Today the World Privacy Forum published a report discussing the US federal government’s use of commercial data brokers, the implications for that usage, and what needs to be done to address privacy problems. The report argues that the government must bring itself fully to heel in the area of privacy, explaining that when government outsources its data needs to commercial data brokers, it needs to also attach the privacy standards it would have been held to if it had collected the data itself. Outsourcing can no longer be an excuse for evading privacy obligations.
Self-regulation — The World Privacy Forum has published a report on past self-regulatory efforts in the area of privacy, Many Failures: A brief history of privacy self-regulation. “Privacy self-regulation has been a Potemkin Village of consumer protection,” says executive director Pam Dixon. “History shows a pattern of past self-regulatory efforts that have been erected quickly and have faded after regulatory threats fade.” The report is authored by Robert Gellman and Pam Dixon. It includes details about programs such as the IRSG, the Privacy Leadership Initiative, the Privacy Alliance, and other programs. A key finding of this report is that the majority of the industry self-regulatory programs that were initiated failed in one or more substantive ways, and many disappeared entirely.
Department of Commerce and Safe Harbor — New Report The World Privacy Forum published a new report today that evaluates the US Department of Commerce’s work on privacy protection for consumers, given its role overseeing such critical programs as the US/EU Safe Harbor data agreement. The report, The US Department of Commerce and International Privacy Activities: Indifference and Neglect, identifies a number of issues of concern regarding the Department’s privacy programs, most particularly, the current Safe Harbor framework. The report’s analysis find that three separate studies consistently show that many and perhaps most Safe Harbor participants are not in compliance with their obligations under Safe Harbor.
World Privacy Forum Report | Digital Signage — The World Privacy Forum published a groundbreaking report today on digital signage and privacy. The report, The One Way Mirror Society, discusses the remarkable consumer surveillance occurring in retail and other spaces. This is the first report on this topic to be published. From the report:
WPF Red Flag Report — The World Privacy Forum has updated its Red Flag report, Red Flag and Address Discrepancy Requirements: Suggestions for Health Care Providers. The update reflects the new effective date of the Red Flag Rule, (November 1, 2009) and incorporates other minor updates in the text. This report replaces the original Red Flag report published September 2008.