A summary of comments filed on the recent FTC and Commerce Department data privacy frameworks

April 1, 2011
In last month’s edition of the Privacy Advisor, we compared the new policy frameworks for analyzing data privacy separately proposed by the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Commerce. In this issue, we summarize the comments that were submitted in response to each of the frameworks and examine some of the common issues addressed in the submissions.

Perspective: Self-regulation’s credibility problem

April 1, 2011
Why do privacy advocates remain so opposed to self-regulation? Self-regulatory programs suffer from an enduring credibility problem, established by the short-lived IRSG and the languid NAI, and continued today in the form of business practices that express disregard for consumers' expressed preferences.

Simplifying data sanitization compliance: An analysis

April 1, 2011
In addition to better known federal legislation such as Sarbanes-Oxley, FACTA and HIPAA, there are now 46 state and territorial laws that regulate the management of private electronic data. In addition, two more major federal acts are making their way through the U.S. Congress—one in the house another in the senate. In spite of the shifting political landscape, they have a high probability of enactment.

Polish Data Protection Act amendment in detail

April 1, 2011
The amendment to Poland’s Data Protection Act of 29 August 1997 came into force this month. The amendment is intended to strengthen personal data protection by increasing its effectiveness. The Polish Data Protection Authority will be able to enforce its decisions more effectively.

The Changing Meaning of “Personal Data”

March 16, 2011

Greetings

March 10, 2011
I write these words from our annual Global Privacy Summit in Washington, DC, where privacy and data protection professionals have gathered to learn, teach and network about the issues we face each day. The volume of these issues—and their complexity—is increasing. This is reflected in the number of practitioners in attendance and in the conversations they are having in breakout sessions, in hallways, at networking events and over dinner at the end of the day.

Roundup on “do not track”

March 10, 2011
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission in December released a report on consumer privacy that called for a "do-not-track" mechanism by which Internet users could opt out of having their browsing activities monitored. The call provoked sensational response, with online privacy advocates and some politicians singing support and online advertising industry officials warning that such a mechanism could bring the Internet as we know it to its knees.

Privacy rules and regulations marketers need to know

March 10, 2011
If you hear "CAN-SPAM" and think of spiced ham or think "C-28" is a Chinese restaurant combo platter, you're either really hungry or--more likely--you're in need of a refresher on the rules for e-mail regulations. Recently, there has been an increase in e-mail regulations. The CAN-SPAM Act, passed in 2003 and amended in 2008, was one of the earliest legislative efforts to rein in spam and ensure e-mail regulations. Just this past year, on December 15, 2010, Canada passed the C-28 Anti-Spam Act, making the sending of unsolicited commercial e-mails to or from Canada a prosecutable offense. Another bill--H.R. 5777, the Best Practices Act--is being discussed in the U.S. If passed, that bill will require transparency and disclosure when organizations collect personal data about online users' behavior and will only allow data recording from users who opt in.

Notes from the IAPP President

March 1, 2011
I cannot recall a time in the past decade when there has been so much activity in the field of privacy. This month’s Privacy Advisor articles cover a breadth of topics, including the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Commerce privacy reports, the use of analytics and privacy enhancing technologies, recent rulings in Canadian and Israeli courts and a case coming up in the U.S. Supreme Court. All of this activity creates substantial challenges for our members.

A comparison of the recent FTC and Commerce Department data privacy frameworks

March 1, 2011
The privacy landscape in the U.S. is undergoing a major revamping. In December, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Commerce (DoC) separately proposed new policy frameworks for analyzing data privacy. These proposals are the culmination of separate—and comprehensive—reviews conducted by the agencies over the past year. This article summarizes the two proposed frameworks, explores where they are similar and where they differ and suggests what impact these frameworks, if adopted, may have on businesses that collect, use or disclose information about consumers.

The ethical use of analytics

March 1, 2011
The term “analytics” refers to the use of information technology to harness statistics, algorithms and other tools of mathematics to improve decision-making. A wide variety of organizations use analytics to convert data to actionable knowledge. Analytics represent a change from the long-standing approaches to management that often relied on instinct and were largely unsupported and undocumented. Analytics permit corporate decision-making to be driven, assessed and tested by the use of data.

Government options for encouraging use of online privacy-enhancing technologies

March 1, 2011
Recent reports issued by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Department of Commerce call for the use of “privacy-enhancing technologies” (PETs) to improve the quality of information and privacy choice control mechanisms available to individual Internet users. But how will government encourage the use of such technologies? This article briefly surveys the array of regulatory tools available to the government and suggests that mandates of specific PETs be used as a tool of last resort.

Privacy at issue in upcoming Supreme Court case

March 1, 2011
Privacy professionals may find an upcoming United States Supreme Court case, Sorrell v. IMS Health, to be of interest. Certiorari was granted on January 7, 2011, and both sides are actively engaged in preparing for the case at this time.

January-February 2011

February 1, 2011

Notes from the IAPP President

January 23, 2011
In last month’s issue, we asked what you thought about privacy as a competitive advantage. We received some great feedback, including two competing responses that bear mentioning.

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