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(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

The Future of Privacy: My Journey Down the Rabbit Hole at SXSW

(Mar 20, 2015) For a first-timer, SXSW is one overwhelming experience. I’d imagine it’s still overwhelming the second, or even the third, time, too. With thousands of attendees—from advertisers and entrepreneurs to musicians, filmmakers and movie stars—spread out over most of downtown Austin, TX, the vibe is palpable, and the means for distraction ubiquitous. Not only are the streets filled with flash-mob marketers and street-side musicians, the array of SXSW Interactive sessions is astounding. I quickly real... Read More

Privacy Perspectives

Compliance, Cloud Security and Environmental Law: Learning from Past Experience

(Mar 19, 2015) As U.S. industry waits to see how President Barack Obama's call for a new digital security law translates into actual legislation, it may be useful to look to other regulatory regimes to set reasonable expectations for establishing national standards for privacy and data protection. The logical inclination would be to look at existing, related regulations like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Sarbanes-Oxley. But as technologies such as cloud computing, mobile a... Read More

Privacy Perspectives

Privacy Cloud Certification Forecasts Bright Future for Cloud Computing

(Mar 12, 2015) In February, Microsoft announced that all its cloud enterprise offerings—Office 365, Azure, CRM Online and Intune—were certified by independent third-party auditors for compliance with the new ISO privacy cloud standard 27018. This makes Microsoft the first cloud provider to have received this external certification. Likely, other large and smaller cloud providers will follow suit. The new ISO cloud standard was adopted in the summer of 2014. The standard includes a set of privacy a... Read More

Privacy Perspectives

Is the New Consumer Privacy Bill Overkill? A Q&A with Adam Thierer

(Mar 11, 2015) The Obama administration’s draft discussion Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights is a hot topic of conversation here in Washington. Recently, Adam Thierer and I had a chance to talk about it. Adam is a well-known figure in privacy circles. He is a senior research fellow with the Technology Policy Program at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University specializing in technology, media, Internet and free-speech policies, with a particular focus on online safety and digital privacy. Chris Wolf: What... Read More

Privacy Perspectives

FTC To Unveil Data Security Initiative

(Mar 6, 2015) Several high-ranking officials from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) shared their views and concerns on recent developments in the privacy space Thursday at the IAPP Global Privacy Summit. Additionally, the FTC plans to launch a campaign to provide businesses with guidance on data security and will host a roundtable this fall on cross-device tracking. FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection Director Jessica Rich said the agency is set to launch “Start with Security.” The goal is to provide business... Read More

Privacy Perspectives

Are We Really Providing Optimum Privacy Training To Our Employees?

(Mar 4, 2015) Over the past few months, I’ve had the opportunity to participate in a number of system and compliance training sessions. Some of these were online, while others were live, from large and small organizations across different industry sectors. In each of one of these, I had no input as to the content or delivery, so it gave me the chance to look at this in a new light: that of one of our users. I think most in our profession will agree that users are one of the biggest vulnerability. There are s... Read More

Privacy Perspectives

Dispatch from the Mobile World Congress: Mobile Is the New Frontier for Privacy

(Mar 3, 2015) My first impression of Mark Zuckerberg in the flesh is that he is permanently excited and overflowing with energy. That is hardly surprising given his age and his role in the Internet revolution. But the fact that he dropped by at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week is quite significant. The annual Mobile World Congress is a mega event with nearly 100,000 attendees and the participation of every business with an interest in anything to do with mobile communications. So the presence ... Read More

Privacy Perspectives

A New Era Begins at the EDPS

(Mar 3, 2015) On Monday, March 2, I attended a reception in Brussels at which new European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) Giovanni Buttarelli and Assistant Supervisor Wojciech Wiewiórowski presented their strategic plan for the next five years. Entitled “The EDPS Strategy 2015-2019: Leading by Example,” the document represents a key moment in the work of the EU’s leading data protection regulator. In the 11 years since Peter Hustinx originally established it, the EDPS has come to enjoy a worldwide reputat... Read More

Privacy Perspectives

Safe Harbor: Caught Between Scylla and Charybdis?

(Mar 2, 2015) Clash of Cultures There are voices in the U.S. that claim a sort of ownership over the Internet in how companies have expanded in ways that make it challenging for other companies to compete. The growing discomfort with Safe Harbor in Europe in general and in Germany in particular "is just designed to carve out some of their commercial interests" those voices says, and the relevant players who are expressing these concerns "are essentially trying to set up some roadblocks for our companies to o... Read More

Privacy Perspectives