Modern Permanent Record

The modern permanent record is a set of disparate bits of information about you that can be pieced together from online, offline, and other data sources to create a mosaic of your likes, dislikes, characteristics, finances, education, buying habits, eating habits, health conditions, and more. This mosaic can contain segments that are stubbornly difficult to remove or change; we call this the “modern permanent record.”

World Privacy Forum files comments on proposed genetic discrimination regulations

Genetic Privacy | GINA — The World Privacy Forum filed comments on the proposed regulations on the Genetic Information NonDiscrimination Act, or GINA. The comments request that the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission close down several potential loopholes in consumer protection in the proposed regulations. The Forum specifically asked the EEOC to consider curtailing the amount of commercially available information employers could access about employees, for example, through marketing databases. WPF also requested that those covered under GINA be required to maintain audit trails in certain circumstances, and urged that wellness programs be structured in such a way so as to prevent information leakage through billing and other activities.

When opting out is hard to do: World Privacy Forum sends letter to FTC about data broker companies offering mail-based opt outs

Data broker opt out issue — The World Privacy Forum sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission asking it to look into four companies offering online consumers the ability to opt out, then asking those consumers to use a variety of postal-mail-based methods to do so.

World Privacy Forum opposes California DMV plan

Biometrics and ID — The California DMV (Division of Motor Vehicles) has proposed, through an expedited 30- day process, that it begin taking detailed facial scans of drivers and storing the scans in a state-wide database. This change, among other proposed DMV changes, represents a substantial policy shift for the state of California. The World Privacy Forum has urged that this process goes through normal legislative procedures so that there is adequate time for public input and for formal hearings.

Legal and Policy Analysis: Personal Health Records: Why Many PHRs Threaten Privacy

New publication | PHRs and privacy — The World Privacy Forum has published a new legal and policy analysis examining Personal Health Records — or PHRs — and the privacy issues associated with them. This analysis, Personal Health Records: Why Many PHRs Threaten Privacy, was prepared by Robert Gellman for the World Privacy Forum. The analysis finds that significant, serious threats to privacy exist in some PHRs.