Posted in Data Collection

Opinion

The White House Survey on Big Data and Privacy Is a Good Idea but Poorly Executed

As part of President Obama’s review of Big Data and privacy, the White House has declared, “We want to hear your opinion” and posted a simple online poll to get it. The Marketing Research Association (MRA) is pleased that the White House grasps some of the value of survey, opinion and marketing research based on their launch of this online survey effort. However, questionnaire design is crucial to the quality of the insights you can garner from any research, and these questions are lacking.

More from Howard Fienberg

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

Point-Counterpoint

So Glad You Didn’t Say That! A Response to Viktor Mayer-Schönberger

In response to my comments on an IAPP story, “Forget Notice and Choice, Let’s Regulate Use,” Viktor Mayer-Schönberger distances himself from views attributed to him by the IAPP, and positions taken in an earlier whitepaper.

My first thought when reading Mayer-Schönberger’s response was, “I’m so glad he didn’t mean that!” In sum, Mayer-Schönberger assures me that our views are aligned as follows: The belief that individuals have an interest in privacy protection; privacy should be anchored in the OECD Fair Information Practice Principles; the public should have control over their personal information, and privacy does not impede innovation. Allow me to assure all of you that in addition to the IAPP story, I have indeed viewed the video of Mayer-Schönberger’s Brussels keynote and have read the two papers he referenced.

More from Ann Cavoukian

The Year in Review

2013: The Year of Privacy

Privacy Perspectives word cloud

If there ever was a “year of privacy,” surely it was 2013. A year that ends with dictionary.com selecting “privacy” as “word of the year;” with privacy making front-page headlines in The New York Times and The Washington Post (not to mention The Guardian) on a weekly, indeed almost daily, basis; with cross-Atlantic ties stretched to the limit over privacy issues, the UN passing a privacy resolution and armies of lobbyists spinning BCRs and Do-Not-Track in Washington bars and Brussels cafes—ladies and gentlemen, 2013 was the year of privacy.

More from Omer Tene

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

Surveillance

The NSA, Tor, Vodafone and LIBE Committee Meet To Chat

(From left): Former cyber advisor to Pres. Obama Howard Schmidt and former NSA General Counsel Steward Baker at this year’s IAPP Privacy Academy.

Imagine the NSA, European Parliament, Tor and Vodafone having a civilized conversation about privacy. Considering that the ricochets from the Snowden affair are still reverberating on both sides of the Atlantic, this may seem implausible. But you better believe it: the IAPP Europe Data Protection Congress 2013 is featuring a panel discussion among representatives of all of the above, which I look forward to moderating.

More from Omer Tene

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