Posted in Privacy Law

Opinion

Revenge Porn, Public Shaming and Why It Needs To Stop

By Jedidiah Bracy, CIPP/US, CIPP/E

“Revenge porn” invades the privacy and dignity of women—and sometimes men—but the nefarious phenomenon gives rise to thorny legal issues that often leave victims unprotected—something about which I’ve recently written. If a victim’s photograph was a “selfie,” then said victim has a takedown right of action. But Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) protects service providers. This latter provision helps, for the most part, keep the Internet free and open.

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Opinion

What a 21st Century Privacy Law Could—and Should—Achieve

By Phil Lee, CIPP/E, CIPM

It’s no secret that the EU’s proposed General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) hangs in the balance. Some have even declared it dead (see here), though, to paraphrase Mark Twain, those reports are somewhat exaggerated. Nevertheless, 2014 will prove a pivotal year for privacy in the European Union: Either we’ll see some variant of the proposed regulation adopted in one form or another, or we’ll be heading back to the drawing board.

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Opinion

Can Plaintiffs’ Lawyers Fill the Role of a DPA?

By Jeff Kosseff, CIPP/US

In recent months, authors on this blog have argued about whether the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or state attorneys general serve as the de facto data protection authority in the U.S.

Both sides are correct.  The FTC and state attorneys general help set the general requirements for privacy and data security, just as DPAs do in Europe.  But another group is playing a role in the shaping of U.S. privacy and not always in a way that benefits society.

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Opinion

Legal Reform Is Needed on Both Sides of the Atlantic, Not Just in Europe

I recall that in the 1990s and early 2000s, it was often a struggle to get people outside of Europe to take EU data protection law seriously. The perceived lack of enforcement in the EU, and the dynamic legislative climate in the U.S., meant that more attention was given to U.S. developments.

The situation is now reversed, and there has been intense interest in the European Commission’s proposal for a General Data Protection Regulation published in January 2012, and in related developments such as calls for reform of the EU-U.S. Safe Harbor. U.S.-based lobbyists have descended in hordes on the EU institutions; U.S. government representatives travel to Brussels to lobby the EU, and U.S. authors publish articles and papers on complex issues of EU law. Brussels has become the center of the global privacy world.

This causes us in Europe to wonder: Why doesn’t the U.S. work as hard to improve its own privacy law as it does to lobby for changes in the EU?

More from Christopher Kuner

EU Data Protection

What Next for the EU Regulation?

By Eduardo Ustaran, CIPP/E
Logo for the Council of the European Union

After nearly two years of deliberations, the European Parliament has come out of the legislative closet with its proposed view for a new EU data privacy framework. In many respects, the Parliament has surprised many of its critics by delivering a draft proposal which is more measured than the European Commission’s original text. On the whole, however, the Parliament’s draft represents a powerful statement in favour of people’s ability to control their own data.

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Opinion

A Ray of Hope to Eliminate False Light

By Jeff Kosseff, CIPP/US

In the past half-century, First Amendment lawyers have successfully convinced courts and state legislatures to make it more difficult for plaintiffs to bring defamation lawsuits. These changes have helped preserve the public debate that is vital to our democracy, particularly as the Internet has expanded platforms for free speech and enabled every individual to publish their opinions and stories.

Unfortunately, privacy law has long provided plaintiffs with an end-run around the First Amendment.  Rather than filing a defamation lawsuit, plaintiffs bring claims under a privacy tort known as “false light.”  In some states, it is easier to bring claims under false light than under defamation law. 

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Privacy Law

IAPP Westin Research Center

The OECD Heralds the Arrival of the Privacy Profession

For anyone following the field of privacy policymaking, the past two years have seen a flurry of activity unsurpassed in any other legal arena. Fittingly, the first reform process to come to fruition is that of the OECD Privacy Guidelines, which date back to 1980 and contain the first internationally agreed upon iteration of the now ubiquitous Fair Information Privacy Principles (FIPPs). Together with the expected result of the major reform processes in the U.S. and EU, the revised guidelines, which will be launched on the OECD website today, are set to become the second generation of information privacy laws. As such, it is important to assess what has changed since their inception more than 30 years ago.

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Trending

On Privacy Today: While Technology Hits Home Runs, Public Policy Strikes Out

By Jedidiah Bracy, CIPP/US, CIPP/E

Baseball fans, particularly those in the Detroit area, may have been struck recently with news that All-Star slugger Prince Fielder is going through a divorce. Was this just another case of some overpaid, spoiled, out-of-touch athlete causing a public scene and bringing painful attention to his private life?

No. Actually, this was not the case.

It all started last week when veteran teammate Torii Hunter was answering questions on a local radio show about Fielder’s recent struggles at the plate. Hunter defended his teammate, suggesting Fielder was bravely dealing with off-the-field issues.

Ok, no big deal, right?

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