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(Mar 20, 2017) The views represented here are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the NSA or any other organization. On March 1, I had the privilege of testifying before Congress. The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the reauthorization of Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act, which expires in December of this year. The committee organized a panel of four witnesses from academia, think tanks, and the private sector; a separate, closed session included government witnesses. Of... Read More

Privacy Perspectives

Biometric monitors bring fresh privacy concerns to pro sports

(Mar 8, 2017) I have been a sports fan my entire life. Ever since my dad took me to my first baseball game, where Boston Red Sox right fielder Darren Bragg hit a grand slam off of then-Seattle Mariners super-mullet fireballer Randy Johnson, I was hooked. (I might also be the only person who remembers Darren Bragg, besides Darren Bragg). Watching countless games on TV, I’ve seen the evolution of the TV broadcasts go from simple graphics to an overwhelming onslaught of information. Ever since I started working... Read More

Privacy Perspectives

What privacy pros can take away from Uber's Greyball

(Mar 3, 2017) Just because it's legal, doesn't mean it's not stupid. That's an adage that is hopefully familiar to all privacy professionals. It's certainly something we talk a lot about in the office. I think we're learning that, when taken on as a corporate philosophy, applying ethical considerations to your products and services can go a long way in procuring user trust. An article from my colleague, Angelique Carson, CIPP/US, for example, on whether the profession needs an ethical code has generated a lo... Read More

Privacy Perspectives

Howard Schmidt: Defender of security and privacy

(Mar 3, 2017) The cybersecurity profession, the internet community, and online public safety professionals lost a great leader and friend on March 1, 2017. Howard Schmidt, who served the country as cybersecurity advisor to former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, died this week, leaving behind a legacy of extraordinary public service, commercial accomplishment, and deep devotion to his family. In Howard, the privacy community always had a true friend. His background as a police officer led him to ... Read More

Privacy Perspectives

Perhaps we should honor victims by not honoring them at all

(Feb 24, 2017) Another tragedy, another listicle of victims, another knot in my stomach. Since I’ve become a privacy professional, something about them just doesn’t **feel** right. Maybe you know what I’m talking about. If you don’t, context: news organizations like Buzzfeed have taken to publishing a list of victims after a newsworthy tragedy. They have been for years, unquestioned. There’s one for the San Bernardino shootings, the Pulse Nightclub massacre, the Bataclan terrorist attacks in Paris, the murder... Read More

Privacy Perspectives

The five big data stages of adjustment to the GDPR

(Feb 23, 2017) On January 31, I took part in an IAPP-hosted webinar on managing risk and big data analytics under the EU's General Data Protection Regulation alongside Gwendal Le Grand, the Director of Technology and Innovation at the CNIL, France's data protection authority, and Mike Hintze, former Microsoft chief privacy counsel and now partner at Hintze Law.  Based on interactions with companies and regulators following the webinar, we found that companies are at varying stages of adjustment to the upcomin... Read More

Privacy Perspectives

Seatbelts, everyone: Netflix's 'Magic School Bus' reboot to tackle privacy

(Feb 14, 2017) ... and I couldn't be more pumped if I tried.  But before I vomit enthusiasm, I will address those amongst us scratching their heads.  The "Magic School Bus" is a beloved book-series-turned-PBS-show that chronicles the adventures of Ms. Frizzle (played by the goddess that is Lily Tomlin), the ultimate kooky aunt, and her class of budding nerds as they explore science with the aid of their (#plottwist) anthropomorphic magic school bus. It can shrink, take the class to the rainforest, go underwa... Read More

Privacy Perspectives

In Jessica Rich, FTC loses cornerstone of privacy program

(Feb 8, 2017) In 1890, Warren and Brandeis asserted privacy as a legal right, a right to be let alone. In 1960, William Prosser introduced the privacy torts: intrusion, public disclosure, false light, and appropriation. Since the 1990s, the Federal Trade Commission has established privacy and data security as a new regulatory area, through dozens of enforcement actions — which scholars have called “a new common law of privacy” — policy reports, and research workshops. Throughout this period, spanning three d... Read More

Privacy Perspectives

This pacemaker just incriminated its owner

(Feb 7, 2017) In the privacy world, we often talk about trade-offs: the trade-off between privacy and convenience, or privacy and security. But what about privacy and life, itself? What if the technology that helps keep you alive also spies on you? Would you still use it? Is that even fair? Or legal? For some people, this life-and-death trade-off is already a reality. Take the case of Ross Compton, for example. The Middletown, Ohio, resident has been indicted on felony charges for aggravated arson for allege... Read More

Privacy Perspectives

Why the Pats are the Privacy Pro's pick

(Feb 3, 2017) Perhaps you don't have a favorite team playing in the Super Bowl. Of course, it's no fun watching without a rooting interest. You're wondering to yourself, "Hmmm, who am I going to root for here?"  Let me help you with that. It's quite clear that the New England Patriots are the privacy professional's pick.  But, but, but, you say, what about Spygate! They're cheaters and engage in covert surveillance and whatnot! Marshall Faulk told me so! Let's revisit that just for a bit, shall we? The tap... Read More

Privacy Perspectives