Privacy Policy and Competition

Privacy Policy and Competition. Brookings Institution. Alex Marthews and Catherine Tucker. December 5, 2019

Commercial privacy protection and competition law have long been jointly regulated by a single authority – the FTC – in the US. Though managed separately, both types of law have at their heart a desire to protect consumers. Antitrust law tries to ensure that consumers’ ability to choose between products is not restricted by anti-competitive acts. In the US, commercial privacy is protected through consumer protection law, which tries to ensure that consumers’ ability to choose between products is not restricted by misleading information. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 28 pages].

Generation AI Establishing Global Standards for Children and AI

Generation AI Establishing Global Standards for Children and AI. World Economic Forum. September 11, 2019.

On 6-7 May 2019, the World Economic Forum Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and its partners UNICEF and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) hosted a workshop in San Francisco on the joint “Generation AI” initiative. This workshop identified deliverables in two key areas: 1) public policy guidelines that direct countries on creating new laws focused on children and 2) a corporate governance charter that guides companies leveraging AI to design their products and services with children in mind. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 18 pages]. 

Data Protection Law: An Overview

Data Protection Law: An Overview.  Congressional Research Service. Stephen P. Mulligan, Wilson C. Freeman, Chris D. Linebaugh. March 25, 2019

Recent high-profile data breaches and other concerns about how third parties protect the privacy of individuals in the digital age have raised national concerns over legal protections of Americans’ electronic data. Intentional intrusions into government and private computer networks and inadequate corporate privacy and cybersecurity practices have exposed the personal information of millions of Americans to unwanted recipients. At the same time, internet connectivity has increased and varied in form in recent years. Americans now transmit their personal data on the internet at an exponentially higher rate than in the past, and their data are collected, cultivated, and maintained by a growing number of both “consumer facing” and “behind the scenes” actors such as data brokers. As a consequence, the privacy, cybersecurity and protection of personal data have emerged as a major issue for congressional consideration. 

[PDF format, 79 pages].

Breaking Down Proposals for Privacy Legislation: How Do They Regulate?

Breaking Down Proposals for Privacy Legislation: How Do They Regulate? Brookings Institution. Cameron F. Kerry. March 8, 2019

The “discussion drafts” of baseline privacy bills released late last year offer a glimpse of the taxonomy of issues up for debate:

  • What is the regulatory model?
  • What kinds of data are covered?
  • What sectors and what entities?
  • What rights do individuals have?
  • What obligations do businesses have in processing data?
  • How are these rights enforced—by what agency and with what powers?
  • How is pre-emption handled?

The question of the regulatory model is the keystone that overarches these and holds the rest together. Several of the draft bills present concrete signs of an emerging shift in the underlying model for privacy regulation in the current discussion, from one based on consumer choice to another focused on business behavior in handling data. This paper focuses on this key element of the taxonomy—how proposals reflect this shifting paradigm and how the change affects other aspects of privacy protection. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[HTML format, various paging].

Privacy vs security?: Europeans’ Preferences on Transport Security and Surveillance Measures

Privacy vs security?: Europeans’ Preferences on Transport Security and Surveillance Measures. RAND Corporation. Sunil Patil et al. August 20, 2015.

The authors have collected evidence from one of the largest-ever surveys of citizens’ views across Europe on security, surveillance and privacy issues in three scenarios: train travel, internet use, and storage of health records. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 4 pages, 0.9 MB].

Americans’ Attitudes About Privacy, Security and Surveillance

Americans’ Attitudes About Privacy, Security and Surveillance. Pew Research Center. Mary Madden and Lee Rainie. May 20, 2015.

The cascade of reports following the June 2013 government surveillance revelations by NSA contractor Edward Snowden have brought new attention to debates about how best to preserve Americans’ privacy in the digital age. At the same time, the public has been awash with news stories detailing security breaches at major retailers, health insurance companies and financial institutions. These events – and the doubts they inspired – have contributed to a cloud of personal “data insecurity” that now looms over many Americans’ daily decisions and activities. Some find these developments deeply troubling and want limits put in place, while others do not feel these issues affect them personally. Others believe that widespread monitoring can bring some societal benefits in safety and security or that innocent people should have “nothing to hide.” [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 50 pages, 1.09 MB].

Americans’ Privacy Strategies Post-Snowden

Americans’ Privacy Strategies Post-Snowden. Pew Research Center. Lee Rainie and Mary Madden. March 16, 2015.

It has been nearly two years since the first disclosures of government surveillance programs by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden and Americans are still coming to terms with how they feel about the programs and how to live in light of them. The documents leaked by Snowden revealed an array of activities in dozens of intelligence programs that collected data from large American technology companies, as well as the bulk collection of phone “metadata” from telecommunications companies that officials say are important to protecting national security. The notable findings in the survey fall into two broad categories: 1) the ways people have personally responded in light of their awareness of the government surveillance programs and 2) their views about the way the programs are run and the people who should be targeted by government surveillance. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
[PDF format, 37 pages, 864.1 KB].