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.

WPF dialogues with App developers at Privacy Summit in Los Angeles, San Diego

Mobile Apps — Pam Dixon will be speaking in the Privacy Summit Series in dialogue with the leading mobile app developers in Los Angeles and San Diego, both mobile app hotspots. The dialogues are part of a national series aimed at fostering a robust discussion between privacy experts and leading developers. The Los Angeles event is taking place June 5, the San Diego event is June 6.

California Budget Plan Nixes State’s Privacy Office

California privacy — The just-published California budget nixes the California Office of Privacy Protection, the first state-level privacy office in the United States and the source of crucial privacy assistance and information for Californians and California businesses. The World Privacy Forum is urging the Governor to reinstate funding for this critical office for Californians.

Public Comments: April 2011 – WPF Files Joint Comments on California Health Information Exchanges

California has proposed regulations for health information exchange projects in the state. WPF has submitted comments encouraging more privacy protections, and we are joined in our comments by Privacy Activism and the Center for Digital Democracy. One key request in the comments is that California not allow patient consent to be waived in HIE projects. We are also requesting that California create a unified web listing of its HIE projects for increased transparency and to facilitate patient access to HIE information and policies.