Notes from the IAPP President

December 1, 2010
In front of a packed hall at an OECD conference in Jerusalem last month, one of the world’s foremost experts on information privacy dismissed the idea of companies using privacy as a competitive differentiator. During a panel session featuring some of today’s most highly regarded data protection experts and regulators, Alan Westin said the idea that privacy can be used as a business advantage is dead, privacy controls are too complex for consumers to understand and a certification culture would be more effective.

International data protection laws

December 1, 2010
In the past year, two more countries in Asia—Malaysia and Taiwan—have adopted comprehensive national privacy laws that regulate the collection, use and disclosure of personal information. These new privacy laws differ considerably from those in the United States. U.S. laws typically focus on addressing misuse of information and seek to protect individuals from particular harms. These two laws, instead, are omnibus laws that extend protections to all personal information and focus not only on the use of information but also on the collection and disclosure of personal information.

Poland’s data protection outlook: A conversation with the DPA

December 1, 2010
Poland is in the process of amending its 13-year-old data protection law. Inspector General for Personal Data Protection (GIODO) Wojciech Rafał Wiewiórowski, who was elected last July, spoke with the Privacy Advisor about the data protection challenges facing Poland, including the speed at which technology develops and the struggle to keep pace legislatively. Wiewiórowski says he envisions Poland playing a leading role in the changes to EU data protection laws and discusses the key issues filling his schedule at present, including working with stakeholders and government on the future implementation of the smart grid and working with the direct marketing industry on a best practices code.

Cloud computing: Value proposition and risks

December 1, 2010
This is the second article in a three-part series on cloud computing. View the first installment in the November issue of the Privacy Advisor. The first installment of the cloud computing series provided an overview of cloud computing and practical examples of the ever-evolving phenomenon. This article discusses the value proposition that can be derived from cloud computing and some of the privacy risks that should be considered before moving into the cloud.

TH!NK PRIVACY: Locally, globally and across disciplines

December 1, 2010
When Barclays Bank PLC won a 2009 HP-IAPP Privacy Innovation Award for its TH!NK PRIVACY program, that was only the beginning. In just over a year, what began as a cross-company effort to emphasize privacy awareness, compliance and cultural change has expanded into the global, not-for-profit TH!NK PRIVACY Consortium.

CANADA: Breach notification decisions handed down

December 1, 2010
Regular readers of this column will recall that previously we wrote about amendments to the Alberta Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) that came into effect May 1, 2010. One of the amendments requires that organizations covered by PIPA notify the province’s privacy commissioner of a loss of, unauthorized access to or disclosure of personal information where a reasonable person would consider that there exists a “real risk of significant harm” to an individual.

EUROPE: RFID applications require prior privacy impact assessment

December 1, 2010
On May 12, 2009, the European Commission issued a Recommendation on The Implementation of Privacy and Data Protection Principles in Applications Supported by Radio-Frequency Identification. The recommendation recognizes the importance of RFID technology for businesses and industry to enhance efficiency. The Article 29 Working Party (hereinafter: Article 29 WP) did, however, express serious concerns about the impact of RFID technology on individuals’ privacy, since its deployment may entail robust information processing and novel monitoring practices.

EUROPEAN UNION: Towards a new regulation on data protection in Europe

December 1, 2010
The European Commission (EC) has opened a public consultation period (from November 4, 2010, to January 15,2011) to obtain views on its ideas for addressing new challenges to personal data protection in order to ensure an effective and comprehensive protection to individuals’ personal data within the EU. The document “Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions informs the consultation.”

FRANCE: Unlawful implementation of a location-based system sanctioned by court

December 1, 2010
In France, employers who want to monitor employees’ use of company cars using location-based systems must comply with labor and data protection laws. An employer who intended to dismiss an employee for serious misconduct because his vehicle’s location-based system revealed that he used the company car for personal purposes and violated the highway code, has learned this the hard way.

FRANCE: Targeted advertising: A charter to protect Internet users

December 1, 2010
A public consultation launched by the Secretary of State for the future and development of the digital economy has revealed that one of individuals’ major concerns about targeted advertising is the fear that their advertising profiles could be kept indefinitely.

FRANCE: CNIL issues guidelines on data security

December 1, 2010
The use of IT systems has become essential for analyzing and centralizing information and outsourcing is increasing, thus the security of information systems is a major challenge for any data controller, whether a business or government entity.

Notes from the IAPP

November 1, 2010
As most of you know, the European Data Protection Directive will undergo a substantial review in 2011. Many anticipate it will result in new enforcement powers for data protection authorities and more rights for individuals. Others predict that it may bring some relief for organizations from administrative compliance burdens and result in a more harmonized approach across the continent. Will the companies be required to appoint data protection officers and what their role will be? Whatever the outcome, data privacy and data protection will be top of mind across Europe for the next 14 months and beyond, as the legislative changes start to shape up in each country, too. Its ripples will certainly be felt across borders. The world is watching.

New data privacy law in Mexico

November 1, 2010
Multinational and internationally focused businesses in the United States and elsewhere have stepped up their efforts to monitor and comply with data protection laws in recent years. Reasons for this trend include an increasing proliferation of new laws in this area, public attention, enforcement initiatives by European data protection authorities and the generally increased focus on compliance with laws (which used to be a self-evident requirement applicable to all employees but has become a separate professional discipline or even office in many organizations.)

Experts say P3P lacks transparency

November 1, 2010
The Platform for Privacy Preferences (P3P) was created in 2002 as a tool to protect users’ privacy as they navigate the Internet. The voluntary platform was adopted by Internet Explorer, the only browser to make meaningful use of it but, since its inception, has faced a number of challenges to its intended success.

Demystifying cloud computing

November 1, 2010
Few concepts in recent times have conjured up the allure and mystique of “cloud computing.” We are accustomed to hearing about clouds in the context of weather, but where does the notion of a cloud fit into computing? Part one of this three-part article will unmask some of the complexities that exist in describing cloud computing. Although you will see various technical terms, the focus of this series is not technical. Rather, it aims to present practical illustrations that provide better insight into the area.

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