New Privacy Study Challenges Industry Assertions on the Cost of Protecting Consumers' Privacy (Gellman)

Robert Gellman has released a paper on the costs of NOT protecting privacy. The March 26, 2002, white paper is titled "Privacy, Consumers, and Costs: How The Lack of Privacy Costs Consumers and Why Business Studies of Privacy Costs Are Biased and Incomplete."

Privacy is an elusive, value-laden concept, and it is hard to reach consensus on a definition. In recent, self-serving studies, the business community seized upon this lack of clarity to distort debates about the true costs of privacy - costs to individuals, society and to the business community itself. These studies have led to a mainly one-sided public discussion of privacy, overstating the costs to businesses, ignoring the costs consumers incur to protect their privacy, and understating the benefits that privacy offers to commerce and to society.

A Review of the Fair Information Principles: The Foundation of Privacy Public Policy

Nearly 25 years ago in 1973, a task force was formed at the U.S. Dept of Health Education and Welfare (HEW) to look at the impact of computerization on medical records privacy. The members wanted to develop policies that would allow the benefits of computerization to go forward, but at the same time provide safeguards for personal privacy.

The Information Marketplace: Merging and Exchanging Consumer Data

Since the mid-1990s the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has held numerous workshops and conducted important surveys on privacy in the online arena. The FTC has taken significant strides in bringing these issues to light and in framing the public policy debate. I am pleased that the FTC is now taking up the issue of offline consumer privacy issues.

What's Missing from This Picture?: Comments to FTC "Information Flows" Workshop

"The free flow of information." This phrase has a deceptively appealing ring to it, almost patriotic in tone. We have heard it used frequently by industry representatives during the workshop today. What are some of the consequences of the free flow of information?

Public Attitudes about the Privacy of Information

Privacy is such a personal issue that peoples' attitudes about it differ greatly. The willingness to provide access to personal information is often contingent on the reward for doing so. Such rewards often take the form of additional savings, coupons, and rebates. Since personal information has value, if you choose to withhold it, you may deny yourself

"A Review of State and Federal Privacy Laws": Testimony to the California Legislature Joint Task Force on Personal Information and Privacy

I will speak briefly about two related topics: First, I will give an overview of a code of privacy principles called the Fair Information Practices. These, in part or in full, form the basis of many privacy-related laws, as well as industry initiatives.

Second, I will talk about the approach taken at the federal and state levels to privacy laws, with a brief outline of some of those laws.

What's Missing from This Picture? Privacy Protection in the New Millennium

In the few minutes that I have this morning, I will present three vignettes that I have called "What's Missing in This Picture." These are:

  • Legislative Action in the Face of Strong Public Opinion Polls
  • Critical Analysis of Industry Assertions
  • Meaningful and Understandable Privacy Policies

The Role of Consumer Education and Intervention in an Environment of Limited Privacy Regulation

In an environment of limited privacy regulation, consumers must be able to have access to consumer education resources as well as problem-solving and intervention services. In addition to providing much-needed assistance, such consumer education and intervention services provide the function of a societal feedback loop. The PRC acts as a feedback mechanism by obtaining information from consumers about their experiences in the marketplace.

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