Posts from January 2009.
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The Centre for Information Policy Leadership provides the following thoughts on the Obama Administration's views on privacy:
The themes of President Obama’s inaugural address not only conveyed a strong message to the nation, but reflected current concerns about data governance shared by privacy professionals and policymakers as well.  His speech captured the importance of individual responsibility in public and personal life as America faces challenging economic times.  In demanding accountability from government, he required that the nation’s work be conducted “in the light of day -- because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.”  Obama’s remarks about the potent values of responsibility and accountability apply in the information-intensive world of business. 

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009, marks the second annual international Data Privacy Day, which brings together a broad coalition of privacy professionals from both the private and public sectors, as well as corporations, academics and policymakers, with the goal of promoting awareness and collaboration on a variety of data privacy issues.

A wide variety of events celebrating Data Privacy Day has been scheduled throughout the week across the United States, Canada and the European Union. The Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security and Intel Corporation are sponsoring a ...

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Two California medical privacy laws became effective on January 1, 2009.  The laws, A.B. 211 and S.B. 541, create new obligations for health care providers and facilities in California to protect against unlawful or unauthorized access to patient medical information.  In contrast, other medical privacy regulations, including the Privacy Rule promulgated under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”), focus only on the unauthorized use or disclosure of protected health information.

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The Centre for Information Policy Leadership’s Executive Director, Marty Abrams, brings you these thoughts on a recent data protection summit in Barcelona.

Harmonized international data protection rules have been privacy’s Holy Grail since the EU Directive was enacted in 1995. Harmonized, globally recognized rules would simplify life for privacy protection authorities and companies. Numerous efforts have been undertaken to create a harmonized code. The most recent, an international standards project led by the Spanish Data Protection Commissioner, began on January 12 as international privacy experts met in Barcelona. The Spanish Data Protection Commissioner leads the project, and the finished product — a harmonized privacy code that will be the basis for a data protection treaty— will be a center-piece of the 31st International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners on November 2009 in Madrid. 

The Barcelona meeting focused on a draft standards document developed by the Spanish Data Protection Authority, Agencia Espanola de Proteccion de Datos.  The document integrates many of the elements from the OECD Privacy Guidelines, Council of Europe Convention, EU Directive and APEC Privacy Framework.  In its 30 sections, the document recognizes almost every concept found in this existing guidance.

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On December 5, 2008, the Austrian data protection authority ("DPA") issued its first decision on the implementation of a whistleblowing hotline as required by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act ("SOX"), to be administered by the Austrian subsidiary of a U.S.-based company. The DPA partly approved the data transfers from the Austrian entity to the U.S. entity for the purpose of enabling it to prosecute "serious incidents" caused by the behavior of executive managers. The DPA ordered the Austrian subsidiary to implement a contract guarantying data subjects the ability to exercise their rights ...

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A law that could increase the level of protection of personal information is circulating among legislative bodies in China. The proposed PRC Tort Liability Law would include clauses providing protections for personal information, by giving a person whose rights are infringed by the use of Internet services a right to demand deletion of the infringing materials. Another clause imposes liability on an Internet service provider that fails to take timely measures after receiving such a demand. Read more...
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On December 1, 2008, a strict anti-spam law came into effect in Israel.  The legislation, enacted as an amendment to the country’s Communications Law, prohibits the delivery of advertisements using mobile text messaging, email, fax or automatic dialing systems without first obtaining the recipient’s explicit written consent.  The law contains several exceptions to the prior consent requirement.  For example, advertisers may reach out to businesses to inquire whether they wish to receive marketing communications.  Advertisers also may send unsolicited marketing ...
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Scarcely a month after the world media was flooded with news of the catastrophic terrorist attacks in Mumbai, headlines are once again rife with articles on the global impact of events in India. This time, the news has focused on Satyam Computer Services (“Satyam”), previously one of India’s largest and most prestigious outsourcing providers, and a series of missteps that began in October 2008, when alarming allegations of possible involvement in a customer security breach surfaced in the media. After that news, there were allegations of misdeeds with customers, a failed ...

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A California state Court of Appeal has ruled that a California law barring merchants from collecting “personal identification information” in connection with certain credit card transactions does not prohibit the collection of a five-digit ZIP Code alone. Party City Corp. v. Superior Court of San Diego County, No. D053530, 2008 WL 5264023 (Cal. Ct. App. Dec. 19, 2008).


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