The Hill: Time for Congress to address digital privacy

Friday’s headline reported that Marriott’s computer records were hacked, exposing information on 500 million of their hotel guests. The problem of compromised online data is rampant. In the first nine months of 2018, cyber breaches exposed 3.8 billion customer records according to Risk Based Security. Only this past October, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid’s […]

Things to Consider and Things to Avoid in General Data Protection Regulation

The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) takes effect on May 25, 2018.  In advance of that, the growth industry of GDPR coaching is available for US firms through Microsoft, SAP, BMC/Forrester, PWC, McAfee and dozens of consultancies.  Fewer than 50% of large companies will be n in full GDPR compliance by end of […]

Internet Users Value Site Content and Their Own Privacy

Once again, pro and con arguments for tolerating internet adverts are in the news.  Google is refining the standards for internet adverts (as only Google has enough clout to do).  As well, there are two scholarly papers on the topic: one (by Caleb Fuller) assesses whether consumers value privacy enough to pay for content directly […]

You Are Not Paranoid – Advertising Trackers Are After You

On both sides of the Atlantic, Google and Facebook are facing a backlash from privacy-sensitive consumers and from regulators.  “By a ratio of more than 6 to 1, U.S. online consumers are unwilling to trade their personal data, even anonymously, for the sake of being served ads that online advertisers think are more relevant to […]

Consumer Privacy Protection Must Work For Everyone

This piece discusses the FCC’s recent decision to consider regulating how Internet Service Providers collect and use customer information, but it completely ignores the most notorious offenders of consumer privacy — online web companies. The article suggests that the FTC, not the FCC, is the proper regulator to provide consumer privacy oversight for all.  The article can […]

ACI in Forbes: Protecting Online Information

As consumers go online to browse websites and search for news and information, they may be completely unware that their personal data is being collected and retained by online companies. In some cases, that data is being used by these online companies to market other services, shared with affiliates, and sold to other companies. Seldom […]

Privacy, Safety and Encryption

In the abstract, consumers welcome privacy but we also acknowledge that real-world tradeoffs may be inevitable between privacy and safety.  Most of us are at peace with surveillance of telephone and electronic records of suspected criminals or foreign spies.  If law enforcement lacks the information needed to target and halt unlawful threats, the public can […]

Laws to Hide Behind

Personal information in internet sites comes from many sources. People voluntarily put their own information in many places such as Facebook and chat rooms. News sites and blogs publish information about the actions of others. Government property tax and court clerks put information about individuals and corporations on the internet. Those posters usually intend the […]

Rising Complexity and Cost of Securing Secrecy

A broad class of people has legitimate needs for communicating in secrecy, such as politicians, high tech innovators, analysts in the military, State Department operatives, and businessmen bidding on goods or negotiating a merger. Unfortunately, secrecy that once could be achieved with modest effort is now elusive. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) database contains […]