Third Privacy Roundtable - Comments Submitted to Federal Trade Commission on Sensitive Personal Information


The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (PRC) respectfully submits the following comments to the Federal Trade Commission for its consideration in the third Privacy Roundtable, to be held March 17, 2010. 

In addressing the FTC’s question regarding what information is considered sensitive, we draw primarily from the PRC’s records of consumer complaints. Two general observations are:

  • The type of information consumers consider to be sensitive varies widely.
  • Even directory information – names, addresses, and phone numbers – is considered to be extremely sensitive to a significant number of individuals.

 

The Privacy Problems Inherent in the Smart Grid


The infrastructure that will support the Smart Grid will be capable of informing consumers of their day-to-day energy use, right down to the appliance level.  This sophisticated infrastructure has the potential to curb greenhouse gas emissions and reduce consumers’ energy bills.  However, it introduces the possibility of collecting detailed information on individual energy consumption usage and patterns within consumers’ homes, traditionally the most private of places.  Industry and regulators must take great care not to sacrifice consumer privacy in the process of developing and implementing the Smart Grid. 

 

Comments to California Department of Insurance Concerning Privacy of Personal Financial and Medical Record Information


We are pleased to see that the proposed regulations, as revised, include a number of changes that will benefit individual privacy interests. We commend the staff of the Department for efforts to balance multiple interests and their willingness to consider our concerns about loss of personal privacy.

We're in the Transparency Business: Electronic Frontier Foundation Pioneer Award Acceptance Remarks


I thank you - the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the judges. It is truly an honor to receive a Pioneer Award and to join the other Pioneers whom I've admired and revered for years. (www.eff.org/awards/pioneer.html )

I want to say a few words of thanks - and then briefly describe our work in terms of the larger issue of "transparency." But first - my thanks.

Keeping our doors open these past 10 years has been a roller coaster experience. And I'm sure many of you who work in consumer nonprofits can relate. We have been fortunate to obtain funding support from a variety of sources.

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