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A testament to the growing importance of data privacy is the fact the IAPP now has more than 6,200 members worldwide. It is a down economy. We are all doing more with fewer resources. Yet data privacy issues, and the professional field that deals with them, continues to expand.

The data privacy headlines reflect this growth. In the past six weeks: Germany’s Bundestag passed legislation to restrict marketers’ data collection practices; the U.S. Federal Trade Commission again extended the enforcement date for the Red Flags Rule; Irani President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad implemented a data retention law; and Morocco’s King decided to create a commission for the protection of personal data. Data breach notification laws took effect in two more U.S. states and Pakistani officials rolled out new RFID-enabled driver’s licenses.

Elsewhere, Maine legislators enacted a law restricting marketers’ collection and use of minors’ personal information; computer scientists created “self-destruct” software for digital data; and Canada’s federal privacy commissioner released the findings of an extensive, first-of-its-kind investigation into the privacy practices of a major social networking site.

The space and the issues are heating up. We are covering all of the above-mentioned topics, and many more, at the IAPP Privacy Academy. If you haven’t already, please visit www.privacyacademy.org to discover the breadth of practical knowledge up for grabs at this year’s Academy. If ever there was a good time to push for professional development resources, the time is now. Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley is among nearly 80 Academy presenters. Her keynote address, and the breakout sessions to follow it, will give conference-goers the confidence and practical know-how they need to come into compliance with the strict requirements set out by MA 201 CMR 17. (More info on page 30.)

I hope to see many of you in Boston.

J. Trevor Hughes, CIPP
Executive Director, IAPP

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