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    Happy International Privacy Day 2019

    Wednesday, January 16th, 2019

    International Data Privacy Day is Monday, January 28. There are a variety of events occurring to celebrate. Visit the official site to find events near your area, such as a symposium on data privacy at Rice University. Take the time to think about how privacy is important in your life and how you can protect your rights. Please also donate to any number of organizations out there trying to protect your privacy rights.

    Happy holidays

    Wednesday, December 19th, 2018

    I’m taking a break from posting till January. Until then, I will sporadically link to stories of interest on Twitter so follow me there @privacylives.

    Happy International Privacy Day 2017

    Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

    International Data Privacy Day is Saturday. There are a variety of events occurring this week to celebrate, including a live-streamed event from Twitter in San Francisco on Friday. Visit the official site to find events near your area. Take the time to think about how privacy is important in your life and how you can protect your rights from being infringed upon. Please also donate to any number of organizations out there trying to protect your privacy rights.

    Indiana Business Journal: $1.4M judgment against Walgreen sets health privacy precedent

    Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

    The Indiana Business Journal reports on a privacy case (Hinchy v. Walgreen Co., et al.) concerning a Walgreens pharmacy and a customer’s private medical information. (We’ve discussed misuse or abuse of access privileges by insiders before.) IBJ reports:

    A Marion County jury verdict affirmed Friday by the Indiana Court of Appeals upholds a $1.4 million verdict for a Walgreen pharmacy customer whose prescription information was provided to a third party and sets a national precedent, according to the Indianapolis lawyer who argued the case.

    “This is the first published court decision in the nation in which a health care provider has been held liable for HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) violations committed by its employees,” plaintiffs attorney Neal Eggeson said of the decision. Read more »

    CBS Chicago: Illinois Attorney General Madigan Says Federal Government Should Investigate Data Breaches

    Friday, July 18th, 2014

    CBS’s Chicago affiliate reports on statements by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan concerning data security and privacy:

    Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan on Wednesday called for the formation of a new federal agency to investigate data breaches in much the same way the National Transportation Safety Board investigates plane and train crashes.

    WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports Madigan said the federal government lacks a single group to determine the extent of damage caused by a data breach, and come up with ways to fix them and prevent them in the future. […]

    Madigan said data thieves are more likely to make online purchases with stolen private information in Chicago than Los Angeles or Miami. […]

    She also said too many companies collect too much private information, and keep it too long, enhancing the risk of identity theft.

    World Privacy Forum: The Scoring of America

    Monday, April 7th, 2014

    The World Privacy Forum has released a new report, “The Scoring of America” (pdf), concerning new types of consumer scoring and how they can affect individuals. Here’s an excerpt from the introduction:

    To score is human. Ranking individuals by grades and other performance numbers is as old as human society. Consumer scores — numbers given to individuals to describe or predict their characteristics, habits, or predilections — are a modern day numeric shorthand that ranks, separates, sifts, and otherwise categorizes individuals and also predicts their potential future actions.

    Consumer scores abound today. Credit scores based on credit files receive much public attention, but many more types of consumer scores exist. They are used widely to predict behaviors like, spending, health, fraud, profitability, and much more. These scores rely on petabytes of information coming from newly available data streams. The information can be derived from many data sources and can contain financial, demographic, ethnic, racial, health, social, and other data. […]

    Predictive scores bring varying benefits and drawbacks. Scores can be correct, or they can be wrong or misleading. Consumer scores – created by either the government or the private sector – threaten privacy, fairness, and due process because scores, particularly opaque scores with unknown ingredients or factors, can too easily evade the rules established to protect consumers. Read more »