Posts Under: Privacy

Myths in Student Privacy and Advertising

The National Education Policy Center (NEPC) recently released a report entitled Learning to Be Watched: Surveillance Culture at School. In making claims about how student data is being protected, the report conflates the issues of student data privacy and advertising. The truth is that strong, multi-layered protections now exist to protect student information and ensure it is used only for educational purposes. In addition, current law and subsequent regulation forbids the use of student information for targeted advertising.

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Google Takes a Sensible Step on Right to Be Forgotten

Google recently informed European data protection authorities (DPAs) that, in addition to removing search results from all European domains of Google Search, Google would soon begin using geo-location technology to additionally restrict access to search results that have been delisted in response to European privacy requests.  This is a sensible step to allay DPA concerns about the balance of a right to privacy and freedom of information and should satisfy those in Europe calling for full global removals without impeding access to information outside of Europe. Of course, the right to be forgotten is a terrible idea – at least in the form in which the European Court of Justice imposed it on European search engines in May 2014.  That decision instructed search engines not to return results derived from a search on a person’s name when the data “appear to be inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant, or excessive in relation to the purposes for which the ...

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Policymakers Should Not Restrict Additional Uses of Student Data

Parental consent is an important element in protecting student privacy.  Of course, as FERPA says, prior consent is not always required when student information is disclosed for the educational purposes of a school under the direction of the school. But the fully informed consent of parents also legitimizes additional uses of student information. When not directed by a school, should a student’s information be shared with potential colleges or employers? What about to a student’s tutor or a scholarship competition? It’s clear there are currently federal and increasingly state laws and regulations to ensure student's sensitive data is protected and used only for educational purposes. As some policymakers though have sought additional protections they have drafted legislation that would preclude parents from authorizing the use of their child's data for purposes restricted or not envisioned by the legislation. They shouldn't. If technology-enabled services a ...

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The Judicial Redress Act: Facilitating Cross-Border Data Flows by Expanding Privacy Rights to Foreign Nationals

On September 10, 2015, SIIA ‘s Carl Schonander and CCIA’s Bijan Madhani  cohosted and moderated an event with Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) on the Judicial Redress Act of 2015. SIIA strongly supports the Judicial Redress Act and hosted an event earlier this year on the subject with Representatives Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and John Conyers (D-MI).   These events demonstrate that there is bipartisan support for the bill, and SIIA urges prompt passage.

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Mandated Reporting of “Terrorist Activity” to the Government is a Terrible Idea

A bill under consideration in the U.S. Senate would create an obligation for social media companies and others to report undefined “terrorist activity” to the U.S. government.  This terrible idea would bring innocent people under government surveillance for protected expression, while doing nothing to make us safer.  The Senate should drop the provision.

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SIIA, Industry Express Strong Concerns with NIST Draft Privacy Framework

SIIA joined with 11 other industry organizations today to express strong concerns with the direction and potential impact of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) recently proposed privacy risk management framework.  Specifically, in their draft Internal Report, “Privacy Risk Management for Federal Information Systems”, NIST puts forward a privacy risk management framework with privacy engineering objectives and a privacy risk model.  The draft report is intended to offer a methodology to federal agencies to enable them to identify, calculate and account for privacy risks in their systems.

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Not Dark Yet

The Senate Committee on the Judiciary has scheduled a hearing entitled “Going Dark: Encryption, Technology, and the Balance Between Public Safety and Privacy” for Wednesday, July 8 at 10:00 a.m., in Room 226 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.  Among the witnesses is FBI Director James Comey who is expected to testify that national security and law enforcement officials need their own special access to encrypted material.  The world, he will say, is going dark.

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