Privacy News

World Privacy Forum, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, EPIC, and other consumer groups urge Google to post a link to its privacy policy from its home page

Internet privacy — The World Privacy Forum, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse and EPIC were joined by California-based EFF, the ACLU of Northern California, Consumer Action, Consumer Federation of California and other national groups in asking Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt to provide a prominent link to the Google privacy policy directly from its home page. Google has recently been criticized for not providing a link to its privacy policy from its home page, as the California Online Privacy Protection Act requires. The groups noted that linking to a privacy policy on a home page is considered a widespread best practice.

New FTC statistics affirm World Privacy Forum’s 2006 Medical Identity Theft report; give first robust medical identity theft statistics

Medical identity theft update — The Federal Trade Commission released its national ID theft survey, which for the first time contains statistics specific to medical identity theft. According to the FTC report (p. 21), 3 percent of all identity theft victims in 2005 were victims of medical identity theft, which means of 8.3 million ID theft victims, approximately 250,000 people were victimized by medical identity theft in that year alone. The purpose of the World Privacy Forum 2006 report was to prove that medical identity theft existed, and was already occurring in large numbers. At the time the report was published, the crime of medical identity theft had not been specifically studied, nor was it understood to exist. The FTC statistics abundantly affirm the thesis and conclusions of the WPF report.

Stop REAL ID

REAL ID — REAL ID is a national ID card program. Currently, the Department of Homeland Security is accepting public comments on the REAL ID plan. Comments will be accepted until Tuesday, May 8. The World Privacy Forum has joined with a large coalition of groups to solicit public comments on REAL ID; to file comments, please visit the Speak Out Against REAL ID coalition page for more information. http://www.privacycoalition.org/stoprealid/

Update: World Privacy Forum’s National Health Information Network Timeline

National Health Information Network — Recently, the first live prototypes of the NHIN were demonstrated in Washington, D.C. This was a milestone event in the development of the planned network. The National Health Information Network is an ambitious project the U.S. government undertook in 2004 to digitize and network patient health records across the nation. This project raises challenging confidentiality, privacy, and security issues.