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U.S. court found that San Diego DOJ officer breached privacy rights by searching images attached in an email that were automatically reported by a ‘Google’ algorithm before obtaining a warrant

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit found on Tuesday that police breached privacy rights by searching images that were automatically reported by a Google algorithm before obtaining a warrant.

One of Google’s algorithms automatically reported to authorities four images that the defendant attached in an email. The algorithm had detected suspected child sexual abuse material. An officer of the San Diego Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (“the task force”) viewed them without a warrant.

The court found that the officer’s actions breached the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures on part of the government.

The court said that when the images came into the task force’s possession, the task force already knew that they were suspected child sexual abuse material. At that point, the task force was required to obtain a warrant to view the images and prosecute further.

The court’s opinion follows Apple’s announcement last month that it will scan iCloud photos of its users for child sexual abuse material and report suspected files to authorities. Privacy experts have criticized the move.

Tuesday’s ruling and Apple’s announcement raise broader questions about the intersection of algorithm-driven automatic scanning technology and privacy law. The Electronic Privacy Information Center said that the case “may lead the Supreme Court to review the important privacy implications of mass automatic file scanning programs.”

Article: Federal appeals court: warrant required for police search of files reported by digital algorithm

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(UN General Assembly, 1948) The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: 1. All human beings are free and equal 2. No discrimination 3. Right to life 4. No slavery 5. No torture and inhuman treatment 6. Same right to use law 7. Equal before the law 8. Right to be treated fair by court 9. No unfair detainment 10. Right to trial 11. Innocent until proved guilty 12. Right to privacy 13. Freedom to movement and residence 14. Right to asylum 15. Right to nationality 16. Rights to marry and have family 17. Right to own things 18. Freedom of thought and religion 19. Freedom of opinion and expression 20. Right to assemble 21. Right to democracy 22. Right to social security 23. Right to work 24. Right to rest and holiday 25. Right of social service 26. Right to education 27. Right of cultural and art 28. Freedom around the world 29. Subject to law 30. Human rights can’t be taken away