As we enter into the new year, privacy remains at the top of our minds at TUNE. In addition to our continued focus on privacy education and compliance, we are keen on some of the innovative academic research being done around privacy and data. For the past two years, we have been particularly excited about the work that our friends at the Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) are doing to highlight analysis on cutting edge issues involving privacy and data—in particular, FPF’s annual “Privacy Papers for Policymakers” event in Washington D.C. As a top corporate donor and FPF advisory board member, TUNE is proud to be sponsoring this year’s event (once again) alongside AT&T and Microsoft.
The idea behind the Privacy Papers for Policymakers is to pinpoint the concerns that continue to drive privacy debates in the year ahead. FPF invites scholars and authors interested to submit articles and papers that highlight research and academic scholarship on privacy, data, and data protection topics.
This year, the FPF Advisory Board selected five top papers amongst a pool of submissions ranging from mobile app privacy, to location privacy, to drone privacy. We encourage you to take advantage of this small, curated collection of work that will be formally released Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2016. An overview of each is below:
- A Design Space for Effective Privacy Notices by Florian Schaub, Rebecca Balebako, Adam L. Durity, and Lorrie Faith Cranor discusses the usability issues with privacy policies in the advanced world we live in with an increasing number of mobile devices, wearables, and other Internet of Things devices. The authors explore existing privacy notices and outline the challenges, necessities, and best practices to the actual notice design. They take a structured approach and present a design framework so that those doing research and those developing these notices do so appropriately, all areas considered.
- In Anonymization and Risk by Ira S. Rubinstein and Woodrow Hartzog, the pair claim that perfect anonymization of data sets has failed. The debate over what data is at risk to a re-identification attack is essentially creating a stalemate. What the law of data release should really be focused on is developing a process to minimize risk. In this article, Rubenstein and Hartzog propose a process-based, policy-driven, and comprehensive framework for minimizing the risk of re-identification and attribution disclosure. They argue that data can be shared and remain protected by taking steps to decrease risk rather than working to entirely eliminate it.
- A Precautionary Approach to Big Data Privacy by Arvind Narayanan, Joanna Huey, and Edward W. Felten suggests taking a preventative approach to data release. The authors discuss how there are risks that extend beyond the common re-identification attack that links personally identifiable information and pull on learnings from past attacks. They introduce differential privacy as a more useful technique than ad-hoc de-identification and share provable privacy methods that policymakers can use to influence data releases in specific use cases.
- Ryan Calo, local graduate from the University of Washington’s School of law, presents Privacy and Markets: A Love Story. In this paper, Calo examines the complex relationship between privacy and markets and how the concepts are sympathetic to one another. He suggests thinking about what a marketplace without privacy would be like, claiming that opposites attract and that privacy is a crucial ingredient of the market machine. Privacy encourages economic partnerships and asymmetric information, while markets distribute resources in society and enable privacy to achieve its most important functions
- Taking Trust Seriously in Privacy Law by Neil Richards and Woodrow Hartzog encourages looking at privacy in a positive light by thinking about its ability to promote trust—which is a magnificent thing. The paper argues that privacy should be thought of as enabling trust in essential information relationships in which our digital economy thrives. The duo claims if trust was used to shape our laws, our understanding of existing privacy principles of confidentiality, transparency, and data protection would be enhanced and rules and policy can be guided appropriately.
At TUNE, we respect privacy and maintain high standards as we safeguard the data of our clients and their end users. We hope you find these thoughtful papers useful as you see the new year as an opportunity to “re-engage users and re-engineer compliance”.
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Becky is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at TUNE. Before TUNE, she led a variety of marketing and communications projects at San Francisco startups. Becky received her bachelor's degree in English from Wake Forest University. After living nearly a decade in San Francisco and Seattle, she has returned to her home of Charleston, SC, where you can find her enjoying the sun and salt water with her family.