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
- Trump's white power retweet part of a racist Twitter ventriloquism acton July 2, 2020 at 2:01 am
This puppetry does what all of the president’s favorite rhetorical tricks do: It gives him plausible deniability.
- In CA: Consumer Privacy Act goes into full effect and much of the state shuts back downon July 1, 2020 at 6:08 pm
Gov. Newsom orders most indoor business activities to close across much of the state as coronavirus cases continue a swift ascent. And let's revisit the nation's most comprehensive data privacy law ...
- Enforcement of Calif. Data Privacy Law Beginson July 1, 2020 at 1:59 pm
As consumers look ahead to the Independence Day weekend, businesses mark another milestone today: On Wednesday, enforcement of the California Consumer Privacy Act begins to rein in companies from ...
- Are you ready for California’s big new privacy law? Enforcement starts today.on July 1, 2020 at 10:19 am
That also means the six-month grace period for California’s major new privacy law is over. The law will now be enforced. Is your business ready? The California Consumer Protection Act, or CCPA, is a ...
- California Begins Enforcing Broad Data Privacy Law — Here’s What You Should Knowon July 1, 2020 at 9:40 am
Enforcement of California's privacy law begins after a six-month grace period despite companies seeking additional time due to the pandemic.
- California’s hotly watched privacy law in full forceon July 1, 2020 at 8:00 am
Two years after California lawmakers passed the strongest data privacy law in the country — and in the absence of a federal privacy law — enforcement will begin on the California Consumer Privacy Act.
- As enforcement of California's data privacy law kicks in today, here's how experts say companies may face big penaltieson July 1, 2020 at 6:24 am
Enforcement is beginning for California's privacy law, known as CCPA. Many questions remain about how the state will proceed. Experts give these tips.
- California begins enforcing digital privacy law, despite calls for delayon July 1, 2020 at 4:04 am
The California privacy law took effect in January, but the attorney general had to wait until July to enforce.
- California's privacy law enforcement starts today: what marketers should knowon July 1, 2020 at 2:46 am
The state's attorney general can choose to charge companies that fail to comply with the California Consumer Privacy Protection Act retroactively to Jan. 1, when the law took effect.
- As enforcement begins July 1, here is what you need to know about the California Consumer Privacy Acton June 30, 2020 at 9:35 am
The AG will begin enforcing the California Consumer Privacy Act July 1, and the law is “very, very punitive. Otherwise who would care,” said CEO of a data security startup.
via Bing News