Posted in January 2014

Big Data

How To Solve the President’s Big Data Challenge

In his recent remarks on the NSA and surveillance, President Barack Obama grabbed the Big Data bull by the horns. We commend the president’s decision to task the Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) to reach out to privacy experts, technologists and business leaders to examine the challenges inherent in Big Data. Government surveillance raises distinct civil liberties concerns that commercial and scientific use of Big Data does not; still, it is appropriate to address the profound impact of new technologies on Big Data business opportunities.

Big Data was all the rage in privacy circles in 2013, and now it is achieving appropriate broad policy attention. It implicates modern day dilemmas, which transcend privacy and impact a variety of delicate balancing acts at the core of free market democracy. The examination requires engagement not only by privacy professionals but also by ethicists, scientists and philosophers to address what may very well be the biggest public policy challenge of our time.

More from Jules Polonetsky

Opinion

Is A Criminal Statute Necessary To Supplement a Federal Breach Notification Law?

A few weeks ago, Jason Weinstein introduced Privacy Perspectives readers to Sen. Patrick Leahy’s (D-VT) Personal Data Privacy and Security Act of 2014, a bill that would enact a federal security breach notification law. While Weinstein’s position is well taken and should be considered as this bill moves through Congress, I believe that there is another issue that deserves considerable debate. In addition to creating the federal breach notification law, §102 of Leahy’s bill would open the door to criminal liability for anyone who “intentionally and willfully” conceals the fact of a security breach. Adding criminal liability is not to be taken lightly, and it would be wise for the information privacy and security community to think critically about whether the bill’s criminal statute would be a prudent addition.

More from Andrew Proia

Privacy Engineering

Which Information Do Consumers Most Closely Guard?

We know that consumers don’t always understand how companies collect their data, and that these misconceptions can create a trust gap between retailers and shoppers.

This doesn’t mean that consumers are completely unwilling to share their data with retailers, though. Our team at Create with Context surveyed 800 consumers in the U.S., asking them which information they’d be willing to give up in exchange for 50 percent off of three different items: a gallon of milk, a large-screen television and a new car.

More from Ilana Westerman

Opinion

Will Transparency Calm Concerns Over National Security Access?

Following six months of sensational stories emanating from the Snowden-leaked files from the NSA, privacy professionals are taking stock. Recently, we have heard from the president on the subject of the needed balance between privacy and security, and needed reforms. And we have seen the report of the President’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies and the report of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board.

More from Christopher Wolf

Opinion

Innovate Privacy for the Future, But Don’t Get ‘Privacy Twisted’

It’s time to let go of zero-sum thinking about Internet privacy. Privacy is not dead or dying because of the advances in new technologies. The future of privacy may well be in danger, however, if well-regarded privacy professionals continue to suggest that “privacy is dead.” For example, in his opinion piece, “Old School Privacy is Dead, But Don’t Go Privacy Crazy,” Stanley Crosley, CIPP/US, CIPM, argues that people who go “privacy crazy” as a result of unauthorized collection and use of their data should simply accept that privacy is dead, and instead, appreciate innovations like television on-demand and other new technologies that might be prevented by the consent-to-use model; i.e., “Old School Privacy.”

More from Drummond Reed

Trending

Was This a Week of “Tangible” Privacy Harm?

By Jedidiah Bracy, CIPP/US, CIPP/E
Photo taken from Ukranian protests in Kiev

Two events this week got me thinking of privacy harms. Now, I know the mere mention of “privacy harms” brings with it a lot of baggage and a ton of research, legal uncertainty, opinion and, well…ambiguity. I couldn’t possibly link to all the countless scholars, lawyers and activists who have tackled the question of what does, or does not, count as a harm, but I couldn’t help think that we may have seen some tangible harms we can all agree on this week.

More from Jedidiah Bracy

From the Regulator

Living in Interesting Times—A View from the New Zealand Privacy Office

One of the dubious delights of being a privacy regulator is the unexpected things that crop up during every working week. It doesn’t matter how I plan and prioritise work—some headline-grabbing issue or urgent demand for time and attention will come across the desk and force a rethink. It can be a challenge, but it certainly keeps the job interesting.

More from Katrine Evans