via Chris Morris' well-crafted reportage at Fortune, comes the story of illegal data sharing engaged in by Motel 6, and the $12,000,000 price tag the company coughed up in settlement fines to the State of Washington. I guess they might not be 'leaving the light on for you' - for a while... Today's Must Read.
"Motel 6 will take a $12 million hit for allegedly sharing the personal information of about 80,000 guests with immigration officials without the knowledge or permission of those customers. The chain has settled a lawsuit brought by the state of Washington over the controversial policy of seven of its hotels in that state between 2015 and 2017. The company has also said it will stop the practice of handing over guest information without a subpoena or warrant, unless it believes someone is in imminent danger." - via Chris Morris', at Fortune
Meanwhile, in Governance By Imbeciles news, a troubling a story, via Betsy Woodruff, writing at The Daily Beast, targeting the shuttering of an intelligence analysis group (ostensibly focused on domestic terrorism) at the United States Department of Homeland Security, monikered the 'Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A)'. Also, claims by David Glawe (the new Trump Administration appointee that the grpup's closing makes for enhanced output, yet simutaneously, California's Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reports work product from DHS (regarding actionable domestic terrorism intelligence) is slowing to a trickle). Read it all in Ms. Woodruff's well crafted reportage, and try not to weep for our Law Enforcement Agegenies at both the Federal and Local levels. Today's Must Read.
You Can Successfully Bet The Chairman Will Be Implicated In This...
via Jon Brodkin, writing at Condé Nast media property Ars Technica, in which, Mr. Brodkin reports on bad news for Chairman Ajit Pai, as the FCC was forced to settle a suit (to the tune of 43K) brought by independent writer Jason Prechtel where the FCC refused to comply with a FOIA request for data related to the Commissions'repeal of net neutrality. Folks, that's $43,000 of US taxpayer money paid out (legitimately) to a suit plaintiff (and rightly so, to cover his attorney's fees and court costs), that would not have occurred if we had an honest FCC Chairman in place.
"The FCC didn't comply with the request and allegedly didn't even approve or deny the FoIA request within the legally allotted timeframe, so Prechtel sued the commission in September 2017. One year later, a US District Court judge presiding over the case ordered the FCC to stop withholding certain records sought by Prechtel, although the ruling didn't give Prechtel everything he asked for." via Jon Brodkin, writing at Ars Technica, in a report detailing a settlement forced on the FCC by Judge Christopher Cooper of US District Court for the District of Columbia (Ars Technica's PDF link).
This time, it's the apparent lack of planning for location privacy protections in the new 911 Emergency Data Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking from our apparently on-the-take Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai. Via Jon Brodkin, writing at ArsTechnica, comes a significantly enhanced detailed analysis of the Chairman's latest playing-it-fast-and-loose with our data. Just Shameful.