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The Privacy Advisor | IAPP in the News: Academy Draws Media for Tech Coverage Related reading: Therrien calls for enforcement powers, changes in law



Academy Draws Media for Tech Coverage

With its special focus on technology, the IAPP Privacy Academy 2007 drew a number of journalists covering the latest developments in the areas of RFID, online privacy and cybercrime.

Microsoft Announcement Makes Headlines

During the opening plenary session, keynote speaker Scott Charney, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing (TwC) Group, made news when he shared the results of Microsoft's latest security intelligence report, titled "Microsoft Study on Data Protection and Role Collaboration Within Organizations."

The San Francisco Chronicle broke the story on Tuesday morning just before Charney took the stage, reporting, "Microsoft Corp. will deliver the same plea today to two different sets of corporate hotshots, a group of privacy professionals meeting here in San Francisco and their data security counterparts who are meeting in London: You'd better work together because a new generation of criminal hackers are out to rob companies and customers blind."

According to the Chronicle, "the two speeches, delivered to the two sides of the corporate protection brain, are Microsoft's way of calling attention to increasingly sophisticated forms of computer break-ins perpetrated by organized criminals intent on cracking the bank vault, so to speak, in contrast to yesterday's hackers who just wanted to spray paint the walls."

Charney's keynote also garnered attention from both CNNMoney and, with CNNMoney also anticipating his remarks at the Academy, in which he discussed Microsoft's findings "that organizations with poor collaboration were more than twice as likely as organizations with good collaboration to have suffered a data breach in the past two years." also covered the keynote, quoting Charney as saying, "There is no one-size-fits-all solution for organizations looking to effectively collaborate and protect data, but we hope this research will be a good resource for companies thinking about how to approach this."

Academy Coverage Takes Center Stage in Privacy Column

CNET News columnist Eric J. Sinrod, wrote in his weekly column following the Academy that "privacy protection has become a real world industry of its own."

"Indeed," he said, "the recently concluded meeting of the International Association of Privacy Professionals in San Francisco bore witness to just how important privacy has become to businesses, government, educational institutions, and of course, individuals."

Sinrod pointed out that when he first started covering online privacy issues a decade ago, "there was no such thing as a ‘CPO.' " At the Academy, however, Sinrod said he found himself "bumping into chief privacy officers all over the conference."

He also found a common theme among the "hundreds of privacy and security professionals in attendance" at the Academy, including companies from both inside and outside the technology sector: "It's high time to find privacy solutions that really work."

"So it was," he said, "that the conference hosted numerous breakout sessions over the course of three days, ranging across issues that arise in financial services, marketing, health care, retail, government, human resources, children, higher education, international, and technology."

Read Sinrod's article at

RFID Tags a Hot Topic

RFID was bound to be a topic of discussion at the Academy following California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's signing of a law earlier in October banning the forced implantation of the tags in humans by an employer.

Gina M. Scott, reporting for Government Technology, covered a breakout session at the conference in which Daniel Pradelles, CIPP, Privacy Officer for Hewlett Packard, and Sandra Hughes, CIPP, Global Privacy Executive for Procter & Gamble and IAPP Board Vice President, discussed public trust of RFID and explained how the technology can be used while still protecting privacy.

According to Pradelles, wrote Scott, the key is public education. "Education of all. When I say of all, this is not only education of the consumer … we need education of all people using RFID chips and RFID information."

Hughes concurred, saying that one way to achieve this is through the creation of a universally recognized symbol for RFID tags to help educate and inform the public — much like the copyright symbol or the kosher symbol. "There is a project proposal from the Center for Information Policy Leadership … to come up with some requirements and specifications if we would have a universal symbol that would go across all industries across the globe," said Hughes. She added that widespread individual item-level tagging is at least five years away.

Additionally, according to the article, Pradelles called for a law requiring the disclosure of RFID use regulations to be written.

Read the complete article at


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