The White House today released its white paper setting forth a framework for "Protecting Privacy And Promoting Innovation in The Global Digital Economy" (the " Framework"). The Framework is far reaching, touching on everything from a call for legislation, including a national standard for security breach legislation, to promoting international interoperability.The Framework centers on The Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, which contains seven core principles relating to "personal data." Note that "personal data" is defined broadly, to encompass any data, including aggregated data, which can be linked to a specific individual, and may include data linked to a specific computer or other device. It is worth noting that the Framework includes, as an illustrative example of personal data, "an identifier on a smartphone or family computer that is used to build a usage profile."
Last week, the upper house of Russia's federal legislature approved amendments to the country's federal data protection law. The amendments impose detailed information security requirements on businesses that process personal data and revise some of the statute's data subject consent provisions.The amended law will come into force when it is published in the official newsletter.
Last week, Politico ran an interesting piece suggesting that federal privacy legislation may see the light of day in 2011. Democratic supporters of the legislation show no signs of slowing down. In the Senate, John Kerry (D-Mass.) is working on privacy legislation based on a bill he proposed last year. Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, is planning to hold public hearings on Internet privacy starting in February. Of course the key to the success of federal privacy legislation lies in the House, and there Republicans have voiced support for a privacy bill as well. Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations at the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has said that the privacy bill introduced last year by former representative Rick Boucher (D-Va.) could be revised and reintroduced with Republican support (Rep. Stearns co-sponsored the Boucher bill). This sentiment was echoed by Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.), Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade. According to Politico, Rep. Bono Mack informed her colleagues on the subcommittee that she remains committed to addressing privacy issues.
I hope you will tune in Monday, January 31, 2011, 8-9 am Pacific (11-12 Eastern), to Privacy Piracy, audio streaming on www.kuci.org (or locally in Southern California on KUCI 88.9 FM in Irvine, CA). Mari Frank will interview me on hot topics in information law and compliance.
Earlier today, the European Commission released documents setting out the road map for revision of the European data protection rules, including the EU Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC. The strategy is based on the Commission's position that an individual's ability to control his or her information, have access to the information, and modify or delete the information are "essential rights that have to be guaranteed in today's digital world." The Commission set out a strategy on how to protect personal data while reducing barriers for businesses and ensuring free flow of personal data within the European Union.
Massachusetts' Office of Consumer Affairs & Business Regulation (OCABR) recently released a revised version of its "Standards for the Protection of Personal Information of Residents of the Commonwealth" (the "Regulation"). This August 2009 version modifies the February 2009 version of the Regulation. The press release for the new revision is here, and the FAQs released by OCABR appear updated to address some of the changes in the regulations.For ease of reference, ISC has taken the time to create a REDLINED VERSION showing the revisions in the new Regulation. The redlines indicate changes between the February 2009 version and the August 2009 version of the Regulation. Also included below is a summary of some of the more significant changes.