Privacy Advisor

PRIVACY IN POPULAR CULTURE: IAPP Members in the News

June 13, 2013

By Sam Pfeifle
Publications Director

If nothing else, the news that has been rippling around the globe about the U.S. government’s surveillance practices has brought privacy to the forefront of public discourse.

Therefore, it shouldn’t be surprising that our IAPP members are showing up all over the media in recent days. Heck, we were watching PBS last night, and who should appear but Jules Polonetsky, CIPP/US, director of the Future of Privacy Forum. Alongside him were Viktor Mayer-Schonberger, a keynoter at the last IAPP Global Privacy Summit, and Kashmir Hill, senior online editor at Forbes, and a woman whose work we frequently cite in the Daily Dashboard.

You can see their discussion of the benefits and trade-offs associated with “online sharing” here:

That’s right, it’s like an IAPP Summit panel discussion broadcast to the PBS audience. Pretty cool.

Jules has been making the rounds, really, along with a number of other IAPP members. This Washington Post story on the keys to U.S. government monitoring quotes not only Polonetsky, but also IAPP member Dan Solove, co-author of our Privacy Law Fundamentals.

Solove’s work (especially Nothing to Hide) has been noted by a number of mainstream press outlets, but maybe the most interesting is this piece that appeared on The Atlantic Monthly’s site, which dives into Solove’s The Digital Person to explore the point he makes about Orwell’s 1984 being a poor metaphor for today’s surveillance news and Kafka’s The Trial being a better one. Really, any mention of Kafka in today’s news media is a bonus, if you ask this writer.

Another of Solove’s works, Understanding Privacy, made The Washington Post’s list of five suggested books for readers looking to better know privacy theory. Of course, that list is headed by Privacy and Freedom, written by the late Alan Westin, a foundational member of the IAPP and the namesake of our Westin Fellowship, for which the first fellows are gearing up to begin their work as this is being written. (Have some cash on hand? What a nice time for a donation to the fellowship’s endowment… Also, be on the lookout for a re-release of Privacy and Freedom, to be published by the IAPP this fall.)

Also listed is The Future of The Internet And How To Stop It, by Jonathan Zittrain, who spoke at our first Navigate event, and the piece is penned by Jeffrey Rosen, who keynoted the 2008 Summit. See a Q&A with him here.

Rosen also notably found himself on the Colbert Report a couple days back. Yes, a privacy expert on the Colbert Report:

And speaking of recent summit headliners, Danny Weitzner, winner of this year’s IAPP Privacy Leadership Award, was interviewed on Weekend Edition, as part of a four-plus-minute discussion of the potential role of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, alongside IAPP member David Medine, whose appointment to lead the PCLOB we detailed here.

Medine also made his way onto NBC News, as part of a piece by Michael Isikoff on whether NSA sweeps were picking up the communications of American citizens. This piece uncovered an interesting wrinkle in the story: Medine doesn’t yet actually have the clearance to investigate what the NSA is up to! Reportedly, it’s “in process.”

Alex Fowler, chief privacy officer at Mozilla, is an IAPP member who’ll show interest in what Medine uncovers in his investigation. In heading up the StopWatching.us effort, Fowler has found himself in the news as well, as in the Adweek story on his anti-surveillance campaign. Or this Q&A with KQED, a Bay Area public radio station.

Certainly, though, this NSA story isn’t going away anytime soon. It’s likely that local papers will start looking for local angles and the number of IAPP members being interviewed for news stories and on camera will only grow. Did you find yourself on the news? Let us know by dropping me an email.

Read More By Sam Pfeifle:
PRIVACY IN POPULAR CULTURE: This NSA PRISM Story Isn’t Funny … Except When It Is
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Budget May Stop Maine Bill Requiring Warrant for Geodata