw an advertisement for a similar product pop up on your Facebook sidebar just moments later? Cue the Big Brother shiver up your spine: <a href="http://adage.com/article/digital/facebook-partner-acxiom-epsilon-match-store-purchases-user-profiles/239967/" target="_blank">that&#39;s no coincidence</a>.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Everything that we post to our personal websites can be tracked, and the Internet is always watching. Whether we admit to ourselves or not, and whether we like it or not, we live in a <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/16/opinion/schneier-internet-surveillance" target="_blank">surveillance state</a> that is growing more efficient and eerily omniscient by the day.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft and Amazon rule the Web; and consequently, have delved deeper into our private lives and personal interactions than ever before. Apple tracks us on or iPhones and iPads. Google tracks us on every page that it has access to, and Facebook does the same, even following&nbsp;<a href="http://www.firstpost.com/tech/facebook-finally-admits-to-tracking-non-users-133684.html" target="_blank">non-Facebook users</a> in their pursuit of prime marketing data. One reporter used a tool called Collusion to track who was tracking him, and discovered that <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/02/im-being-followed-how-google-151-and-104-other-companies-151-are-tracking-me-on-the-web/253758/" target="_blank">105 companies tracked his Internet use</a> in one 36-hour period.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Sometimes we fight back, like when Instagram proposed <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/19/technology/facebook-responds-to-anger-over-proposed-instagram-changes.html?_r=0" target="_blank">giving advertisers free reign over all posted photos</a> and then backed down when users threatened to boycott. Sometimes the Internet giants admit their wrongdoing, like when Google apologized (after being slapped with a $7M fine, of course) for &quot;<a href="http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/mar/13/google-hit-7m-fine-scooping-email-passwords-medica/" target="_blank">data-scooping</a>&quot; personal information from zillions of unencrypted databases.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">But the truth is, these highly-sophisticated apps and websites thrive on monitering our every move, and we may be powerless to stop them. If the <a href="http://www.aclu.org/blog/technology-and-liberty-national-security/surveillance-and-security-lessons-petraeus-scandal" target="_blank">director of the CIA</a> can&#39;t maintain his privacy on the Internet, then what hope is there for the rest of us?</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><p>Consider the <a href="http://blog.hostgator.com/2013/04/23/1984-in-2013-privacy-the-internet/" target="_blank">major data breaches</a> of networking sites in 2012 alone:&nbsp;</p><ul><li>LinkedIn: 6.5 million passwords stolen</li><li>Yahoo: 400,000 passwords stolen</li><li>Global Payments: 1.5 million customers&#39; credit card numbers and PINs exposed</li></ul><p>Facebook experienced yet another <a href="http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/15/facebook-admits-it-was-hacked/" target="_blank">privacy breach</a> in February, two weeks after Twitter made a <a href="http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/01/twitter-hacked-data-for-250000-users-stolen/" target="_blank">similar admission</a>. Also, users have been <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/ABC_Univision/quitting-facebook/story?id=18668978&amp;page=2#.UYdPqZUlbFJ" target="_blank">quitting Facebook in record numbers</a>&nbsp;for months now. Perhaps people are finally catching on to the &quot;privacy paradox&quot; and deciding to forgo social media altogether, although the more likely scenario is that this decline is only temporary.&nbsp;</p><p>Statistics prove that most of these Facebook users will <a href="http://mashable.com/2013/02/05/facebook-break-study/" target="_blank">likely return</a>&nbsp;(because, sadly, nearly 40 percent of Americans <a href="http://news.yahoo.com/social-media-addiction-based-fear-missing-143357943.html" target="_blank">would rather have a root canal</a>&nbsp;than give up their social networking profiles for good) so where does that leave us? We can combine forces to change the pervasive nature of the Internet, or we can look inward and start by changing ourselves.</p><p>If we really want our private lives to remain private, then we can&#39;t give up without a fight.&nbsp;</p><p><em>Leah Pickett writes about popular culture for WBEZ. She still uses&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/leahkpickett" target="_blank">Twitter</a> and <a href="https://www.facebook.com" target="_blank">Facebook</a>, but has given<a href="http://www.theverge.com/2013/5/1/4279674/im-still-here-back-online-after-a-year-without-the-internet" target="_blank"> a year without Internet</a> some serious thought.&nbsp;</em></p></p> Mon, 06 May 2013 08:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-05/age-social-networking-theres-no-such-thing-privacy-107021 Use of surveillance in Boston bombing case raises questions about cameras in Chicago http://www.wbez.org/news/use-surveillance-boston-bombing-case-raises-questions-about-cameras-chicago-106787 <p><p>Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was charged with conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction in his hospital room Monday afternoon.</p><p dir="ltr"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/surveillance_130422_ko.jpg" style="float: left;" title="Investigators inspect the roof of the Lord &amp; Taylor store where a surveillance camera is placed, center, and an official said is crucial in the investigation of the explosions near the Boston Marathon finish line, Thursday, April 18, 2013, in Boston. Boston City Council President Stephen Murphy, who said Wednesday he was briefed by Boston police, said investigators saw the image on surveillance footage they got from the department store near the finish line, and matched the findings with witness descriptions of someone leaving the scene. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)" />The surviving suspect in the Boston marathon bombing was captured Friday, just one day after the FBI released video images of the Tsarnaev brothers to the public.</p><p dir="ltr">The role of cameras in the case sparked a debate weighing privacy against public safety.</p><p dir="ltr">Cameras played a critical role in piecing together what happened in Boston exactly one week ago.</p><p dir="ltr">Investigators poured over photos and videos from onlookers and surveillance footage before ultimately releasing images of the two suspects. When the FBI first released the images, special agent in charge Richard DesLauriers emphasized the public&rsquo;s important role in this investigation and others like it.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;For more than 100 years, the FBI has relied upon the public to be its eyes and ears. With the media&rsquo;s help, in an instant, these images will be delivered directly into the hands of millions around the world,&rdquo; DesLauriers explained.</p><p dir="ltr">Meanwhile, in Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said last week the city continues to add cameras for security reasons.</p><p dir="ltr">The ACLU <a href="http://www.aclu-il.org/chicagos-video-surveillance-camera-system-growing-and-unregulated/">reported</a> that Chicago already has the largest urban network of public and private surveillance cameras--more than 10,000.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;They [cameras] serve an important function, for the city in providing the type of safety, on a day-to-day basis, not just for big events like a marathon but day-to-day,&rdquo; Emanuel noted last week.</p><p dir="ltr">But while the mayor was quick to tout the upside of surveillance, others were just as fast to voice their concerns. And not just as it relates to privacy.</p><p dir="ltr">Sharon Franklin is senior counsel for the <a href="http://www.constitutionproject.org/">Constitution Project,</a> a D.C.-based watchdog group.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It&rsquo;s important to note the role of surveillance here was not helpful in preventing this attack. The role of the &nbsp;surveillance footage was in identifying the suspects after the event and in helping to track that down,&rdquo; Franklin said.</p><p dir="ltr">The project developed <a href="http://www.constitutionproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/54.pdf">guidelines</a> for cities installing video surveillance systems.</p><p dir="ltr">Among the suggestions --that tape not relevant to the criminal investigations be purged.</p><p dir="ltr">Franklin said she doesn&rsquo;t want the government building a database of innocent people who happen to be present at the scene of a crime.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;In this case, we don&rsquo;t want them starting criminal or terrorist files on all sorts of people who were simply innocently watching the marathon,&rdquo; Franklin explained.</p><p><em>Katie O&rsquo;Brien is a WBEZ reporter and producer. Follow her <a href="http://twitter.com/katieobez">@katieobez.</a></em></p></p> Mon, 22 Apr 2013 23:12:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/use-surveillance-boston-bombing-case-raises-questions-about-cameras-chicago-106787 Immigration enforcement program faces novel suit http://www.wbez.org/news/immigration-enforcement-program-faces-novel-suit-100646 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/ColoradoFingerprinting.jpg" style="margin: 4px 0px 0px 0px; float: left; width: 214px; height: 250px; " title="A sheriff’s deputy in Centennial, Colo., prepares to fingerprint a suspect as part of booking into the Arapahoe County Justice Center. Secure Communities runs the fingerprints of everyone booked into jail against immigration records. (AP File/Chris Schneider)" />We&rsquo;ve been hearing a lot about how immigration enforcement intersects with local law enforcement. Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld an Arizona requirement that police officers check the immigration status of people they stop for other reasons. Now we&rsquo;ll hear from our West Side bureau about a suburban Chicago man who got tangled up with immigration enforcement after a drug arrest. He has filed a suit that offers a novel challenge to one of President Obama&rsquo;s key immigration-enforcement programs.</p><p>MITCHELL: There&rsquo;s no doubt James Makowski of Clarendan Hills did something illegal. In 2010 police caught him with heroin and he pleaded guilty to that. A judge approved him for a state-run boot camp. But that&rsquo;s not where Makowski ended up.</p><p>MAKOWSKI: I thought I would be home in 120 days but -- then after I get a note back from a counselor, after I&rsquo;d asked about when I&rsquo;d be shipping to boot camp -- she said that I was ineligible for boot camp due to an immigration detainer.</p><p>MITCHELL: That&rsquo;s basically a flag in his file from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the federal agency known as ICE. So . . .</p><p>MAKOWSKI: I got sent to the maximum-security penitentiary in Pontiac.</p><p>MITCHELL: And he stayed for about two months. How did this happen? It comes down to an ICE program called Secure Communities. In that program, FBI fingerprint data about people booked at local jails get run against immigration data. If a check yields a match, ICE can issue one of its detainers. The point is to catch people in the criminal justice system who are not authorized to be in the U.S. and eventually deport them. The thing is, Makowski had every right to be in the country.</p><p>MAKOWSKI: I feel like I got punished twice for what I did in my past.</p><p>MITCHELL: Makowski&rsquo;s detention was based on faulty information. He was born in India and adopted by a U.S. family. When he was 1, the government granted him citizenship. But &mdash; at age 22, when he got picked up on the heroin charge &mdash; the feds didn&rsquo;t have their records right. So, Makowski stayed in that maximum-security pen before authorities straightened things out and let him into the boot camp. On Tuesday, Makowski filed a federal suit over all this. Defendants include top officials at the FBI, ICE and their parent departments. Makowski claims that when the FBI shared data with ICE &mdash; and when ICE didn&rsquo;t keep track of his citizenship status &mdash; they violated his rights under the U.S. Privacy Act. Legal experts say the suit appears to be the first challenge to Secure Communities under that law. Makowski&rsquo;s attorneys include Mark Fleming of the Chicago-based National Immigrant Justice Center.</p><p>FLEMING: There [are] simple ways in which both the FBI and ICE could be in compliance with the Privacy Act.</p><p>MITCHELL: Fleming says ICE could, for example, interview suspected immigration violators before slapping detainers on them.</p><p>FLEMING: Unfortunately, the system does not provide those basic checks right now and, so, there are many more U.S. citizens that are getting wrapped up into this.</p><p>MITCHELL: Officials at ICE and the departments of Justice and Homeland Security did not answer our questions about the suit Tuesday (see&nbsp;<a href="#note">UPDATE</a>). An FBI spokesman said his agency does not comment about pending litigation outside the courtroom. But a supporter of tougher immigration controls doubts that the Privacy Act protects U.S. citizens from what Makowski endured. Jessica Vaughan directs policy studies for a Washington group called the Center for Immigration Studies. Vaughan says the FBI and ICE share the fingerprint information for legitimate law-enforcement purposes.</p><p>VAUGHAN: Mistakes can be made. But that is not necessarily a reason to throw out the whole system.</p><p>MITCHELL: Vaughan says it&rsquo;s important to keep something else in mind.</p><p><a name="note"></a></p><p>VAUGHAN: The individual who&rsquo;s filing this suit would not have had anything to worry about had he not been convicted of a serious crime to begin with. He was convicted of a drug crime.</p><p>MITCHELL: Convicted he was. But Makowski says no one should have to serve extra time behind bars because of errors in immigration records.</p><p><em>After a deadline for Tuesday&rsquo;s broadcast of this story, ICE provided this statement: &ldquo;The information-sharing partnership between the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI serves as the cornerstone of Secure Communities, and fulfills a mandate required by federal law. This information sharing does not violate the Privacy Act. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is evaluating the allegations contained in the lawsuit; however, we do not comment on pending litigation.&rdquo;</em></p><p><em>The ICE statement continues: &ldquo;In December ICE announced a new detainer form and the launch of a toll-free hotline &mdash; (855) 448-6903 &mdash; that detained individuals can call if they believe they may be U.S. citizens or victims of a crime. The hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by ICE personnel at the Law Enforcement Support Center. Translation services are available in several languages from 7 a.m. until midnight (Eastern), seven days a week. ICE personnel collect information from the individual and refer it to the relevant ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Field Office for immediate action.&rdquo;</em><br />&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 04 Jul 2012 10:16:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/immigration-enforcement-program-faces-novel-suit-100646 Ill. House OKs ban on password snooping by bosses http://www.wbez.org/story/ill-house-oks-ban-password-snooping-bosses-97753 <p><p>The Illinois House wants to bar employers from asking workers and job applicants for access to social media like Facebook.</p><p>The legislation passed 78-30 Thursday and now goes to the Senate.</p><p>Some employers, particularly law enforcement, have begun asking for passwords so they can review the online activities of job applicants.</p><p>Under the legislation sponsored by Democratic Rep. La Shawn Ford, workers could file lawsuits if pressured to open up private accounts or they're denied a job for refusing. Bosses could still ask for usernames to view public information online, and they can monitor work-owned computers.</p></p> Fri, 30 Mar 2012 14:19:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/ill-house-oks-ban-password-snooping-bosses-97753 Illinois Tollway launches new privacy policy http://www.wbez.org/story/illinois-tollway-launches-new-privacy-policy-95338 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2012-January/2012-01-06/illinois tollway_flickr_yooperann.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The Illinois Tollway has a new policy to protect the privacy of its I-PASS customers.</p><p>The policy complies with a new state law barring the tollway system from releasing drivers' personal information to third parties. The policy took effect Jan. 1.</p><p>The tollway's electronic system collects dates, times and locations of travel, but the tollway system won't disclose that information, except in response to a subpoena or to assist law enforcement.</p><p>Oak Lawn Democrat Rep. Kelly Burke and Chicago Heights Democrat Sen. Toi Hutchinson sponsored the bill, which Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law in August.</p><p>Burke says drivers now can be assured that their personal information, such as the dates, times and places where they travel on the tollway system, will be kept private.</p></p> Fri, 06 Jan 2012 15:51:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/illinois-tollway-launches-new-privacy-policy-95338 Where the political and personal spheres of public figures overlap http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-07-25/where-political-and-personal-spheres-public-figures-overlap-89582 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2011-July/2011-07-25/AP110220037300.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Mayor Rahm Emanuel reached the end of his mayoral honeymoon, according to the <em><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2011/0723/How-Chicago-Mayor-Rahm-Emanuel-reached-the-end-of-the-honeymoon" target="_blank">Christian Science Monitor</a></em>. The verdict comes after the mayor walked out on an interview last week with<a href="http://www.nbcchicago.com/on-air/about-us/Mary-Ann_Ahern.html" target="_blank"> Mary Ann Ahern</a>, a political reporter for NBC 5 Chicago. Ahern pressed Emanuel about where his kids will go to school. Word had just come out that the children will attend the private<a href="http://www.ucls.uchicago.edu/" target="_blank"> University of Chicago Lab School</a>. It's a familiar refrain from politicians – "Hands off my family, I'm the public figure," but are there times when it's appropriate to probe the personal lives of the political? If so, where is the line drawn? Mary Ann Ahern joined<em> Eight Forty-Eight</em> with her take.</p><p><em>Music Button: Orgone, "The Big Escape", from the CD Killion Vaults, (Ubiquity)</em></p><p><br> <br> &nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 25 Jul 2011 13:31:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-07-25/where-political-and-personal-spheres-public-figures-overlap-89582