Changes to Federal Common Rule delayed

(Jan 22, 2018) Updates to the Federal Common Rule were slated to go into effect last Friday, but were put on hold for the next six months. According to a press release from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the agency and 15 other federal departments announced an Interim Final Rule that delays the effective date of revisions to the "Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects" until July 19. The press release did not explain why the changes were delayed. In comments provided to the Dail... Read More

Google removes addiction 'patient brokering' ads in UK

(Jan 18, 2018) Following the discovery that online brokers targeted addicts in the U.K., Google announced it is globally removing such ads, The Sunday Times reports. Google said it would look for a “better way to connect people with the treatment they need.” Upon removal of the ads in question, searches including “addiction advice” will take the user to a list of options, starting with the NHS website. A parliamentary inquiry may be held to discuss whether the practice of “patient brokering" should be outlawed... Read More

Study pits human against machine in jail sentencing

(Jan 18, 2018) Julia Dressel, a student from Dartmouth College, set out to discover whether humans or algorithms were better at assessing risk when determining risk scores for jail sentencing and bail hearings, Science reports. In what is being called the first “horse race” between humans and algorithms, the findings showed that, statistically speaking, humans and machines assessed risk the same. Dressel’s study also revealed, in this instance, both humans and machines were unable to overcome bias. The report ... Read More

Twitter responds to claims of employee access to user data

(Jan 17, 2018) Twitter has published a public statement about the company’s stance on employee access to user data, saying, “We do not proactively review DMs [direct messages]. Period. A limited number of employees have access to such information, for legitimate work purposes, and we enforce strict access protocols for those employees,” TechCrunch reports. The statement follows claims made by the controversial group Project Veritas, which alleged the company had teams of employees looking at users’ personal da... Read More

Op-Ed: User-generated content blurs the public-private line

(Jan 17, 2018) In a column for The Hill, Neil Richards discusses recent fallout from YouTube star Logan Paul after he published video of what appears to be a dead body in Japan's so-called "suicide forest." The incident, Richards states, encapsulates the significant issues with user-generated content and speaks to the inability of laws to keep up with the digital era. “Paul’s story is exceptional, but for many people it underlined the open questions we have about privacy in the digital age," Richards writes. "... Read More

Why AI can help increase privacy for users

(Jan 12, 2018) "Technology pundits frequently lament that our increasingly digital world has eroded consumer privacy by enabling businesses to collect and use more personal data," write the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation's Daniel Castro and Alan McQuinn. Yet, they point out, "what is often lost in the conversation is that the growing use of artificial intelligence actually increases the potential for consumer privacy by reducing the number of humans who see their personal information." In thi... Read More

AI offers opportunity to increase privacy for users

(Jan 12, 2018) Technology pundits frequently lament that our increasingly digital world has eroded consumer privacy by enabling businesses to collect and use more personal data. However, what is often lost in the conversation is that the growing use of artificial intelligence actually increases the potential for consumer privacy by reducing the number of humans who see their personal information. People increasingly use AI for everyday tasks, from organizing their calendars to processing business receipts to ... Read More

Draft bill's clauses on public-sector data raise concern

(Jan 10, 2018) Clauses added to the U.K.’s draft data protection bill on the processing of public-sector data are raising some concern, TechCrunch reports. Health data privacy advocacy group MedConfidential says giving politicians the power to impose judgments on how to process sensitive data will tie political interests to the outcome, the report states. The U.K. Information Commissioner’s Office is calling for greater clarity on the draft legislation. “The commissioner understands the need for government dep... Read More

CES 2018, day two: Fear and loathing at Eureka Park

(Jan 10, 2018) The world's largest consumer electronics trade show takes place this week, and IAPP Associate Editor Ryan Chiavetta, CIPP/US, is on-site to see what role privacy is playing at the show. His mission on day two? To "see if privacy companies were among the fledgling startups, and I am happy to say I found some really interesting people to talk to," he writes. In this report from Las Vegas for Privacy Tech, Chiavetta introduces us to a handful of privacy-focused startups that are selling creative pr... Read More

CES 2018: Fear and loathing at Eureka Park

(Jan 10, 2018) About a month before I found out I would be attending CES 2018, I read Hunter S. Thompson's classic novel, "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas." What a coincidence that I would soon be occupying some of the same areas documented in one of the most wild drug trips in American literature. I am here to tell you that my experience and Dr. Gonzo's experience in Sin City have absolutely nothing in common. No bats. No drugged out lawyers dolling out bad advice. No wistful mourning of the 1960s. Instead, ... Read More