Blog Post

Big Data, Big Myths

  WPF Blog Post   Forbes has published a thoughtful article about Big Data, reeling the hype attached to the catchy term back to reality. The article, written by Forbes contributors Woodrow Hartzog and Evan Selinger, outlines why the term Big Data isn’t used by people who actually work in Big Data. The article meanders

WPF files comments on Genomic Data Sharing, urges broad privacy protections

WPF filed comments today asking The National Institutes of Health to make changes to its draft Genomic Data Sharing Policy for sharing, for research purposes, of large-scale human and nonhuman genomic data. The World Privacy Forum comments focus on human genomic privacy. “We are most concerned in our comments that the NIH find a full range of privacy protections for genomic data to be used for research. We are interested in a full arsenal from encryption to certificates of confidential to civil and criminal penalties for misuse. Consent — as alluring as the idea is — cannot by itself carry all of the privacy water,” said Pam Dixon, executive director of the World Privacy Forum.

Mobil Privacy Summit

Learn to protect mobile users and build safe mobile apps at the Mobile Privacy Summit Oct. 23 in Los Angeles. The office of California Attorney General Kamala Harris and the Federal Trade Commission join WPF’s Pam Dixon and other privacy experts to discuss best practices and regulatory requirements you should be aware of to ensure the privacy of mobile app users. Registration is free of charge.

Japan’s My Number program (マイナンバー法) gets independent Data Protection Authority Commissioner in early 2014

Japan — Under the mai nannbaa-ho (マイナンバー法) My Number Act (enacted May 13, 2013, also called the Social Benefits and Tax Number Act), Japan’s citizens will be assigned unique numbers to track income, social security, taxes, welfare and benefits, and certain information in disasters. Japan will start assigning numbers to its citizens in late 2015. The My Number Act brought with it concern about the use of the numbers as a unique national ID. As a result, Japan will establish a new independent Data Protection Authority called the Specific Personal Information Protection Commission, and will consist of a Chairman and six commission members. The Chairman and Commissioners will be appointed by Japan’s Prime Minister, and confirmed by Japan’s National Diet. The Commission will oversee the use of the new Social Security and Tax system numbers. Unlike many national ID numbering systems, Japan did not set up a centralized database for the numbers due to concerns about data breach and privacy.

Professor Hiroshi Miyashita from Japan’s Chuo University, and an Advisor to the Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA) — gave a talk Oct. 1 at a Privacy Laws & Business Asia Roundtable in London. He told PL& B that the new Commission is to “ensure the proper handling of personal numbers and other specific personal information, and provide guidance, advice and recommendations.” Professor Miyashita said enforcement powers will be limited to requiring reports and conducting on-site inspections. Additional documents regarding the new DPA indicate that there will be a role for the Commission in overseeing release of personal information in disasters, and that the Commission will also issue guidance regarding the use of identifying numbers.