program areas Digital Citizen

  • excerpt via Exchangewire (link is external): Privacy awareness body Truste has today (28 January) released its annual Consumer Confidence Index, revealing 60% of participants in the survey were more concerned about their online privacy compared to 12 months ago, with 89% actively “avoiding” companies they don’t believe protect their privacy adequately....However, it seems that contagion has spread to the private sector too, as there are three times as many survey participants concerned about companies sharing their personal information with other companies (60%), than governments’ monitoring activity (20%)....Ken Parnham, Truste managing director, Europe, commenting that the online advertising sector can only suffer over such widespread negative public sentiment.He says: “After a barrage of media headlines about government surveillance programmes such as NSA’s PRISM, it is perhaps unsurprising that consumer online trust has fallen to its lowest point yet, with only 55% of internet users prepared to trust companies with personal data online.“It is a wake-up call for businesses that commercial data collection and sharing, rather than government activity, is the main driver of increased online privacy concerns.”In fact the use of personal data for the purposes of targeting online advertising ranked as the second-biggest concern among the survey participants, with 54% of respondents reporting it as a major concern, while 19% were concerned about companies tracking their location on a smartphone.
  • The new FTC rules designed to better protect children's privacy kick-in on July 1, 2013. CDD and colleagues led a four-year campaign to help create these safeguards. The new rules better protect kids from stealth online tracking, the collection of their geo-location information by apps and mobile devices, data gathered by social media, etc. Here's a guide for parents to help them understand how to make COPPA work for them. Groups interested in learning how they can monitor online sites to ensure they are following the new safeguards, as well as file complaints with the FTC, can email us for a free COPPA compliance guide.
  • June 1 is the deadline for filing Comments in the FTC Internet of Things inquiry. (link is external) Today's contemporary mobile device (link is external), geo-location (link is external) aware, (link is external)offline/online data (link is external), advanced marketing applications like facial recognition (link is external), mobile real-time ad exchanges (link is external), geo-fences (link is external), cross-platform tracking (link is external)and paradigmatic approaches such as Google's Zero Moment of Truth (link is external) and shopper marketing (link is external)based path-to-purchase methodologies make the Internet of Things (link is external) a consumer and privacy concern today--not in some pending future. We call on the FTC to address how the Internet of Things is already a reality, and to do a better job on sensitive data--especially involving finances, health, racial/ethnic information and youth.
  • Today, the United States Trade Representatives convenes two days of hearings (see attached agenda) to help it formulate a negotiating policy for the forthcoming EU/U.S. trade pact--known as the Transatalantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). CDD is one of the consumer groups that has been asked to brief its Policy Staff Committee.A number of U.S. industry groups, including the "Digital Trade Coalition" (Sidley & Austin) and the Coaltion for Privacy & Free Trade (Hogan Lovells)--in what illustrates how healthy fiction writing is at some law firms--paint a picture of a robust system protecting privacy here (we've attached their comments to USTR as well because they are worth reviewing to illustrate what the online data lobby agenda is). These coalitions want the U.S. to seek a trade deal that would allow our ineffective privacy regime to be considered "interoperable" with the EU's human rights and civil liberties robust approach. As we will explain later today, the U.S. is just at the very beginning in its efforts to protect consumer privacy in the digital era--hampered by many of the very forces these business coalitions represent. A number of U.S. online data companies, for example, are even unwilling to support even a modest Do Not Track standard, or stronger rules to protect youth, let alone serious privacy legislation.Consumer and privacy groups which are also members of the Transatantlic Consumer Dialogue will also speak on the TTIP, including on its impact on health, food safety, IP and other issues.
  • This letter was sent today to new FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez by three-dozen NGOs--including the national leaders in the consumer and privacy fields.