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LIB3040 Information and Society
Prof. Klusek
Fall 2010
The Right to be Left Alone

 Samuel Warren and Louis Brandeis,
  published “The Right to Privacy” in the
  Harvard Law Review in 1890
 They argued that the constitution and
  common law allowed for a right to
 They defined the right to privacy as
  the “right to be left alone”
Key Elements of Privacy
  Intrusion into a person‟s seclusion or
   private affairs
  Disclosure of embarrassing private
  Publicity placing a person in a „false
  Using a name or likeness without
                  Dean Prosser 'Privacy' (1960) 48
                           California Law Review
Privacy in the Electronic Age
 In the 1970‟s privacy law moved from
  its focus on “information” to
 Privacy is the “claim of individuals,
  groups or institutions to determine for
  themselves when, how and to what
  extent information about them is
  communicated to others.”
        Alan Westin. Privacy and Freedom. New
                          York, Atheneum, 1967
Privacy in the Internet Age
 With the expansion of the internet in
  the 1990‟s, many in the U.S.
  advocated a comprehensive privacy
  law but -
 The Federal Trade Commission
  continued to regulate privacy on the
  internet by prohibiting companies from
  engaging in “unfair or deceptive acts
  or practices.”
The European Experience

 Privacy is a basic human right
 Many countries in Europe have
  omnibus privacy laws covering data
  collection and use in both the public
  and private sectors
 Members of the European Union must
  comply with the EU Data Protection
  Directive of 1995
EU Data Protection Directive

 Individuals have control over the
  collection and use of information
  about themselves including text,
  visual and sound recordings
 Privacy rights apply in all contexts
  except national security and criminal
Data Protection
   General principles include:
     No secret databanks
     Individual can review their records
     Individuals can correct their records
     Organizations must protect the
     Information collected for one purpose
      cannot be used for another
Flow of Data
 Under the EU Directive, data cannot
  flow to countries that lack adequate
  data protection
 The U.S. has a „safe harbor‟
  agreement with the EU
 Other countries including Canada,
  Switzerland, Argentina, Japan,
  Australia and Hong Kong have
  passed data protection laws
The Case of Wi-fi Gate
   Google gathered private data from
    household wifi networks while capturing
    data for its Street Views
   German Interior Minister Thomas de
    Maiziere said it was 'a particularly
    serious invasion of privacy rights' when
    sites 'publish data that has been
    aggregated as a matter of business' and
    that 'yields a comprehensive personality
    or travel profile' of a person.
State Law
   In the United States, 46 states have
    enacted data breach laws
   This means differing categories of
    personal data covered, the definition of a
    breach, the threshold (if any) for harm to
    individuals that triggers requirements for
    notification, the timeliness and forms of
    notification, the involvement of law
    enforcement and oversight agencies,
    and penalties and legal recourse.

 Does the United States need to adopt
  an omnibus privacy law like the EU?
 Should the United States continue its
  current policy of open market self
  regulation ?
Internet Policy Task Force
Internet Policy Task Force

   President Obama         The Task Force
    set up an Internet       will study:
    Policy Task Force           Privacy
    under the                   Copyright
    direction of the            Global Free Flow
    Federal Trade                of Information
    Commission in               Cybersecurity
Proposed Framework

 The FTC issued a preliminary report,
  Protecting Consumer Privacy in an
  Era of Rapid Change, on Dec. 1, 2010
 The FTC said that industry efforts to
  address privacy through self-
  regulation “have been too slow, and
  up to now have failed to provide
  adequate and meaningful protection.”
Privacy Policies
FTC Recommendations

  Privacy by Design
  Simplified Choice
     • Offer consumers a choice at the time and
       in context of decision making – Do not
    Greater Transparency
     • Shorter, clearer privacy notices
     • Offer consumers access to their data
     • Educate consumers about data privacy
Privacy by Design

 Companies build privacy protection
  into their everyday business practices
 Privacy by default and embedded in
 Based on respect for individuals
         Ann Cavoukian, Information and Privacy
               Commissioner, Ontario, Canada at
Privacy by Design
Internet Advertising
   Internet advertising is a $ 25 billion industry in
    the U.S.
   Online behavioral advertising uses data from
    your browser activity to target and deliver ads
   Blue Kai, an internet data firm, claims it has
    data on more than 200 million users, reaching
    over 80% of U.S. internet population

Emily Steel “Some Data-Miners Ready to Reveal What They
              Know” Wall Street Journal, December 3, 2010
Do Not Track

 Would offer consumers an opt out
  feature like the „Do not call registry‟
 Would allow targeted ads but not
  collection of consumer data
 Hearings by the House Subcommittee
  on Commerce, Trade and Consumer
Corporate Response to the
   Interactive Advertising Bureau publishes
    guidelines for ethical behavior (July
   National Advertising Initiative publishes
    the NAI Principles, a set of self-
    regulatory industry standards (Dec.2008)
   Better Advertising Project starts the
    Open Data Initiative (Dec.2010)
Interactive Advertising
 The IAB published industry guidelines
  for online behavioral advertising in
  2009, the “Self-Regulatory Principles
  for Online Behavioral Advertising”
 Based on education, transparency,
  consumer control, data security,
  material changes, sensitive data and
Open Data Initiative
            will list tracking
            companies. Consumers
            can view their profiles
            and opt out
           Web advertisements
            displaying the open data
            icon will offer
            consumers their profile
            and opt out choices

   “the Internet and e-commerce depend
    on trust to flourish…[and] the
    government has an important but
    delicate role to play in preserving trust
    and enabling this digital fabric across
    our society to flourish”
          Cameron Kerry, General Counsel, Department of
Read More

   Privacy Matters Campaign from the
    Interactive Advertising Bureau at

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