Privacy News: A decade-plus of compliance reports from the NSA Intelligence Oversight Board

On Christmas Eve, the US National Security Agency (NSA) declassified and released 12 years of reports outlining compliance violations that were submitted to the NSA Intelligence Oversight Committee. The reports, which are required by law, had previously been classified and were the subject of a legal battle between the ACLU and the government. Although heavily redacted, the reports the NSA released of are vital interest to the public because they reveal a pattern of significant privacy violations and in some cases serious abuses in granular detail.

California insurers announce largest Health Information Exchange in the US

Today, health insurers Blue Shield of California and Anthem Blue Cross announced the creation of a statewide database of patient medical records in California called Cal INDEX. When it launches later this year, it will be the country’s largest health information exchange, or HIE. The exchange is set to disseminate patient’s longitudinal medical files, and

WPF urges Big Data approach that addresses vulnerable populations

The World Privacy Forum’s recent public comments to the White House regarding Big Data focus on using a foundation of Fair Information Principles to address issues connected to bias, error, and privacy regarding big data as applied to vulnerable populations. The comments also discuss large medical research data sets, and stress the importance of applying

Congressional Testimony: What’s a Consumer to Do? Consumer Perceptions and Expectations of Privacy Online

WPF executive director Pam Dixon testified at a joint subcommittee hearing focused on privacy and the collection and use of online and offline consumer information. Dixon’s testimony focused on the new “modern permanent record” and how it is used and created. Dixon said “The merging of offline and online data is creating highly personalized, granular profiles of consumers that affect consumers’ opportunities in the marketplace and in their lives. Consumers are largely unaware of these profiles and their consequences, and they have insufficient legal rights to change things even if they did know.” The testimony explored concrete examples of problematic consumer profiling activities.