In July, videos of the fatal police shootings of Alton Sterling—a black man in Louisiana—and Philando Castile—a black man in Minnesota—went viral on social media. The immediate aftermath of the Castile shooting was first shared via Facebook Live, which is a type of mobile streaming video technology (MSVT) that allows users to stream live video to followers, similar to Periscope and Meerkat.
The real-time video of Castile’s death reached over 5 million people within a week of its posting.
In a new study, Up, Periscope: Mobile Streaming Video Technologies, Privacy in Public, and the Right to Record, Jeremy Littau, assistant professor of journalism at Lehigh University, and Daxton Stewart, associate dean and associate professor in the Bob Schieffer College of Communication at Texas Christian University, examine the legal rights of people to record and live-stream and any potential right to be free from being recorded and streamed in public places.
The authors find that current laws protecting individual rights are insufficient to protect privacy when it comes to these technologies and that the First Amendment likely protects livestreaming activities of users.
“The Castile shooting is important not only for its content, but also because a Facebook user showed the public a new tool that it might not otherwise have known about or thought to use in a situation like this,” Littau says.
“What happened in Minnesota is one of those incidents that serve as a harbinger for what is to come.”
Because of the ease with which users are able to share live video streams, MSVTs have great potential to catalyze new privacy laws and policies, as legislatures, courts, citizens, and tech companies consider the balance between peoples individual’s right to privacy and the public’s right to free expression.
Littau says that mobile streaming technologies will soon completely change how the public views privacy. He predicts some entities will seek to carve out special exemptions for themselves.
“Our work already mentions situations where municipalities have tried to pass laws stopping citizens from recording police activities in public. It’s completely unconstitutional, but that won’t stop people from trying,” he explains. “Exempting public officials and government workers from the laws that apply to everyone is not a new idea in the U.S. At some point a locality is going to try and make it a crime to live stream police actions on the street.”
Services like Facebook Live break down the previous lag between information collection and information distribution, making potential privacy violations instantaneous and unavoidable, according to the research, which was published in print in Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly in June.
The researchers advocate that privacy challenges be addressed directly between by mobile streaming companies and their users via contracts. Attempts to strengthen privacy laws will likely be thwarted by First Amendment protections.
“Ultimately consumers of tools like Periscope and Facebook Live will shape the way they are used,” Dr. Stewart says.
“If the developers do not place restraints on use, and do not provide tools for the community of users to monitor content, then it’s likely we will continue to see them put to troubling uses such the teenager who live-streamed her suicide in France, or the young woman who live-streamed a friend being sexually assaulted earlier this year.”
Stewart says the biggest challenge that the courts will face when these cases arise will be trying to fit old ways of thinking about privacy and public spaces into new tools that weren’t even foreseeable when those approaches to privacy were developed. “In this study, we advocate for less legal restraint of recording and live-streaming public matters or government officials in public places, which clearly deserve First Amendment protection,” he says. “But we also call for wisdom by users and tech companies in controlling the spread of materials that may be more harmful to private individuals.”
The Latest on: Privacy law
via Google News
The Latest on: Privacy law
- What California’s Data Privacy Act Means for RIAson February 25, 2020 at 12:36 pm
So says my colleague, Trina Glass, in response to my inquiry regarding client concerns pertaining to the applicability of the new California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Trina advised that the CCPA, ...
- Why security is critical to federal privacy legislationon February 25, 2020 at 11:59 am
(BrianAJackson/Getty Images) Policymakers speculated that 2019 would be the year Congress passed a comprehensive federal privacy law. Although 2020 brings the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), ...
- NY Data Security Law Will Dramatically Expand AG's Reachon February 25, 2020 at 11:48 am
New York has a powerful 2020 counterpart in California. Much ink has been spilled about California’s recently enacted California Consumer Privacy Act, and companies have devoted substantial resources ...
- U.S. Congress should not override California privacy law - state attorney gen.on February 25, 2020 at 10:43 am
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Tuesday sent a letter to four top U.S. lawmakers urging them not to pre-empt the state's new privacy law with a watered down federal legislation. The ...
- Understanding Canadian cybersecurity law: Privacy and access to information, the Acts (Part 2)on February 25, 2020 at 6:48 am
The Privacy Act is the legal framework governing personal information in the federal public sector. It explains how personal information must be protected in the relationships between individuals and ...
- Data privacy protection at forefront of new proposed federal lawon February 24, 2020 at 2:36 pm
It is not something that consumers can solve on their own,” said Alan Butler, senior counsel for the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) in Washington, D.C. This month, Sen. Kirsten ...
- Proposed Privacy Laws Put Genetic Testing Cos. In Hot Seaton February 24, 2020 at 12:28 pm
- California's CCPA Triggers A Tsunami Of State-Level Data Privacy Lawson February 20, 2020 at 6:15 am
went into effect on January 1, 2020, and while enforcement has been postponed for six months, businesses that squander the grace period could face big risks. The CCPA contains many of the same ...
- New California privacy law may require Facebook to completely change how it does businesson February 19, 2020 at 2:01 pm
Jim Barkdoll, CEO of data classification company Titus, recently wrote an article for Security Infowatch in which he claimed that Facebook is taking aim at California’s new Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) ...
- The Broadband Industry Is Suing Maine Over a Web Privacy Lawon February 19, 2020 at 12:00 pm
The broadband industry is suing Maine to stop a web-browsing privacy law similar to the one killed by Congress and President Donald Trump in 2017. Industry groups claim the state law violates First ...
via Bing News