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HIPAA

PRIVACYnotes Discussion List
Security Protecting Privacy is Good for Business

Respecting Privacy on the Web

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Privacynotes Digest
security Protecting Privacy is Good for Business

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Published by: Mike Banks Valentine Privacynotes
privacy@privacynotes.com www.privacynotes.com
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December 12, 2002 Issue #037
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.....IN THIS DIGEST.....

// -- MODERATOR COMMENT -- //

// -- NEW DISCUSSION -- //

"Best Ever Privacy Articles" ~Mike Banks Valentine

// -- PRIVACY NEWS -- //

"The Latest in Privacy Issues"

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// -- MODERATOR COMMENT -- //

This week I am particularly encouraged after receiving the CDT Policy Post from the Center for Democracy and Technology and reading of the governments moves to require privacy notices on all government web sites and requiring government agencies to assess the privacy implications of new laws and policies. The issue is available online at the following address

http://www.cdt.org/publications/pp_8.25.shtml

I'll recap the highlights here and highly recommend that you click on that link above and visit the page yourself if you are not a subscriber to that publication. The Center for Decomcracy and Technology is one organization that is strongly supporting our rights to Digital Privacy and I hope you will give CDT your support.

(1) NEW LAW TO REQUIRE PRIVACY IMPACT ASSESSMENTS FOR U.S. AGENCIES

The E-Government Act of 2002, passed by Congress this week and soon to be signed into law, includes an innovative and potentially far-reaching provision requiring federal government agencies to conduct privacy impact assessments before developing or procuring information technology or initiating any new collections of personally-identifiable information.

Under the legislation, originally introduced by Senators Joe Lieberman (D-CT) and Conrad Burns (R-MT), a privacy impact assessment must address what information is to be collected, why it is being collected, the intended uses of the information, with whom the information will be shared, what notice would be provided to individuals and how the information will be secured. To the extent practicable, privacy impact assessments must be published. The Director of the White House's Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will issue guidelines for the assessments.

(2) PRIVACY NOTICES, INCLUDING P3P STATEMENTS, NOW REQUIRED FOR AGENCIES

The E-Government Act also requires agencies to post privacy notices on their Web sites, detailing agency practices and individual rights. Most agencies already post written privacy notices after the Clinton administration, under the leadership of Chief Privacy Counselor Peter Swire, required them in an administrative order. The new law will take the agencies one step further by requiring "machine-readable" notices, such as those specified in the Platform for Privacy Preferences (P3P) standards.

(3) E-GOVERNMENT ACT INCLUDES OTHER IMPORTANT PROVISIONS

The E-Government Act includes a host of other provisions that could have an impact on how the public interacts with the government. Many of these could have merited free-standing legislation. Most of them have received little attention.

* Creates a specific position in OMB for the Administrator of the Office of Electronic Government.

* Requires the Administrator of E-Gov to develop an online tutorial explaining how to access government information services and information on the Internet. Sec. 213 (f).

* Requires a National Academy of Sciences study on the digital divide. Sec. 215.

* Establishes a very strict rule of confidentiality for information collected by the federal government for statistical purposes, which may prove to be especially important as Zip Code and other data that is not strictly personal becomes easier to use for personal profiling purposes. Secs. 501-513.

 

// -- NEW DISCUSSION -- //

== > TOPIC: BEST EVER PRIVACY ARTICLES

From: Mike Valentine

Two of the clearest articles ever on internet privacy and digital identity are available online at the following addresses. I've personally written to the author, attorney Bret Fausett to thank him for his explanations and asked to reproduce those here, but he said they prefer linking to them instead. Visit the site to read these if you want the most concise and easy to understand articles available when you want to explain these things to others you know. Privacy issues can be complex and rather involved and these two articles get my vote for the best available anywhere.

http://makeashorterlink.com/?M6D162EB2 http://makeashorterlink.com/?Y2E112EB2

 

// -- PRIVACY NEWS -- //

Moderator note: There are two ways to access previously listed privacy news stories. One is to visit Privacynotes archives, the other (simpler) way is to visit

http://privacynotes.com/privacy_news.html where I also keep a privacy news archive.

From New York City to Seattle, police officials are looking to do away with rules that block them from spying on people and groups without evidence that a crime has been committed. They say these rules, forced on them in the 1970's and 80's to halt abuses, now prevent them from infiltrating mosques and other settings where terrorists might plot. At the same time, federal and local police agencies are looking for systematic, high-tech ways to root out terrorists before they strike. In a sense, the scuba dragnet was cumbersome, old-fashioned police work, albeit on a vast scale. Now officials are hatching elaborate plans for dumping gigabytes of delicate information into big computers, where it would be blended with public records and stirred with sophisticated software.

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/12/10/national/10PRIV.html

To illustrate the potential loss of privacy SF Weekly columnist Matt Smith called Admiral John Poindexter at home, and helpfully provided us with his address and telephone number, in a piece published there. The disgraced Iran Contra felon - who was convicted of conspiracy, obstruction, and lying to Congress and escaped a custodial sentence on a technicality - has been given the job of creating the largest dragnet of personal information ever devised. DARPA will forage for details of every American's email, phone communications and financial transactions. The extent of Total Information Awareness was disclosed by the New York Times last month. When reported John Markoff rang the Homeland Defense department, they hadn't heard of the plan.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/6/28432.html

The legislation creating the Department of Homeland Security, signed by President Bush on Monday, contains provisions that build on law enforcement's ability to peek at e-mail, monitor credit card purchases, bank transactions and travel patterns and shield its own activities from scrutiny. Even critics acknowledge that taken individually, each provision is just a tiny step toward transforming the federal government into "Big Brother." But coupled with a series of recent court rulings favorable to the Department of Justice and new administration initiatives, privacy advocates warn that the nation is indeed experiencing the beginnings of a real-life Orwellian nightmare.

http://makeashorterlink.com/?S12F13FA2  

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