Notes from the IAPP Publications Editor, Dec. 14, 2018

(Dec 14, 2018) Greetings from Portsmouth, NH! I don't know about you, but with year's end just around the corner, it feels like a mad dash to tie up loose ends, wrap up year-long projects, and, well, scramble to complete all those last-minute, holiday errands. It's hard to believe 2018 is already coming to a close, but, hey, 2019 could bring a lot of promise.  What remained clear this week, no doubt, is that there will be continued discussion and lobbying in 2019 about a potential federal privacy law in the ... Read More

FTC Chair Simons voices support for federal US privacy law

(Dec 14, 2018) U.S. Federal Trade Commission Chair Joseph Simons said he is in favor of a federal privacy law but offered warnings about its potential consequences, AdExchanger reports. Speaking in front of a Judiciary Subcommittee, Simons said a federal privacy law “could have an adverse impact on competition, potentially by entrenching the major digital platforms.” The FTC chair said the U.S. should take the EU General Data Protection Regulation as “an opportunity to look at it as if it’s a natural experimen... Read More

Op-ed: Why the US must protect children's privacy in school

(Dec 14, 2018) In an op-ed for The New York Times, Dipayan Ghosh and Jim Steyer write that as the U.S. government begins addressing the impact of the tech sector on personal privacy, they must make a collective effort to specifically protect children’s privacy. As tech companies become further ingrained in the education system, they write that concerns have been raised over the “illegitimate sharing of and access to student data” and add “we cannot allow the industry to overtake the American classroom.” The au... Read More

Senators propose privacy bill establishing fiduciary duties for online companies

(Dec 13, 2018) Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, introduced new federal privacy legislation Wednesday that has the support of 14 Democratic senators. The Data Care Act, unlike other draft federal bills, introduces a duty of care, loyalty and confidentiality. "Just as doctors and lawyers are expected to protect and responsibly use the personal data they hold," Schatz said, "online companies should be required to do the same." According to TechCrunch, Schatz said transparency and control are important, "but there's b... Read More

CDT proposes a US federal privacy law

(Dec 13, 2018) The Center for Democracy & Technology has proposed a federal privacy law, which is now open for discussion. In a blog post, the CDT's Michelle Richardson, Nuala O'Connor, CIPP/G, CIPP/US, Natasha Duarte, and Joseph Jerome, CIPP/US, outlined the thinking behind their proposal. "We hope this draft will inspire feedback and collaboration from all stakeholders and serve as a resource for decision makers who seek to rebalance our privacy ecosystem in favor of users." In a thread on Twitter, Jerom... Read More

HHS calls for feedback to improve HIPAA guidance on data sharing

(Dec 13, 2018) The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Civil Rights has called for feedback on ways to improve guidance within the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act in regards to data sharing and privacy, HealthITSecurity reports. Industry stakeholders are asked to cite the HIPAA provisions they believe “present obstacles to these goals without meaningfully contributing to the privacy and security of protected health information and/or patients’ ability to exercise their ... Read More

Survey: Majority of citizens favor federal US privacy law

(Dec 13, 2018) An online survey conducted by Arm Treasure Data found 72 percent of citizens are in favor of a federal U.S. privacy law, Multichannel Merchant reports. While the majority of the 600 individuals surveyed are in favor of a federal privacy law, most respondents have not asked companies to delete any personal data they may hold and do not plan to do so in the future. Only 15.1 percent asked a company to delete their data, and another 8.5 percent considered asking. Respondents also believe tech compa... Read More

Rapid DNA network rollout raises privacy concerns

(Dec 13, 2018) The Washington Post reports on how a new portable machine is revolutionizing the way DNA samples are analyzed. Roughly the size of a large desktop printer, Rapid DNA can produce a profile of 20 specific loci on a DNA strand in less than two hours instead of days or weeks. The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation launched an initiative to create a Rapid DNA network, connecting booking stations around the country so they can check arrestees against the FBI’s combined national DNA database, CODIS. ... Read More

China allegedly behind Marriott data breach

(Dec 12, 2018) U.S. officials believe the hackers behind the Marriott data breach may work for China’s Ministry of State Security, The New York Times reports. American intelligence agencies have not reached a final conclusion about who conducted the cyberattack; however, cybersecurity firms brought in to examine the damage found computer code used previously by Chinese actors. Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesman Geng Shuang denied the country’s involvement in the attack. “China firmly opposes all for... Read More

Pichai backs federal US privacy law at House hearing

(Dec 12, 2018) Google CEO Sundar Pichai testified in front of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee on the tech company’s data practices, Yahoo reports. Pichai contested a statement from Judiciary Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., that Google is not transparent about the data it collects from its users. When asked by Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., about the potential federal U.S. privacy law, Pichai said he is in favor of such legislation. “Congressman, I’m of the opinion that we are better off with more of an o... Read More