Opinion

Consent and Personal Control Are Not Things of the Past

Note from the Editor:

Editor’s Note: The authors present this post in response to the arguments presented by Victor Mayer-Schönberger's in "Data Protection Principles for the 21st Century," as reported by Sam Pfeifle from the IAPP Data Protection Congress, on December 12, 2013, in the article “Forget Notice and Choice, Let’s Regulate Use.”

We will be releasing a white paper, early in the new year, challenging the view that consent and personal control of one’s data by data subjects is a thing of the past – it is not. In fact, in the wake of Edward Snowden’s revelations, we are witnessing the opposite: a resurgence of interest in strengthening personal privacy.

Big Data

Data-Driven Dating: How Data Are Shaping Our Most Intimate Personal Relationships

When we talk about Big Data, we mostly refer to large-scale conglomerations of information about our collective behavior, aggregated by governments and big corporations. But there’s another way data have become big: Our interpersonal connections are being infiltrated by data to an unprecedented degree, changing how we relate to one another. A focus on everyday data-collection practices reveals that we are active participants in gathering, interpreting and deploying data—not just passive data points about whom data is collected and aggregated.

Nothing makes the rise of the data mentality clearer than the proliferation of tools for creating and using data in budding romantic relationships.

More from Karen Levy

Opinion

Eroding Trust: How New Smart TV Lacks Privacy by Design and Transparency

A year ago I got a new Samsung DVD player for Christmas. It’s a lovely device that I use most every day—mostly for streaming video from Netflix and Amazon. I apparently can also make Skype calls from it, though I haven’t tried — I’m told there are hundreds of other applications out there, so I’m probably underutilizing the device. But I’ve recently wondered—does Samsung log what I do on the player? Does it send information about my viewing back to Samsung. I . . . I guess I have no idea.

More from Justin Brookman

Privacy Engineering

Is 2013 the Year of the Privacy Engineer?

By Robert Jason Cronk, CIPP/US
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Note from the Editor:

Robert Jason Cronk, along with Stuart Shapiro of MITRE Corporation, will be presenting a primer on privacy engineering later this month as a pre-conference workshop at the 2013 Privacy Academy in Seattle, Washington.

Nascent is a term I often use to describe the field of privacy engineering. Not until this fall have the first students of Carnegie Mellon’s Masters of Science in Information Technology—Privacy Engineering started in the newly formed one-year program. And only in the past year or so have Google, Microsoft and other techno-centric firms been advertising openings with variations of privacy engineer in the title. Though the term privacy engineering has been around since at least 2001, only recently has the computer science community tried to use it in a concrete and systematic way.

So what is privacy engineering?

More from Robert Jason Cronk

Privacy Engineering

Brick-and-Mortar Retail: The Design Challenges of Communicating Consumer Data Collection

Note from the Editor:

This is the third in a series of posts by Westerman exploring the role of trust in the marketplace. Here are the first and second. Future posts will delve into trust design best practices and findings regarding the potential to use technology for in-store messaging.

Increasingly, retailers are gathering data—such as location—from consumers’ devices when they are in a store. This data can be used by retailers to optimize merchandise layout and for other purposes. However, a recent survey we conducted shows that only 33 percent believe that this is happening.

Research confirms that consumers want transparency around data collection. If they don’t expect that data is being collected and find it out after the fact, trust in a brand can erode. Even if the consumer gets a benefit from the data collection, this negative ‘surprise factor’ is still there—and the negative reaction is even stronger when there is no clear benefit to them.

The resulting design challenge is to communicate to consumers that data is being collected, provide controls if consumers care to opt out and showcase how data collection can create value for the consumer.