In 2012, the US Federal Trade Commission brought a remarkable case against Equifax for selling consumer financial information — which included credit scores and late mortgage payment information– to companies offering services to consumers in financial distress. The World Privacy Forum commented to the FTC on this case, which was important for a number of reasons.
Privacy in India and Developing Economies — World Privacy Forum Executive Director Pam Dixon will present WPF’s research and India privacy videos at the FTC – IAPP Global Privacy Conference workshop Wednesday, March 7. The session, Global Perspectives on Consumer Privacy, is the first session of its kind at IAPP or the FTC focused on privacy in developing economies. WPF has researched privacy extensively in India, and has documented a number of key privacy issues in a video series. So far, 5 videos in the series have been released. All of the videos were shot on location in India and feature Pam Dixon, with videographer Blake Hamilton. These videos offer a rare and early glimpse into privacy interactions and issues in India. WPF will be releasing one more video on biometric ID cards in India.
FTC | Mobile privacy – Pam Dixon spoke at the FTC’s May 30 mobile disclosures workshop. The panel focused on exploring privacy in the mobile applications and mobile wireless space. Some of the privacy topics Dixon covered at the workshop included the role and use of unique identifiers in wireless technologies.
Data Broker opt out — WPF, in 2011 comments to the FTC, urged the FTC to create a centralized place for consumers to opt-out of data broker tracking. This is a long-standing issue WPF has worked on. Previously, WPF filed a petition in 2009 to the FTC regarding mail-in data broker opt outs, which resulted in an FTC action and improvements for consumers. In its new report published today, the FTC has picked up WPF’s centralized opt out recommendation, specifically citing WPF’s comments. From its report: “The Commission recommends that the data broker industry explore the idea of creating a centralized website where data brokers that compile and sell data for marketing could identify themselves to consumers and describe how they collect consumer data and disclose the types of companies to which they sell the information.” The WPF strongly supports this idea and views assistance to consumers in this area as vital.
The FTC’s new privacy report — a long -awaited planbook for privacy in the digital age – has picked up several key recommendations the WPF has made. First, the report picks up WPF’s direct recommendation in its 2011 comments that the FTC set up a centralized web site to allow consumers to opt out of data brokers. The FTC has directly called for this as a primary part of its report. The WPF strongly supports this. Pam Dixon of the WPF originated the Do Not Track idea in 2007, and with a group of privacy experts, submitted the original idea to the FTC that year. Now, DNT has also made it into the final FTC report.