Blog Post

WPF on CES Panel on Facial Recognition

Facial recognition — Pam Dixon spoke at a CES panel on privacy issues in facial recognition technologies as part of the Leaders in Technology program at CES. The panel was moderated by Tony Romm of Politico and included FTC Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen and Harley Geiger, legislative counsel for Representative Zoe Lofgren. Dixon spoke on the need for increased work on consumer options in a “sensor rich environment where there is no option to opt out by walking out.” Referenced in the panel was WPF’s report on digital signage and facial recognition, The One-Way Mirror Society.

World Privacy Forum: California, Don’t Weaken Californian’s Health Privacy Laws

July 21, 2012 San Diego, California — Today the World Privacy Forum filed comments on California’s plan to harmonize existing California state law to federal health privacy laws. California’s health privacy law, the CMIA, offers Californian’s stronger privacy protections than national level health privacy laws. WPF urges California to reconsider its plan to weaken Californian’s privacy. Executive director Pam Dixon said “The harmonization plan coming out of California’s Department of Health and Human Services is not in harmony with California patients and their health privacy.”

California AG creates new privacy protection and enforcement unit

New California privacy enforcement office — California Attorney General Kamala Harris has created a new privacy protection and enforcement unit. The unit will be housed in the Department of Justice and will focus on protecting consumer and individual privacy through civil prosecution of state and federal privacy laws, a news release said. “The Privacy Unit’s mission to enforce and protect privacy is broad. It will enforce laws regulating the collection, retention, disclosure, and destruction of private or sensitive information by individuals, organizations, and the government. This includes laws relating to cyber privacy, health privacy, financial privacy, identity theft, government records and data breaches. By combining the various privacy functions of the Department of Justice into a single enforcement and education unit with privacy expertise, California will be better equipped to enforce state privacy laws and protect citizens’ privacy rights. ” Joanne McNabb, who ran the now de-funded California Office of Privacy Protection, will serve as director of privacy education and policy for the unit.