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(May 21, 2015) News has filtered out of Brussels that the DAPIX working group has held its last meeting on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) under the current Latvian Presidency of the Council of the EU. This is in anticipation of a general approach agreement being reached on the text at the meeting of the Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Council on June 15-16. However, the Presidency will first have to steer its final edits through a number of meetings of Brussels-based JHA Counsellors, and member ... Read More

Privacy Perspectives

Finding the Right Path Forward for European Data Protection Regulation

(May 14, 2015) When the European Commission introduced the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in 2012, then-Vice President Viviane Reding described the reform as “a strong, clear and uniform legislative framework that will help unleash the potential of the Digital Single Market (DSM).” Central to this goal: a one-stop shop where “a company will have to comply with one law for the whole of the EU territory…(and) will only have to deal with one single data protection authority (DPA)” of the Member Stat... Read More

Privacy Perspectives

With Our Privacy Terminology, Are We Even on the Same Page?

(May 8, 2015) There is a great line in the 1987 film The Princess Bride where right-handed swordsman, and wonderfully accented, Inigo Montoya says, “You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means!” To wit: For nearly 30 years, I’ve done my best impression of Inigo whenever I hear someone using a term where I take exception with the implied definition. Unfortunately, today I’d need to be a better fencer than even the Dread Pirate Roberts if I want to take exception each time I hear... Read More

Privacy Perspectives

Why Privacy Pros Should Be Engaged With Drone Regs

(May 1, 2015) While discussion of privacy issues and drones has become a hot topic in recent years, the reality of using drones to deliver packages, photograph weddings and monitor crops—not to mention the occasional schoolchild—has been no more than science fiction for the average consumer. When Amazon previewed its delivery drones just a year-and-a-half ago, many couldn’t imagine it was a serious effort. Yet the technology is here, today and now. In fact, to get comfortable with the technology, and as a f... Read More

Privacy Perspectives

Making the Case Against Data Localization in China

(Apr 20, 2015) There is an old saying in baseball that a strong defense is so fundamental that one does not appreciate or even notice it until the moment when one no longer has it. Likewise, free and unencumbered information flows over the Internet have become so fundamental to the way we now do business, find our news, learn new skills and even go on vacation that we no longer appreciate or even notice them. However, data localization policies are a recent international development that, if they take root in... Read More

Privacy Perspectives

Privacy and Depression Do Not Crash Planes

(Apr 7, 2015) Privacy does not cause airplanes to crash; neither does pilot depression. The wave of criticism against Germany’s strict privacy laws in the aftermath of the findings following the calamitous fate of Germanwings Flight 9525 is misguided and quite possibly dangerous. Immediately after initial news of the crash, a reporter asked Carstan Spohr, CEO of Lufthansa, Germanwings’ parent airline, if copilot Andreas Lubitz could have been on a suicide mission. “I’m not a lawyer,” Spohr said, “but if a ma... Read More

Privacy Perspectives

The European Privacy Judicial Decision of a Decade: Google v. Vidal-Hall

(Apr 2, 2015) Over the past few years, Google has been involved in a slate of high-stakes privacy litigation, in issues ranging from the removal of offensive video footage to the rollout of its Street View service to the emerging right to be forgotten. Last week, Google privacy aficionados received another landmark case to add to an increasingly rich library with the England and Wales Court of Appeal decision in Google v. Vidal-Hall. The case involved Google’s alleged circumvention of privacy settings in Appl... Read More

Privacy Perspectives

How the U.S. and EU Can Find a Path Forward After Snowden

(Apr 2, 2015) The seemingly endless stream of revelations from Edward Snowden about the surveillance activities of U.S. intelligence agencies have put the EU in a bind. Despite the occasional dark suspicions of American officials and media that the goal of EU policy is to hobble American power and influence, the truth is quite different. But today, the EU needs America’s help in shoring up a strategic relationship that is vital to both sides. The U.S. remains by far the EU's most important trading partner, ... Read More

Privacy Perspectives

Meerkat and Periscope: Are Privacy Pros Ready for the Consequences of Live Streaming?

(Mar 31, 2015) A couple weeks back, a new social networking app, with all the ease and power of live video streaming, made quite a splash at SXSW. Meerkat went from zero to hero faster than a Tesla drag race. Actress and comedian Julia-Louis Dreyfus even “meerkatted” the crowd during her keynote conversation. [caption id="attachment_156022" align="alignleft" width="300"] Julia Louis-Dreyfus at SXSW 2015[/caption] But Meerkat may have been a flash in the pan. Just days after making its big splash, Twitter ann... Read More

Privacy Perspectives

The Future of Tech and Democracy, and How Privacy Pros Can Help

(Mar 26, 2015) Last month in San Francisco, tech leaders and CEOs met with federal regulators to do something rather unexpected: facilitate the use of new technology in the democratic process. Along the way, participants gave serious thought on how to build safeguards to ensure the protection of consumer privacy. Inspiration for the event came from conversations Federal Elections Commission (FEC) Chair Ann Ravel, in which she shared with me her fervent belief that new technology has the potential to bring mor... Read More

Privacy Perspectives