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(Feb 24, 2015) Over the past several years, a series of court decisions and legislation at both the state and federal level have produced significant gains for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) community in the U.S. While the community is celebrating these impressive achievements, prejudices remain and, too often, gay people are confronted with serious discrimination—from being denied service at establishments to being fired from a job. Recent controversies in states like Alabama and Kansas s... Read More

Privacy Perspectives

How Julie Brill Is Cultivating a Defense of the U.S. Privacy Framework

(Feb 24, 2015) U.S. Federal Trade Commissioner Julie Brill has been busy cultivating a defense of the U.S. privacy framework while also planting seeds for lasting and meaningful interoperability with Europe. Late last year at the IAPP Data Protection Congress 2014 in Brussels, Brill sat down with the CNIL's Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin to discuss the EU-U.S. privacy divide. Plus, late last month, she was part of a must-see panel discussion with the European Commission’s Paul Nemitz. At times friendly and colle... Read More

Privacy Perspectives

Preparing to Debate NSA Surveillance and Online Commercial Tracking

(Feb 18, 2015) Just over a year ago, President Obama delivered a speech describing the administration’s response to the policy and legal issues from the Edward Snowden revelations. In early February, the administration announced a batch of new reforms. Overall, I believe there has been far more progress than most people realize. I am pretty confident that Stanford lawyer and technologist Jonathan Mayer will disagree when we “debate” at the IAPP Global Privacy Summit, beginning at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, March ... Read More

Privacy Perspectives

Transparently True: The eGov of 2000 Isn't the eGov of 2015

(Feb 10, 2015) Transparency is often talked about in the privacy world. Consumers, citizens, privacy advocates and regulators want businesses and governments to be as transparent as possible about how they’re collecting, using, sharing and deleting personal information. In recent years, tech companies have fought to allow for more disclosures of government requests for user data. In fact, Twitter just released their biannual report on Tuesday (requests are up 40 percent, by the way). Cynics may say that priva... Read More

Privacy Perspectives

Watching the Watchers: How Two Women Fought Back With Sousveillance

(Feb 5, 2015)   Online anonymity is a weird fish. Users often must fight for it and against it. Without any, we’re constantly surveilled; with too much, we become inhuman and unaccountable. That’s why two stories this week grabbed my attention. Both involved subjects watching their watchers and how such counter-surveillance reintroduced a glimmer of humanity. On Monday, well-known writer and feminist Lindy West shared a surprisingly touching story about confronting her cruelest troll. For those unfami... Read More

Privacy Perspectives

A Brief Look at Self-Regulation and European Data Protection

(Feb 4, 2015) Last week, on Data Protection Day, I was honored to speak at the EU Parliament at an awesome event organized by the Federation of European Direct and Interactive Marketing (FEDMA), aimed at promoting self-regulation as a compliment to the EU’s upcoming data protection regulation. The audience included a number of MEPs, new European Data Protection Supervisor Giovanni Buttarelli, MEP staff members, representatives from the European Commission and self-regulatory organizations. FEDMA, an importan... Read More

Privacy Perspectives

FTC’s Rich Lays a Roadmap for Responsible Data Practices

(Feb 3, 2015) If you haven’t already read the speech that Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Bureau of Consumer Protection (BCP) Director Jessica Rich gave last week at an advertising industry meeting, take the time to do it now. Direct, sharp and concise, it maps out the state of play at the intersection of technology, law and policy, and charts a path for businesses that wish to avoid legal trouble not only with the powerful federal regulator but also with state attorneys general, class-action plaintiffs and Eu... Read More

Privacy Perspectives

Wouldn’t It Be Tight If Everyone Was Chill With Each Other’s Privacy?

(Jan 30, 2015) If you’re a privacy professional, you’ve likely seen a dramatic change in the last few years. What was once a fairly niche issue—privacy—has become downright mainstream. We're not just talking about it manifesting in Obama's State of the Union Address, we're talking it manifesting in comedy, the arts and sciences.  With the Super Bowl set for Sunday, satirical newspaper The Onion reported on remarks made by the normally tight-lipped star running back for the Seattle Seahawks. Marshawn Lynch, it... Read More

Privacy Perspectives

Will Privacy Be Part of the IoT Standards Battle?

(Jan 23, 2015) The free flow of information is an exciting prospect, especially as we navigate into the wide-open world of the Internet of Things (IoT). I love that I can easily hook up the latest activity tracker with my smartphone and immediately log calories burned and time slept. But that’s nothing. We’ve featured a number of dispatches from the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) looking at what a new generation of connected technology will bring for privacy pros, the Personal Privacy Marketplace and, yes, d... Read More

Privacy Perspectives

Did Privacy Hit Bingo in the SOTU?

(Jan 21, 2015) A week after making stops at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to discuss privacy and cybersecurity, respectively, President Barack Obama made, for privacy professionals, what was perhaps the most highly anticipated State of the Union (SOTU) address ever. Big issues were on the docket: a federal data breach notification standard, student privacy and cybersecurity legislation, stronger anti-hacking laws, not to mention surveillance reform. So how di... Read More

Privacy Perspectives