Data Privacy Day 2010 to Raise Awareness of 'Digital Identity' Risks, Benefits

Share Article

To help build “transparency, consumer control, and accountability" into the online data collection process "without sacrificing the benefits” of new technologies, Intel, Google, Microsoft and others have joined to support Data Privacy Day 2010 (http://www.dataprivacyday2010.org) which seeks to make everyone smarter about data collection and use.

Individuals need to become engaged in how all of this works. We want everyone to take seriously the idea that each of us should participate in this information economy.

Once available only from a desktop computer, Internet services are now constantly accessible in the mobile, always-on world of the smart phone, the Netbook, GPS, Fast Pass, key fob payment systems and other digital devices that speed us through our days. In using them we create detailed online identities, allowing Internet services to meet our specific needs – and to know nearly all there is to know about us.

The point is being driven home by a series of U.S. Federal Trade Commission privacy round tables bringing together advocates and privacy-forward thinking companies already at work solving the problem that “consumer disclosure as we know it simply does not work.” FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection David Vladeck set the bar for success when he said “consumers do not really understand the data collection process.”

To help build “transparency, consumer control, and accountability into the process without sacrificing the benefits” of new technologies, Intel, Google, Microsoft and others have joined to support Data Privacy Day 2010 (http://www.dataprivacyday2010.org) which seeks to make everyone smarter about data collection and use.

“Despite all the benefits of new and innovative technologies, there are doubts and worries that persist about just how much personal information -- our digital identity -- is collected, stored, used, and shared to power these convenient and pervasive services,” said Richard Purcell, executive director of The Privacy Projects (http://www.theprivacyprojects.org), organizing sponsor of Data Privacy Day.

The day is a schedule of events that stretch from now through February 2010. It brings together companies, governments, institutions, academics and not-for-profit organizations in the United States, Canada, and Europe to help remedy the cited lack of consumer understanding and promote awareness about the ways we share personal information, the way it is used and the consequences with sharing it.

“Individuals need to become engaged in how all of this works. We want everyone to take seriously the idea that each of us should participate in this information economy,” Purcell said.

Activities are planned at universities, inside corporations and in national capitals, Purcell said. Any school or company that wants to participate can get started by accessing a variety of educational materials on the Data Privacy Day website, according to Purcell.

Already North Carolina and Arkansas governors have issued proclamations supporting Data Privacy Day 2010. The National Association of Attorneys General has voted a resolution encouraging privacy awareness and activities in each state and a resolution is pending in the House of Representatives in support of Data Privacy Day.

“One specific event taking place on January 28 is the Privacy by Design 2010 Challenge,” said Purcell. “It is a competition based on groundbreaking work by Dr. Ann Cavoukian, Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, Canada.” It will judge the best use of technology to create privacy-aware business models. Information about the competition can be found at http://www.privacybydesign.ca/index.htm.

Other privacy-related events happening on and around Data Privacy Day include:

  •     The University of North Carolina School of Law will be hosting a half-day conference on January 22, 2010, dedicated to the topic of reader privacy, library standards of privacy, and how and whether those standards adapt to technological innovations like Google Book Service and Amazon’s Kindle.
  •     University of California at Berkeley will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the birth of privacy as a public policy issue on January 29, 2010. Privacy events will also be held at Stanford, Arizona State University, George Washington University, the University of Alberta, and Dalhousie, among others.
  •     The American Conference Institute will be hosting its 9th Annual Advanced Forum on Privacy and Security of Consumer & Employee Information on January 26-27, 2010 in Washington, D.C.
  •     The Federal Trade Commission will be hosting its second Privacy Roundtable discussion at Berkeley on Data Privacy Day.

“While new web services and consumer technologies have had a positive effect on most of our lives, there is significant concern over the ways the digital identities we have created may be used,” said Purcell.

The Privacy Projects (TPP) is a Nordland, Washington-based, non-profit research institute that funds academic research into “evidence-based” privacy aimed at enhancing policies, practices and tools necessary to meet the power of the new technologies. An independent voice, TPP seeks to offer insight to companies, governments and consumer advocates as new information-driven businesses are considered, developed and deployed.

###

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

John Berard
Visit website