In 2012, Electronic Frontier Foundation co-founder and Grateful Dead lyricist John Perry Barlow spoke from the IAPP stage to warn about U.S. government surveillance. As a privacy reporter at the time, much of my writing focused on commercial aspects of privacy, particularly with regard to data breaches. Less than a year later, in June 2013, a series of high-profile disclosures rippled throughout the world and changed the calculus for the privacy profession.
Hard to believe it's now been 10 years since an unknown U.S. government contractor leaked to the world massive amounts of information about U.S. government surveillance programs. Within weeks, Edward Snowden became a household, if not, controversial name — not only in the privacy profession — but to consumers and citizens far and wide. A lot has transpired since the summer of Snowden in 2013. The U.S. has altered some of its surveillance laws, and the trans-Atlantic relationship between the U.S. and EU has grown complicated after a series of data transfer agreements were struck down by the EU's highest court. A third such agreement is pending.
Though the privacy world is constantly changing, I wanted to stop and take stock of this last decade to see how much, if anything, has changed. To help measure the ripple effect, I had the chance to chat with IAPP Senior Research Fellow Müge Fazlioglu, CIPP/E, CIPP/US, and Research and Insights Director Joe Jones to uncover what has changed in the U.S. and abroad, as well as how consumer attitudes have evolved since then.
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