July 11, 2012 San Diego, California — Today the World Privacy Forum published a comment essay by executive director Pam Dixon urging all privacy stakeholders to focus on the consumer during the Commerce Multistakeholder privacy process, set to get underway tomorrow. “We must put the consumer first and focus on what is important,” said Pam Dixon.
Mobile privacy — Mobile app privacy is the topic of the multistakeholder process to be undertaken this week under the direction of the US Department of Commerce. Over the weekend, a NYT article revealed that mobile carriers received more than 1.3 million requests by law enforcement for mobile data, including requests for text messages. This article is a focusing event. It is a reminder that in mobile privacy we need to put the consumer first, focus on what is important, and apply responsibility for privacy and transparency throughout the hierarchy of mobile players, from carriers to platforms to app stores to publishers to developers. It is unclear yet what segments of the hierarchy require what amounts of the burden, but what is clear is that carriers will certainly need to do a lot. It is also clear that the idea of just an icon on a screen to communicate the idea of mobile privacy to consumers is a band-aid approach at best when faced with the truth of where some of the real risks are for consumers.
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.
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.
WPF filed two sets of comments with the US Department of Commerce regarding the MultiStakeholder Process and the privacy topics to be taken up. The first set of comments were WPF’s formal filing of the joint Civil Society MultiStakeholder Principles on behalf of WPF and the American Civil Liberties Union, Center for Digital Democracy, Consumer Action, Consumer Federation of America, Consumers’ Union, Consumer Watchdog, Electronic Frontier Foundation, National Consumers’ League, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, and US PIRG. The second set of comments were WPF’s own comments to the Department. WPF urged the Department to employ a fair process, choose focused topics, and to apply the full range of the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights to each topic.