Posted in Privacy Law

Opinion

The Global Competition Between Privacy Models

Countries around the world are struggling to decide whether to adopt data protection law based on the proposed EU Data Protection Regulation or to use a U.S. approach to privacy protection. As I observed firsthand during a recent trip to Japan, the result is competition in global data protection policy making, with the European Commission on the one side and the U.S. government on the other side, both lobbying other countries to follow their respective models.

More from Christopher Kuner

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. 

More from Jeff Kosseff

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.

More from Omer Tene

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?

More from Jedidiah Bracy

Opinion

Is Advising Clients To Clean Up Social Media After Filing a Lawsuit Questionable?

By K Royal, CIPP/US, CIPP/E

A recent article stirred up quite a bit of discussion among my LinkedIn friends.

Opposing counsel requested discovery of a plaintiff’s Facebook page. The plaintiff’s attorney advised him to clean it up and was suspended for five years from the practice of law. The disciplinary system actions states the suspension was for “violating professional rules that govern candor toward the tribunal, fairness to opposing party and counsel and misconduct.”

My immediate reaction on the title of the article “lawyer agrees to five-year suspension for advising client to clean up his Facebook account” had me on the side of the lawyer. It makes sense to clean up one’s image in a lawsuit—as long as doing so doesn’t hide incriminating evidence, etc. But in reading the article, and learning that this advice came after a discovery request, of course interfering with discovery orders would warrant discipline for an attorney. It has overtones of Enron’s paper-shredding party.

More from K Royal

Opinion

European Cloud Providers Cloud the Truth After PRISM—What Should U.S. Providers, and the U.S. Government, Do About It?

European cloud providers have tried for years to gain a competitive advantage in the European market over U.S.-based counterparts by claiming that content stored with European providers is more protected from government access than data stored with U.S. companies. These European providers have tried to instill fear in potential customers, claiming that the USA PATRIOT Act gives the U.S. government essentially unfettered access to content stored with U.S. companies.

As has been well-documented here and elsewhere, the truth is that the U.S. imposes tighter restrictions on the ability of its law enforcement and security agencies to get data stored in the U.S. than many EU governments face in accessing data stored in their home countries. Moreover, unlike in the U.S., providers in the EU can voluntarily provide content and customer data to the government, and EU providers are required to retain data for up to two years, helping ensure the data is there when the government comes looking for it.

More from Jason Weinstein

Opinion

Privacy and the City

By David Hoffman, CIPP/US

I have written on the need for adequate privacy protections to allow individuals to exercise their Right to Fail. For people to come together to collaborate and innovate, we need to make certain individuals can try new ideas. We need people to take risks and often fail, without running the risk that every failure will be catalogued forever in a virtual permanent record and those failures will be retrievable with a simple Internet search or report from a data aggregator/broker. People are inherently social and want to collaborate and innovate, but we need to create the right privacy policy environment to both foster that innate desire and protect individuals from counterproductive consequences from our social nature.

Edward Glaeser wrote on just this topic in his excellent book, Triumph of the City: How our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier and Happier . The book describes how cities have historically been the engines of innovation as they bring people together to collaborate and create.

More from David Hoffman

Opinion

Regulating Technology or Behaviour?

By Eduardo Ustaran, CIPP/E

An absolute certainty on which everybody seems to agree is that legislating takes longer than programming.

This is not just a bland statement based on guesswork and half-baked common sense. According to a comprehensive survey of app developers carried out in 2013, the average timeframe for developing a mobile app is 18 weeks. That is less than five months. But the interesting fact about that timeframe is that when the survey was published, there was a bit of an uproar amongst developers, who quickly pointed out that creating an app did not really need to take that long. On top of that, since the beginning of the 21st century, new methods of software development—such as the highly successful Agile approach—have enabled even more dynamic and evolutionary ways of developing new technologies.

More from Eduardo Ustaran