In letter to the Biden administration, EPIC and a coalition of 40 privacy, immigration, and civil liberties organizations urged the administration to abandon the proposed U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 as an extension of the Trump administration's border policy. The proposed legislation would direct DHS to deploy a bevy of biometric and other surveillance technologies at points of entry and along the southern border. The letter describes how such technologies endanger the lives of migrants by pushing them onto more dangerous travel routes. The use of surveillance technologies at the border inevitably extends into the interior, where they are deployed against protesters, communities of color, and indigenous peoples. EPIC recently urged DHS to rescind a proposed rule increasing the agency's collection of biometric information.
In comments to the New York Police Department, EPIC called for meaningful limits on the use of mass surveillance technologies including facial recognition, airplanes and drones, automated license plate readers, and social media monitoring tools. EPIC also joined with privacy and civil liberties advocates and academics in coalition comments urging the NYPD to make a good faith effort to meet the requirements of the Public Oversight of Surveillance Technologies (POST) Act. The POST Act requires the NYPD to publish impact statements and use policies for 36 surveillance technologies. The Department's draft policies fail to disclose necessary information including detailed data storage, retention, and auditing practices, do not name the vendors of these technologies, and gloss over systemic racial discrimination in the use of these technologies with boilerplate language. The disclosures illuminate the use of technologies by the NYPD that enable mass surveillance and have extensive documented risks of bias and inaccuracy. EPIC leads a campaign to Ban Face Surveillance, and through the Public Voice coalition gathered support from over 100 organizations and experts from more than 30 countries.
EPIC has filed a complaint with the D.C. Attorney General alleging that Amazon employs manipulative “dark patterns”in the Amazon Prime subscription cancellation process, which constitutes an unfair and deceptive trade practice. FTC Commissioner Chopra has explained that dark patterns “are design features used to deceive, steer, or manipulate users into behavior that is profitable for an online service, but often harmful to users or contrary to their intent.” Amazon employs these dark patterns when customers attempt to cancel their Amazon prime subscriptions, preventing customers from ending their subscriptions while Amazon charges those customers recurring fees and continues to collect, retain, and use the personal data of misdirected Amazon Prime subscribers. EPIC's complaint calls on the D.C. Attorney General to halt the Amazon’s use of dark patterns. EPIC also warned the company that it is prepared to file suit under D.C.'s consumer protection law if it fails to correct its unlawful privacy practices. EPIC recently signed onto a coalition letter which requested that the FTC investigate Amazon’s use of manipulative dark patterns in its subscription cancellation process.