Contributor: Omer Tene

Omer Tene is Vice President of Research and Education at the IAPP where he administers the Westin Fellowship program and fosters ties between the industry and academia. He is also Vice Dean of the College of Management School of Law, Rishon Le Zion, Israel; an Affiliate Scholar at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society; and a Senior Fellow at the Future of Privacy Forum. He has published extensively in US and European law reviews about big data, online tracking, and international privacy law.

 

Opinion

In Standoff with FTC, Wyndham Shoots Itself in the Foot

By Omer Tene

The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) resounding victory over Wyndham Worldwide Corporation in a U.S. District Court paves the way for increasing privacy and data security action by the agency, which over the past decade has asserted itself as the most forceful and well-respected privacy enforcement authority in the world.

In the end, Wyndham resorted to an argument raised by the tobacco industry...

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The U.S.-EU Privacy Debate: Conventional Wisdom Is Wrong

By Omer Tene

Everybody knows the conventional wisdom: United States privacy law is weak and fractured, with neither comprehensive data protection legislation nor a dedicated privacy enforcement authority. The European Union is the gold standard of global privacy regulation, with its omnibus Data Protection Directive and collective force of 28 national data protection authorities.

Alas, as is so often the...

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Big Data

How To Solve the President’s Big Data Challenge

By Omer Tene

In his recent remarks on the NSA and surveillance, President Barack Obama grabbed the Big Data bull by the horns. We commend the president’s decision to task the Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) to reach out to privacy experts, technologists and business leaders to examine the challenges inherent in Big Data. Government surveillance raises distinct civil liberties concerns...

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Practical Privacy

Privacy 101 for SMEs: The Best Defense is a Good Offense

By Omer Tene

Imagine you are a major retailer and have to disclose a few days before Christmas that hackers stole credit card details and personal data on about –oh, 110 million shoppers –from your secure safe. Or that just as your app is experiencing hockey stick growth, leading tech blogs and media blast you for uploading users’ contact lists to your servers without permission.

Hearing news like this, you...

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The Year in Review

2013: The Year of Privacy

By Omer Tene
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...

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Surveillance

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

By Omer Tene
(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...

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Opinion

Vint Cerf is Wrong. Privacy Is Not An Anomaly

By Omer Tene
Google Chief Internet Evangelist Vint Cerf

Privacy may actually be an anomaly,” said Vint Cerf, one of the architects of the Internet, at an FTC workshop on the Internet of Things on Tuesday. Cerf, who’s currently Google’s Chief Internet Evangelist, argued that privacy is a construct of the modern industrial age. In the past, his thinking goes, people lived in small self-contained villages, where pretty much everyone knew who was dating...

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Opinion

Galileo’s Problem and How Legislation Won’t Stop the Orbit of Technology

By Omer Tene

Like the Catholic Church’s Congregation of the Index of 1616, which outlawed the movement of the Earth around the sun, so too will the European Parliament restrict transborder data flows by legislative fiat this week.

Of course, the flow of data across borders will not cease or even diminish. Individuals will continue to carry iPhones on cross-Atlantic flights, “transferring data” (whatever that...

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Do Not Track

DNT 2.0: What Next for Policymakers?

By Omer Tene

Could the appointment of Justin Brookman of the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) and Carl Cargill of Adobe salvage the World Web Consortium (W3C) Do Not Track (DNT) process? Hopefully, all sides will work together to pursue an agreed-upon solution, since an implosion of the process, which seemed inevitable on Tuesday as the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) announced its departure from...

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Privacy Law

The OECD Heralds the Arrival of the Privacy Profession

By Omer Tene

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...

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Research

Privacy and Big Data: The Biggest Public Policy Challenge of Our Time?

By Omer Tene

Imagine the government could reduce the likelihood of a deadly terrorist attack by deploying a sophisticated algorithm to sift through the contents of all e-mail correspondence of U.S. citizens. Would the tradeoff of privacy for national security be justified from a public policy point of view? Would it make a difference whether such Big Data analysis helped avert one such attack per decade or...

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opinion

Open Source Data: Big Data for All

By Omer Tene

Think about it: Wouldn’t you love to know everything your cellphone knows?

I mean, not just the stuff about the universe—like the distance between Des Moines and Billings or the weather in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia—but also information about you. Like the time you wake up in the morning, your movements around town, when and where you tend to get stuck in traffic, how much exercise you are getting,...

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