Consumer Privacy

World Privacy Forum receives 2008 Consumer Excellence Award

Consumer Excellence Award — World Privacy Forum executive director Pam Dixon has received a 2008 Consumer Excellence Award for her leadership and work in the area of medical identity theft and consumer privacy from Consumer Action. Also honored was Herb Weisbaum, a 5-time Emmy-winner who is a consumer contributor to NBC’s Today Show. Consumer Action was founded in 1971 and is a national non-profit organization focused on consumer education and advocacy. The awards ceremony was held in San Francisco on June 26th. The World Privacy Forum is honored to accept this award.

World Privacy Forum files comments with FTC regarding credit -based insurance scoring

Financial privacy — The World Privacy Forum filed comments with the Federal Trade Commission today about its proposed study of credit -based pricing practices for homeowners insurance. The World Privacy Forum requested that the FTC ask insurers if there are specific procedures in place for detecting, mitigating, and responding to consumers who have been victims of identity theft. The WPF noted its support for the FTC’s use of the FTC Act Section 6(b) authority to acquire robust information from the insurance companies.

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.

Key genetic oversight report released; includes changes based on World Privacy Forum comments

SACGHS | Oversight of genetic testing — The Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Genetics, Health and Society (SACGHS) released its final report on Oversight of Genetic Testing (U.S. System of Oversight of Genetic Testing: A Response to the Charge of the Secretary of Health and Human Services, April 2008, PDF, 276 pages). This is a substantial, thoughtful report that is likely to have a long-term impact on the field. The World Privacy Forum submitted formal written comments regarding this report when it was in draft form, and also appeared before the Committee in person in February of 2008 to discuss additional information relevant to the report. The final report reflects the World Privacy Forum comments and testimony. The report now includes a discussion about Direct to Consumer advertising and marketing as well as related privacy issues. The discussion in the final report also now acknowledges the implications of Direct to Consumer marketing of genetic tests regarding online privacy. The final report also reflects generally increased attention to privacy issues.