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?

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.

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.

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.

Privacy Today: A Review of Current Issues


The purpose of this report is to highlight and summarize key privacy issues affecting consumers today and tomorrow. Readers who want to explore issues in depth should visit the Web sites of government agencies, public interest groups, industry associations, and companies. A list of public interest groups that are working on these issues is provided at the end of the report.

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

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

Privacy Principles for California


California has many privacy-related laws on the books. These address government agency information use, telephone records and wiretapping, credit reporting, telemarketing, medical records, employment records, cable television viewing patterns, video rental records, merchant information gathering, insurance record-keeping, and identity theft. In many instances, California has led the nation in the creation of such laws.

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.

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