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

Do We Need A Constitutional Amendment Restricting Private-Sector Data Collection?

In an editorial in last Sunday’s New York Times (“Madison’s Privacy Blind Spot”), Jeffrey Rosen, a leading privacy scholar and the president and chief executive of the National Constitution Center, proposed “a constitutional amendment to prohibit unreasonable searches and seizures of our persons and electronic effects, whether by the government or by private corporations like Google and AT&T.”

More from Adam Thierer

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The Supreme Court Is Scared of Technology. This Is How Privacy Pros Can Help

By Jedidiah Bracy, CIPP/US, CIPP/E

This was a big week for emerging technology—particularly the Internet of Things (IoT)—as was showcased during the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, NV. Cisco’s CEO made headlines after saying the IoT has the potential to become a $19 trillion market and much of mainstream media reported on all the emerging technology: smart cars, wearable sensors and digestible computers—stuff we’ve been reporting on pretty regularly in the past year.

So it seemed fitting—and concerning—that the Associated Press reported on the wariness felt by Supreme Court justices on judges weighing in on technology and privacy issues. As Justice Elena Kagan said last summer, “The justices are not necessarily the most technologically sophisticated people.”  And the court may face it’s biggest challenge yet, if, as many suspect, it eventually weighs in on the NSA’s metadata collection programs. Justice Antonin Scalia told a group of technology experts last July that elected branches of government are better equipped to grapple with security requirements and privacy protections.

More from Jedidiah Bracy

Opinion

Is the Congressional Response to the Target Breach Off-Target?

In the aftermath of the Target breach announced last month, there has been understandable anxiety on the part of consumers and understandable concern by lawmakers about how to respond to large-scale breaches of this type.

In recent weeks, there have been calls by members of Congress for hearings on the Hill. Several Senators have demanded an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and have discussed legislation beefing up the FTC’s enforcement powers—although as I’ve written here previously , the FTC has not exactly needed an engraved invitation to investigate data breaches in recent years and does not seem to have been inhibited at all by the lack of clear (some might say any) authority to do so. And just this week, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) reintroduced the Personal Data Privacy and Security Act, which among other things would create a national breach notification standard.

More from Jason Weinstein

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The Politics of Privacy in 2014

By Jedidiah Bracy, CIPP/US, CIPP/E

Though it’s not a presidential election year, 2014 looks to have some important campaigns here in the States. House Republicans will try to bolster their majority, while Democrats hope to maintain their hold on the Senate. Even some in Kentucky are looking to replace Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Of course, campaigns will run on a lot of the typically partisan issues—you know, taxes, gun control, same-sex marriage, global warming, Duck Dynasty or legalized pot.

But a new issue is making its way into campaign platforms and partisan politics: privacy.

More from Jedidiah Bracy