Posted in October 2013

Opinion

Galileo’s Problem and How Legislation Won’t Stop the Orbit of Technology

Like the Catholic Church’s Congregation of the Index of 1616, which outlawed the movement of the Earth around the sun, so too will the European Parliament restrict transborder data flows by legislative fiat this week.

Of course, the flow of data across borders will not cease or even diminish. Individuals will continue to carry iPhones on cross-Atlantic flights, “transferring data” (whatever that means) about their employers’ customers to “non-adequate” countries; and European individuals and businesses will access non-EU based websites and services, including banking, telecom, retail and cloud. Lawyers will be paid to produce paperwork, which bureaucrats will read; businesses continue to operate as before.

As Galileo said, “And yet it moves”.

More from Omer Tene

Trending

The Big Data Fight and What We Can Learn from Adam, Eve and Aldous Huxley

By Jedidiah Bracy, CIPP/US, CIPP/E

In the privacy world, we often hear the argument that, in order for the information economy to thrive, personal privacy must be leveraged—that there must be tradeoffs. In a recent blog post on the supposed death of privacy, I quoted a Harvard professor from 1970 as saying that a world with complete privacy is a utopian concept.

Enter Carnegie Mellon University researcher Alessandro Acquisti. This week, the well-known TED Talk series released a presentation by Acquisti from earlier this summer on “Why Privacy Matters”—and he kicked it off with the story of Adam and Eve, the original residents of the original utopia, and “their notorious privacy incident”:

More from Jedidiah Bracy

Opinion

The U.S. Doesn’t Have a National Data Protection Authority? Think Again…

“The U.S. has no national data protection authority.” Ask an EU official why he or she believes the EU’s data protection system to be superior to the U.S. model, and that will be at or near the top of the list. But tell that to Google. Or TJX. Or CBR Systems. Or any of the dozens of other companies that have been pursued by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over the past several years for alleged data security or privacy violations.

More from Jason Weinstein

Trending

When Embarrassing Photos Metastasize Online and How One Person Took Control of It

By Jedidiah Bracy, CIPP/US, CIPP/E

What are you going to be for Halloween? If you do plan on dressing up, what are the chances photos of you in your glorious costume will be taken and posted online? Well, we’ll come back to this…

A few months back, I wrote about the nightmare of having an ex-spouse post embarrassing and vengeful photos of Lee David Clayworth online. The generativity of the Internet allows information to flow and metastasize so quickly, such disturbing posts can be almost impossible to take down or control.

More from Jedidiah Bracy

Opinion

Big Data’s Thirst Is Driving Change in Minimization Philosophy

By Andrew Clearwater, CIPP/US

The recent National Security Administration (NSA) revelations demonstrate a broader trend: A retreat from minimization in collection and a move toward minimization in use. If you trust the collector not to break the rules, then a collect-first, minimize-later privacy model shouldn’t present a privacy impact, but recent revelations by The Washington Post have shown what happens when the collector becomes distrusted.

More from Andrew Clearwater

Privacy Engineering

Brick-and-Mortar Transparency: Are Phone Alerts the Best Notification for Collecting Consumer Data?

New technology allows retailers to collect data—such as location, contacts, apps installed—from their customers’ phones. But when we surveyed consumers, only 33 percent of them realized this might be happening. On the other hand, when we surveyed consumers about stores collecting only their location, this number increased to 50 percent. We know from previous research that, when people are not aware of data being collected and don’t expect it to happen—and then find out about it later—trust can be eroded. How, then, can businesses create transparency around data collection?

More from Ilana Westerman