Feb 282010
 February 28, 2010  Posted by  Govt, Surveillance, U.S.

The House of Representatives Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection and the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet held a joint hearing titled, “The Collection and Use of Location Information for Commercial Purposes,” on Wednesday, February 24.  The hearing examined privacy and other issues related to the commercial collection, use, and sharing of location-based information.

Here are copies of the written testimony submitted, from the Subcommittee’s web site (all pdf):

Feb 282010
 February 28, 2010  Posted by  Breaches, Court, Non-U.S.

Richard Woods reports:

Kate Middleton, the girlfriend of Prince William, is set to win a controversial claim for alleged invasion of her privacy.

She is expected to receive at least £10,000 in damages, plus substantial legal costs, after threatening to sue a photographer and two British picture agencies over photographs taken of her at Christmas. The images were not even published in Britain.


Through Harbottle & Lewis, a firm of lawyers used by members of the royal family, Middleton has sought damages for invasion of privacy, legal costs, withdrawal of the images and a public apology.

The pictures were taken when Middleton was on holiday with her family, staying at a property owned by the Duchy of Cornwall. The property has a tennis court that lies next to a public footpath.

Read more on Times Online.

Feb 282010
 February 28, 2010  Posted by  Misc

Erica Newland writes:

There was a discussion over on ReadWriteWeb yesterday about whether location information should be given the same privacy protections as medical data. The blog post made reference to the recent testimony of CDT General Counsel John Morris on location privacy but challenged his assertion that “[protecting location information] will require location be treated as sensitive data, like medical data. You’ll need to do more than just post a disclosure statement.”

While we are happy to see a spirited debate about the privacy concerns raised by location information, it is important to keep in mind that treating both location information and medical information “as sensitive data” does not translate into a prescription for the exact same protections for these two very different data types. Location information is sensitive but it is sensitive in different ways than medical data; location information deserves special protections, but different protections than medical data does.
Read more on CDT.
Feb 282010
 February 28, 2010  Posted by  Online

Steve Lohr writes:

On the Internet, things get old fast. One prime candidate for the digital dustbin, it seems, is the current approach to protecting privacy on the Internet.

It is an artifact of the 1990s, intended as a light-touch policy to nurture innovation in an emerging industry. And its central concept is “notice and choice,” in which Web sites post notices of their privacy policies and users can then make choices about sites they frequent and the levels of privacy they prefer.

But policy and privacy experts agree that the relentless rise of Internet data harvesting has overrun the old approach of using lengthy written notices to safeguard privacy.

Read more in the New York Times.