Nonprofit•Washington D.C., District of Columbia, United States•
About: Future of Privacy Forum is a nonprofit organization based out in Washington D.C., District of Columbia, United States. It is known for research contribution in the topics: Data Protection Act 1998 & Information privacy. The organization has 11 authors who have published 37 publications receiving 1003 citations.
TL;DR: The importance of providing individuals with access to their data in usable format will let individuals share the wealth created by their information and incentivize developers to offer user-side features and applications harnessing the value of big data.
Abstract: We live in an age of “big data.” Data have become the raw material of production, a new source for immense economic and social value. Advances in data mining and analytics and the massive increase in computing power and data storage capacity have expanded by orders of magnitude the scope of information available for businesses and government. Data are now available for analysis in raw form, escaping the confines of structured databases and enhancing researchers’ abilities to identify correlations and conceive of new, unanticipated uses for existing information. In addition, the increasing number of people, devices, and sensors that are now connected by digital networks has revolutionized the ability to generate, communicate, share, and access data. Data creates enormous value for the world economy, driving innovation, productivity, efficiency and growth. At the same time, the “data deluge” presents privacy concerns which could stir a regulatory backlash dampening the data economy and stifling innovation. In order to craft a balance between beneficial uses of data and in individual privacy, policymakers must address some of the most fundamental concepts of privacy law, including the definition of “personally identifiable information”, the role of individual control, and the principles of data minimization and purpose limitation. This article emphasizes the importance of providing individuals with access to their data in usable format. This will let individuals share the wealth created by their information and incentivize developers to offer user-side features and applications harnessing the value of big data. Where individual access to data is impracticable, data are likely to be de-identified to an extent sufficient to diminish privacy concerns. In addition, organizations should be required to disclose their decisional criteria, since in a big data world it is often not the data but rather the inferences drawn from them that give cause for concern.
TL;DR: In this article, the authors argue that we must take great care not to sacrifice consumer privacy amidst an atmosphere of unbridled enthusiasm for electricity reform, and they advocate the adoption of Dr. Ann Cavoukian's conceptual model "SmartPrivacy" to prevent potential invasions of privacy while ensuring full functionality of the Smart Grid.
Abstract: The 2003 blackout in the northern and eastern U.S. and Canada which caused a $6 billion loss in economic revenue is one of many indicators that the current electrical grid is outdated. Not only must the grid become more reliable, it must also become more efficient, reduce its impact on the environment, incorporate alternative energy sources, allow for more consumer choices, and ensure cyber security. In effect, it must become “smart.” Significant investments in the billions of dollars are being made to lay the infrastructure of the future Smart Grid. However, the authors argue that we must take great care not to sacrifice consumer privacy amidst an atmosphere of unbridled enthusiasm for electricity reform. Information proliferation, lax controls and insufficient oversight of this information could lead to unprecedented invasions of consumer privacy. Smart meters and smart appliances will constitute a data explosion of intimate details of daily life, and it is not yet clear who will have access to this information beyond a person’s utility provider. The authors of this paper urge the adoption of Dr. Ann Cavoukian’s conceptual model ‘SmartPrivacy’ to prevent potential invasions of privacy while ensuring full functionality of the Smart Grid. SmartPrivacy represents a broad arsenal of protections, encapsulating everything necessary to ensure that all of the personal information held by an organization is appropriately managed. These include: Privacy by Design; law, regulation and independent oversight; accountability and transparency; market forces, education and awareness; audit and control; data security; and fair information practices. Each of these elements is important, but the concept of Privacy by Design represents its sine qua non. When applying SmartPrivacy to the Smart Grid, not only will the grid be able to, for example, become increasingly resistant to attack and natural disasters—it will be able to do so while also becoming increasingly resistant to data leakage and breaches of personal information. The authors conclude that SmartPrivacy must be built into the Smart Grid during its current nascent stage, allowing for both consumer control of electricity consumption and consumer control of their personal information, which must go hand in hand. Doing so will ensure that consumer confidence and trust is gained, and that their participation in the Smart Grid contributes to the vision of creating a more efficient and environmentally friendly electrical grid, as well as one that is protective of privacy. This will result in a positive-sum outcome, where both environmental efficiency and privacy can coexist.
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors present a set of social and legal considerations to help individuals, engineers, businesses and policymakers navigate a world of new technologies and evolving social norms, including enhanced transparency, accessibility to information in usable format, and the elusive principle of context.
Abstract: The rapid evolution of digital technologies has hurled to the forefront of public and legal discourse dense social and ethical dilemmas that we have hardly begun to map and understand. In the near past, general community norms helped guide a clear sense of ethical boundaries with respect to privacy. One does not peek into the window of a house even if it is left open. One does not hire a private detective to investigate a casual date or the social life of a prospective employee. Yet with technological innovation rapidly driving new models for business and inviting new types of personal socialization, we often have nothing more than a fleeting intuition as to what is right or wrong. Our intuition may suggest that it is responsible to investigate the driving record of the nanny who drives our child to school, since such tools are now readily available. But is it also acceptable to seek out the records of other parents in our child’s car pool or of a date who picks us up by car? Alas, intuitions and perceptions of “creepiness” are highly subjective and difficult to generalize as social norms are being strained by new technologies and capabilities. And businesses that seek to create revenue opportunities by leveraging newly available data sources face huge challenges trying to operationalize such subjective notions into coherent business and policy strategies. This article presents a set of social and legal considerations to help individuals, engineers, businesses and policymakers navigate a world of new technologies and evolving social norms. These considerations revolve around concepts that we have explored in prior work, including enhanced transparency; accessibility to information in usable format; and the elusive principle of context.
TL;DR: The use of online behavioral tracking for advertising purposes has drawn criticism from journalists, privacy advocates and regulators as discussed by the authors, leading businesses to employ increasingly sophisticated technologies to track and profile individual users.
Abstract: The past decade has seen a proliferation of online data collection, processing, analysis and storage capacities leading businesses to employ increasingly sophisticated technologies to track and profile individual users. The use of online behavioral tracking for advertising purposes has drawn criticism from journalists, privacy advocates and regulators. Indeed, the behavioral tracking industry is currently the focus of the online privacy debate. At the center of the discussion is the Federal Trade Commission’s Do Not Track (DNT) proposal. The debate raging around DNT and the specific details of its implementation disguises a more fundamental disagreement among stakeholders about deeper societal values and norms. Unless policymakers address this underlying normative question – is online behavioral tracking a social good or an unnecessary evil – they may not be able to find a solution for implementing user choice in the context of online privacy. Practical progress advancing user privacy will be best served if policymakers and industry focus their debate on the desirable balance between efficiency and individual rights and if businesses implement tracking mechanisms fairly and responsibly. Policymakers must engage with these underlying normative questions; they cannot continue to sidestep these issues in the hope that “users will decide” for themselves.
TL;DR: The recent controversy over leaked documents revealing the massive scope of data collection, analysis, and use by the NSA and possibly other national security organizations has hurled to the forefront of public attention the delicate balance between privacy risks and big data opportunities.
Abstract: How should privacy risks be weighed against big data rewards? The recent controversy over leaked documents revealing the massive scope of data collection, analysis, and use by the NSA and possibly other national security organizations has hurled to the forefront of public attention the delicate balance between privacy risks and big data opportunities. The NSA revelations crystalized privacy advocates’ concerns of “sleepwalking into a surveillance society” even as decisionmakers remain loath to curb government powers for fear of terrorist or cybersecurity attacks.Big data creates tremendous opportunity for the world economy not only in the field of national security, but also in areas ranging from marketing and credit risk analysis to medical research and urban planning. At the same time, the extraordinary benefits of big data are tempered by concerns over privacy and data protection. Privacy advocates are concerned that the advances of the data ecosystem will upend the power relationships between government, business, and individuals, and lead to racial or other profiling, discrimination, overcriminalization, and other restricted freedoms.