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(Jun 29, 2015) Virtual currencies (VCs) are gaining the attention of regulatory bodies worldwide because they're growing in acceptance by retailers and consumers alike. The U.S. Internal Revenue Service, which subjects VC transactions to income tax liability for gains in value, just like property, is one of those regulatory bodies. But it's at the state, national and supra-national levels where authorities are starting to set out rules. One of those emerging rules, and the responses its generated from VC companies and industry forums, will impact the privacy and data protection of VC users, writes Thomas Shaw, CIPP/E, CIPP/US, in this exclusive for The Privacy Advisor. Read More

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Web Conference: For Security, Are Passwords a Thing of the Past?

(Jun 29, 2015) Are passwords really dead as a security measure? And if they are, what is the future of authentication and identity management? On Thursday, July 16, from 1 to 2:30 p.m., the IAPP will host a web conference on new and better methods beyond the password—including biometrics and federated identity management. In “Beyond the Password: Modern Online Authentication,” Christopher Pearson, CIPP/G, CIPP/US, general counsel and chief security officer at Viewpost, and James Shreve, CIPP/US, CIPT, attorney at BuckleySandler, will discuss innovative solutions like SQRL and what the future of authentication may hold. Read More

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Roundup: The EU, U.S., Canada, Qatar and More

(Jun 29, 2015) This week’s Privacy Tracker weekly legislative roundup includes a report on Qatar’s Ministry of Information and Communications Technology’s plans to introduce a digital privacy law, as well as information on Argentina’s Personal Data Protection Authority’s new rule, which includes guidance on complying with the Personal Data Protection Law. Plus, read about the latest legislative developments in the U.S., including how the passage of the USA FREEDOM Act may impact cross-border data transfers, and in Canada, where the Digital Privacy Act has received Royal Assent. And read about when you can expect guidelines on data protection enforcement in the EU. (IAPP member login required.) Read More

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FCC Rule-Making To Start This Fall

(Jun 29, 2015) The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) marks fall 2015 to hash out what jurisdiction over Internet privacy looks like specifically, The Hill reports. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler specified that the FCC “would initially judge Internet providers, like AT&T or Comcast, on whether they are ‘taking reasonable, good-faith steps’ to comply with the general privacy provision, until tailored rules can be developed. Wheeler also indicated privacy was "integral to the growth of broadband” and to consumers’ feelings of safety. "If consumers worry that they don't have sufficient privacy online, why are they going to use online?" he asked. Read More

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OPM Hack Details Grow Increasingly Grave

(Jun 29, 2015) In an opinion piece for InfoWorld, Paul Venezia discusses the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) breach and ponders whether the U.S. government should be collecting the kind of data exposed in the breach in the first place. The number of federal employees vulnerable after the breach has grown, as its now been reported that among the details are “adjacent files”— among them details voluntarily submitted to the government, including previous drug abuse, sexual partners or gambling addictions. Th... Read More

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Privacy Policies Make User Databases Increasingly Sellable Asset

(Jun 29, 2015) The New York Times (NYT) reports on a trend becoming the standard for online privacy policies, in which companies’ user data could be sold as part of a deal should company ownership change hands. The NYT recently analyzed the top 100 websites in the U.S. and found 85 of 99 sites with English-language terms of service or privacy policies said they might transfer users’ information in case of a merger, acquisition, bankruptcy, asset sale or other transaction. Signal CEO Mike Sands says he’s seeing partnerships in which a trusted supplier, retailer or publisher may allow access to its customer data—collected by vendors across sites or offline sources—in exchange for a partner’s first-party data. (Registration may be required to access this story.) Read More

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Lobbyist Success Raises Privacy Concerns

(Jun 29, 2015) Internet-of-Things lobbyists have paved an important way for tech companies in Washington, DC, The Agenda reports, citing the Senate’s unanimous support for a proposal calling for a “strategy for the Internet of Things to promote economic growth and consumer empowerment” as evidence of success. “The measure was entirely symbolic. And if it signified anything, it’s the impressive early political sophistication of an emerging industry,” the report continues. While tech companies are happy, those in the privacy field have responded with unease. “Protecting privacy in the Internet of Things is going to be hampered by the strength of industry lobbying at the federal level,” said Georgetown Law Center on Privacy and Technology Executive Director Alvaro Bedoya. Read More

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Bevy of Surveys Indicate Data Protection Woes

(Jun 29, 2015) An Online Alliance survey of 1,000 company sites indicates 46 percent “were found vulnerable to known online security threats,” finding a specific trend of weakness in Internet of Things sites, ITProPortal reports. These results come on the heels of an additional SANS Institute report suggesting, “Financial services organizations are still being breached too often, most frequently by those with insider access,” with 46 percent of respondents citing “abuse or misuse by internal employees or contr... Read More

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Parents Concerned About Data Collection

(Jun 29, 2015) A survey from The Learning Curve indicates that while 75 percent of parents feel technology has enriched education, 79 percent are uneasy about the security of the data said technology gathers, The Intercept reports. “The fear is that the multibillion-dollar education technology industry that seeks to individualize learning and reduce dropout rates could also pose a threat to privacy, as a rush to commercialize student data could leave children tagged for life with indicators based on their childhood performance,” the report continues. “Technology has tremendous potential to improve the lives of students and teachers. But none of it will come to pass if we don’t set higher standards for student data security,” said Clever CEO Tyler Bosmeny. Read More

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Is Data Mining Misunderstood?

(Jun 29, 2015) Data mining is less about privacy infringement and more about analyzing information, a distinction that Apple CEO Tim Cook missed in a recent address, Data Mining for Dummies author Meta Brown writes for Forbes. “Data mining is merely a form of data analysis. It’s an adaptation of statistical analysis designed to enable non-statisticians to analyze data in a quick and informal way,” she said. “And there’s the real key to privacy. The central privacy issue is not data mining, nor any other form o... Read More

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