Posted in July 2013

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Changing the Conversation: Why Thinking “Data is the New Oil” May Not Be Such a Good Thing

By Jedidiah Bracy, CIPP/US, CIPP/E

Information is power and Big Data is fueling our economy, prompting many to consider data the new oil. Clearly the value of data—particularly personal data—has never been as dynamic, exciting and potentially dangerous as it is now.

But is thinking of data as the new oil really such a good thing?

For data artist Jer Thorpe, the answer is no.

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Opinion

Privacy and the City

By David Hoffman, CIPP/US

I have written on the need for adequate privacy protections to allow individuals to exercise their Right to Fail. For people to come together to collaborate and innovate, we need to make certain individuals can try new ideas. We need people to take risks and often fail, without running the risk that every failure will be catalogued forever in a virtual permanent record and those failures will be retrievable with a simple Internet search or report from a data aggregator/broker. People are inherently social and want to collaborate and innovate, but we need to create the right privacy policy environment to both foster that innate desire and protect individuals from counterproductive consequences from our social nature.

Edward Glaeser wrote on just this topic in his excellent book, Triumph of the City: How our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier and Happier . The book describes how cities have historically been the engines of innovation as they bring people together to collaborate and create.

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From the Tool Belt

Policing Your Own People

By Kirk J. Nahra, CIPP/US

The recent reports of terminations at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center following inappropriate review of celebrity medical records should serve as a reminder to every healthcare entity—and any company with sensitive information. You must police your own people. They need access to information to do their own job, but history has shown that they can’t be trusted entirely. You need a plan to make sure...

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Trending

For Feds and DEF CON, the Party’s Over…For Now

By Jedidiah Bracy, CIPP/US, CIPP/E

News that the annual DEF CON hacking convention has barred U.S. government officials from attending the event—a first in its 21-year history—is just one more example of fraying trust and fallout from last month’s NSA surveillance disclosures.

The event brings together some of the brightest minds—from hackers to privacy advocates to artists—and is often a place where U.S. government officials can recruit folks for its intelligence programs, or as ZDNet’s Violet Blue writes, “a place where hackers, security researchers, corporate recruiters, digital frontier legal eagles and law enforcement have mingled and boozed it up on noncombatant territory.”

Well, not this year, at least.

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Opinion

Regulating Technology or Behaviour?

By Eduardo Ustaran, CIPP/E

An absolute certainty on which everybody seems to agree is that legislating takes longer than programming.

This is not just a bland statement based on guesswork and half-baked common sense. According to a comprehensive survey of app developers carried out in 2013, the average timeframe for developing a mobile app is 18 weeks. That is less than five months. But the interesting fact about that timeframe is that when the survey was published, there was a bit of an uproar amongst developers, who quickly pointed out that creating an app did not really need to take that long. On top of that, since the beginning of the 21st century, new methods of software development—such as the highly successful Agile approach—have enabled even more dynamic and evolutionary ways of developing new technologies.

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Opinion

Why Healthcare Providers Should Utilize Social Media

By Valita Fredland, CIPP/US

Social media users, and communal Internet forums in general, continue to increase in number. It is a source of a good deal of interesting data—yet, healthcare providers seem to approach social media as one of the contents in Pandora’s box. Because of the potential good to be had from large data analysis, healthcare providers should get engaged through social media and think critically about its potential, while being mindful of potential privacy and legal risks.

Healthcare providers are often slow to adopt new technology; there are good reasons for this cautious approach. Yet, while other industries are early adopters of new technology, healthcare providers can often seem like laggards because their large capital outlays tend to go to equipment and services that directly deliver patient care: monitors, fluoroscopy units, magnetic resonance imaging machines and new private patient rooms.

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Careers

Why I Became A Privacy Professional—And What Privacy Means

By Phil Lee, CIPP/E, CIPM

Long before I became a privacy professional, I first graduated with a degree in computer science. At the time, like many graduates, I had little real notion of what it was I wanted to do with my life, so I took a couple of internships working as a database programmer. That was my first introduction to the world of data.

I quickly realized that I had little ambition to remain a career programmer, so I began to look at other professions. In my early twenties, and having the kind of idealistic tendencies commonplace in many young graduates, I decided I wanted to do something that mattered, something that would—in some way—benefit the world: I chose to become a lawyer.

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