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    Note to Readers: Happy Holidays from Privacy Lives

    Thursday, December 20th, 2012

    It is winter holiday time in the United States, and I am taking a break from posting. Privacy Lives will resume normal publication of in-depth coverage of privacy and civil liberty issues in January. Enjoy the holidays!

    Note to Readers: Happy U.S. Thanksgiving

    Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

    I’m taking a break from posting till Monday. Enjoy the holiday!

    In the News: Quoted About Do Not Track in Google’s Test Version of Chrome

    Monday, September 17th, 2012

    Last week, All Things D reported that in its latest test version of its Web browser, Chrome, Google has added Do Not Track support. For more than a year, Apple’s Safari, Mozilla’s Firefox and Microsoft’s Explorer browsers all have had Do Not Track features to give consumers more control over the personal data that is gathered by Web sites or advertisers. I spoke with eWeek about Google’s possible change (DNT was added to a beta version rather than one that has been fully released to the public), how there continue to be privacy questions surrounding voluntary Do Not Track systems, and the need for enforceable government regulations of Do Not Track so that it’s meaningful when a person says, “Do not track me.” Here’s the full eWeek article, “Google Adding ‘Do Not Track’ Into Chrome’s Latest Developer Build.” Also, portions of the interview seem to have been picked up by Techzine in this article, which is in German, “Chrome krijgt eindelijk Do Not Track-functie.”

    Note to Readers: Privacy Lives Takes an August Break

    Friday, August 10th, 2012

    I’m taking advantage of the August slow period in Washington to take a few weeks off. Full, in-depth coverage of privacy and civil liberty issues will resume on September 4, after the Labor Day holiday.

    Note to Readers: Happy U.S. Independence Day

    Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

    I’m taking a break for the July Fourth holiday, so regular posting will resume on Monday, July 9.

    Privacy Lives Joins 11 Groups in Urging Remote Participation for NTIA Multistakeholder Process

    Monday, July 2nd, 2012

    The Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration seeks to convene interested groups — advocates, corporations, academics — in a multistakeholder process “to develop legally enforceable codes of conduct that specify how the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights applies in specific business contexts.” The Consumer Privacy Bill of  Rights was set out in the Obama administration’s proposal for consumer privacy protections, “Consumer Data Privacy in a Networked World: A Framework for Protecting Privacy and Promoting Innovation in the Global Digital Economy” (pdf).

    When the NTIA asked for comments (pdf) on the multistakeholder process in March, a number of groups filed proposals for how to ensure that the process was open and fair. The World Privacy Forum, the American Civil Liberties Union, Center for Digital Democracy, Consumer Action, Consumer Federation of America, Consumers’ Union, Consumer Watchdog, Electronic Frontier Foundation, National Consumers’ League, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, and US PIRG submitted “Civil Society Multi-Stakeholder Principles” (pdf). The principles noted the need for stakeholders to be able to participate fully.

    8. A multi-stakeholder process needs to be fully informed by stakeholders from civil society. As such, in person meetings may only be scheduled if adequate resources are made available to facilitate in person participation by civil society. Otherwise, meetings may only be conducted electronically to facilitate equal participation by all stakeholders. Meeting locations must be chosen with robust input from civil society stakeholders.

    Privacy Lives did not sign onto these principles, but I agree with them and especially agree that the multistakeholder process cannot be an open and fair process if it does not allow all stakeholders — whether they are in California or D.C. — to be allowed to fully participate. When the NTIA announced that the first multistakeholder meeting, set for July 12 in D.C. to discuss mobile privacy, would only include a Webcast and that in-person attendance was needed for participation in the meeting, I joined 11 groups in protesting this decision and asking that the NTIA use technology to allow for remote participation. We spoke via phone and e-mail with the NTIA about our concerns and today sent a letter (pdf) to NTIA Admnistrator Lawrence Strickling reiterating the problem and possible solutions: Read more »