Modern Permanent Record
The modern permanent record is a set of disparate bits of information about you that can be pieced together from online, offline, and other data sources to create a mosaic of your likes, dislikes, characteristics, finances, education, buying habits, eating habits, health conditions, and more. This mosaic can contain segments that are stubbornly difficult to remove or change; we call this the “modern permanent record.”
Privacy Act of 1974 — In response to a proposed Department of Homeland Security rulemaking regarding a system of records, the World Privacy Forum filed comments requesting changes. The primary objections are that the proposed system of records commingles records and functions, the proposed exemption is inconsistent with the system notice, and DHS’s proposed exemption from civil remedies was not correct, among other issues. The World Privacy Forum stated in its comments that the Department of Homeland Security should demonstrate its commitment to accountability and transparency in the rulemaking.
Internet privacy — The World Privacy Forum announced today that it would be filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission about the posting by AOL of a portion of its users’ search data on the Internet. While the data was not expressly identified by name, the search queries themselves included in some cases personally identifiable information such as individuals’ names, Social Security Numbers, and myriad other personal information. The World Privacy Forum urges consumers to take precautions when using search engines.
Internet privacy — Working to proactively prevent problems related to the use of search engines is preferable to trying to clean up privacy problems after the fact. Here are some tips and resources for enhancing search engine privacy.
Consumer tips on managing cookies — Some computer cookies are harmless, but others can track your moves across many Web sites, eventually building a detailed history of your preferences. The good news is that you can manage these persistent tracking cookies to some degree. To do this, you need to know how to say no to the third party tracking cookies you don’t want while still allowing yourself to say yes to the cookies you do want. There are several ways to do this. One way is to download “opt-out cookies.” Another way is to use your browser’s cookie management tools to manage your cookies. Another method is to regularly delete unwanted cookies. In some cases, you can stop tracking through account preferences at some web sites.
Job Searching in the Networked Environment: Consumer Benchmarks — The World Privacy Forum officially launches with this inaugural report, a study a year in its research on the job search sector. This study, The 2003 Job Search Privacy Study: Job Searching in the Networked Environment: Consumer Benchmarks , documents job applicant privacy across the job search industry from resume writers to job search sites to resume blasters and other parts of the job search infrastructure.