Privacy Advisor

Notes from the Executive Director

August 1, 2008

For many of us, August is a sunset month. North of the equator summer takes its last gasp and we rush to fit in vacations, some rest and perhaps a little back-to-school shopping before autumn blows in. As children head back to the classroom, we turn our focus toward some of the special privacy issues facing educational institutions.

The dynamic environment at schools and universities brings unique challenges to faculty, administrators and staff members, who work to balance academic freedom and student well-being with very real privacy threats. Each week we read about privacy issues related to educational institutions (eSchool News recently reported that one in four U.S. data breaches involves schools), balancing student privacy with personal safety, social networking, and other challenges to our students' private information. From Pennsylvania to Europe and beyond, we explore these challenges in this month's newsletter, our Back to School issue.

From DLA Piper's Madrid office, partner Diego Ramos fills us in on the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party Document 1/2008, which serves as a launch pad for an important discussion about the privacy of children in the European Union. The important efforts of the Working Party in this area will help guide the work of governments to follow.

Across the Atlantic, staff and administrators at the University of Pennsylvania have been successful in merging disparate privacy-related interests into a cohesive band of savvy cohorts who work together to more effectively manage privacy challenges within their unique areas. They achieved this success using Security and Privacy Impact Assessments, a model that could emerge as a great solution for bringing together areas whose only commonality, perhaps, is the need to manage student privacy.

As always, we hope you find these notes from the field useful in your role.

Later this month I'll be in Sydney for the "Privacy in a Dramatically Changing Landscape" conference. This event is one of many scheduled during Privacy Awareness Week, August 24-30—a week dedicated to building awareness about privacy in the digital landscape. If you're in the Asia-Pacific region or can make it to Sydney, consider attending this or other events during the week.

We are very excited to host the annual IAPP Privacy Academy from Disney World's Contemporary Resort, September 22-24. In addition to Dov Seidman of LRN, Ted Gup of Case Western Reserve University and Larry Ponemon of the Ponemon Institute, we're bringing Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr and McCain campaign representative Orson Swindle to the event. This will be a terrific opportunity to zero in on the candidates' unique privacy positions. (See page 22 for more details.)

See you in Orlando!
J. Trevor Hughes, CIPP
Executive Director, IAPP