TrustArc Blog

10 Important Questions about Privacy as we head into 2013

January 03, 2013

Saira Nayak
Director of Policy, TRUSTe
@sairanayak

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In 2012, privacy went mainstream.

Issues that were previously the sole province of policy wonks became part of the national discussion: the Petraeus-Broadwell scandal (email privacy and ECPA reform), relaxed FAA restrictions resulting in the use of drones by law enforcement (limits on government surveillance, more ECPA reform) and the very successful role of big data and microtargeting in the 2012 elections (OBA compliance anyone?).

As we start 2013 with privacy firmly ensconced in the national consciousness, important questions – about how privacy policy and enforcement should be framed- remain unanswered.

Here are the questions we think will continue to loom large for consumers, industry and policymakers in 2013:

1. Should law enforcement be required to get a warrant before accessing my emails and texts?

The Petraeus-Broadwell episode demonstrated how easily the government can gain access to electronic communications (texts, email) without an individual’s knowledge or permission. Shortly after the story broke, legislation requiring a warrant for access to an individual’s electronic communications advanced with bipartisan support in the House and Senate. The bill should have a good chance this year, but that all depends on whether privacy will have visibility and bipartisan support in the 113th Congress.] Read more “10 Important Questions about Privacy as we head into 2013”

Will the new COPPA Rules Effect TRUSTe’s COPPA Safe Harbor Program?

December 19, 2012

Jim Rennie
Sr. Product Counsel | TRUSTe

Today, the FTC announced new amendments to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) rules.  COPPA focuses on the collection and use of data concerning children under the age of 13.  COPPA was first enacted in 2000, the new rule amendments are intended to update the law and bring it in line with current technologies and practices.  The new rules go into effect July 1, 2013.

TRUSTe’s COPPA Safe Harbor program has been a leading compliance solution for companies seeking to serve the needs of children and their parents online.

As a leader in online privacy compliance, TRUSTe has always strived to set a bar for certification that is above the bare minimum required.  This philosophy helps to smooth the transition sparked by rule changes such as this one, as many of the changes are already incorporated into TRUSTe’s program requirements and our best practice recommendations.

For example: under the new rules, geolocation data will be considered Personal Information which may not be collected without parental consent.  Not only has TRUSTe required geolocation data to be treated as Personal Information for several years, we have also required transmission of such information be encrypted in order to enhance consumer safety.

Similarly, under the new rules unique identifiers such as mobile device IDs and IP addresses are considered Personal Information.  TRUSTe has been advising our client for some time that our understanding of Personal Information includes exactly these types of identifiers. Read more “Will the new COPPA Rules Effect TRUSTe’s COPPA Safe Harbor Program?”

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