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(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

Taming the Beast: The White House and FCC Throw Down the Gauntlet

(Mar 2, 2015) The past few years have seen an epic struggle between governments, businesses and individuals for governance of the Internet. The platform, which now pervades every aspect of our daily lives, promises different things to different stakeholders. Governments see it as a driver of economic growth as well as a source of intelligence about competing economies, terrorist threats, domestic law enforcement and, in certain countries, political dissent. Businesses view it as a hotbed for innovation as wel... Read More

Privacy Perspectives

No One Should Be Outed By an Ad

(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