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Privacy Goes Mainstream at SXSW and TED2014

By Jedidiah Bracy, CIPP/US, CIPP/E
TED’s Chris Anderson interviewing Edward Snowden via telepresence robot.

For those immersed in the privacy profession, the last few years have seen a dramatic change in the public’s awareness of privacy issues, rising from relative obscurity to downright mainstream. A personal litmus test for me, and many of my IAPP colleagues, revolves around how easy it is to explain what we do for a living:

“Yeah, so I work for a privacy association,” we might say over drinks at a party.

“Oh, so you’re in IT?”

“Well, not quite, but there is overlap…”

So the conversation often goes. Over the years we’ve tried to master our elevator speech. The rate of eyes growing glassy is inversely proportionate to explanation efficiency.

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Opinion

Addressing the Challenges of the Internet of Things: An EU Perspective

By Brian Davidson, CIPP/E

Recent news that smart fridge software was hacked to send out spam is the latest example of the ineluctable opportunities and challenges presented by the Internet of Things (IoT).

The intrusiveness of IoT technologies and their potential to collect unlimited amounts of data on users’ daily habits brings with it serious privacy concerns. As European regulators grapple with the challenges and complexities of formulating a technology-neutral Data Protection Regulation, the difficulties of applying “traditional” concepts such as consent, purpose limitation, transparency, data deletion, accountability and security to the data processing activities carried out by an “Internet-ready” kitchen appliance become readily apparent.

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EU Data Protection

An Honest Recap on Safe Harbor

By Eduardo Ustaran, CIPP/E

The recent vote at the European Parliament—by an overwhelming majority of 544 to 78 members, with 60 abstentions—calling for the immediate suspension of Safe Harbor has sent some powerful shockwaves across the business and legal communities in the EU and beyond. This should not have come as a surprise, given that the European Parliament has been very vocal in this respect for a while, but it is still a chilling reminder of the uncertainty surrounding the scheme—possibly the most widely relied upon mechanism to legitimise data flows between the EU and the U.S.

The big question that remains on the ground is whether EU-based organisations that rely on Safe Harbor as the legal basis for transferring data to either their own corporate group entities or service providers operating in the U.S. are doing the right thing or should be looking for alternatives.

More from Eduardo Ustaran

Opinion

On Making Consumer Scoring More Fair and Transparent

To score is human. Ranking people by grades and other performance numbers is as old as time itself. Consumer scores—numbers given to people to describe their characteristics, habits or predilections—are a modern day numeric shorthand that ranks, separates, sifts and otherwise categorizes people and also predicts their potential future actions.

More from Pam Dixon

EU Data Protection

My Dinner with Jan

German Green MEP Jan Philipp Albrecht

On Wednesday of last week, in Strasbourg, France, the European Parliament overwhelmingly approved a proposal for a sweeping, region-wide Data Protection Regulation, ratifying the work of MEP Jan Philipp Albrecht, who almost two years ago began his work as rapporteur for the regulation.

The next evening, on Thursday in Palo Alto, California, I was sitting across the dinner table from Albrecht—who prefers to be called Jan—at an Asian-Fusion restaurant, enjoying a sociable evening for speakers at the next day’s Berkeley Center for Law and Technology (BLCT) annual Silicon Valley Privacy Conference.

More from Christopher Wolf

Opinion

How Privacy Got Lucky

By Ruby A. Zefo, CIPP/US, CIPM

On this fine St. Patrick’s Day, I ponder about getting lucky. No, not THAT kind of lucky. We’re all about the privacy! Some of you may think that privacy has been very unlucky indeed. But compared to what could have happened, I believe that privacy still carries a wee bit o’ the shamrock. Think about privacy as a glass at least half full. If you are inclined to be grumpy about the half-empty part, imagine that privacy is an appletini and the other half is coursing through your veins, giving you the inspiration you need to continue the good fight. If you have enough glasses of privacy, you may do something wild and wonderful to draw attention to it—look at how much press privacy is getting these days!

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Privacy Profession

For Privacy Pros: A Look At Your Job Tomorrow

By Eduardo Ustaran, CIPP/E

It is pretty obvious that the privacy profession is changing fast.

Once the realm of an elite of nerdy specialists, the profession is opening up to include a whole range of professionals with a variety of talents, training and skill sets. And whilst the complexity of the challenges faced by those with responsibility for managing information, protecting data and safeguarding individual privacy remains as high as in the early days, the implications of addressing those challenges correctly are becoming exponentially greater. If we succeed, we will not only have contributed to the prosperity of future generations, but we will have also done our bit to preserve everyone’s freedom.

More from Eduardo Ustaran