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Privacy and Security

Information technology lets people learn about one another on a scale previously unimaginable. Information in the wrong hands can be harmful. Scholars on this site consider problems of privacy, fraud, identity, and security posed by the digital age.

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TAP Blog

As cyber attacks become more prevalent in the news, cybersecurity summits strive to prevent and combat cybercrimes.
On May 26, 2011, the Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee (ICAC) hosted the 3rd Annual State of the Mobile Net Conference in Washington, D.C. The conference focused on how to make the Internet more mobile, touching on privacy, innovation, competition and spectrum issues.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski recently announced the appointment of Professor Jonathan Zittrain as the agency’s Distinguished Scholar. He will be based in the Office of Strategic Planning & Policy Analysis and will work on a range of issues related to 21st century communications networks.
Deirdre Mulligan and Nick Doty discuss April's W3C Web Tracking and User Privacy workshop and other ongoing efforts to define, regulate, and implement a privacy system that addresses the concerns with online tracking and smartphone privacy.
Summary of the testimony from Google’s Director of Public Policy, Apple’s VP of Software Technology, the Director of the Consumer Privacy Center for Democracy & Technology, the President of the Association for Competitive Technology, and an independent privacy researcher at the “Protecting Mobile Privacy” hearing.
Summary of the testimony from Jessica Rich of the Federal Trade Commission and Jason Weinstein from the Department of Justice at the “Protecting Mobile Privacy” hearing.
As part of the ongoing online privacy deliberations, the issues surrounding online tracking and mobile privacy have been spurring a lot of debate. Additionally, the recent reports on smart phone data tracking have intensified concerns over privacy and the widening trade in personal data. In this post, TAP highlights recent scholar involvement in the discussions, and outlines key congressional hearings and recent news stories on the data tracking and mobile issues.
In the communications public policy context, the terms “privacy,” “security,” and “cybersecurity” tend to be thrown around a good bit, and as these terms are related and tend to overlap, this can be confusing. This note reviews how these terms are sometimes used differently in different contexts.
“Do not track” browser options could allow consumers to better control online collection of information. Leading privacy scholars and industry thought leaders are actively involved in the debates over the pros and cons of this proposed legislation. The blog provides some of the writings, hearings, and panels that examine the pros and cons of “do not track” legislation.
The upcoming Princeton workshop could define the meaning of do not track.
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Social Networking

Social networking websites are places on the Internet where people can connect with those who share their interests. Additionally, they can function as economic “platforms” that serve different groups of many users, including consumers, advertisers, game developers, and others. 

Quote

Government Case Details Sneaky Facebook Behavior

This article reports on Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) efforts to regulate Facebook’s privacy weaknesses. William Kovacic, George Washington University law professor and former FTC Chairman, is quoted.
William E. Kovacic
AP News
July 24, 2019

Featured Article

Why the Right to Data Portability Likely Reduces Consumer Welfare: Antitrust and Privacy Critique

This article analyzes the potential weaknesses of the European Union’s potential new right to data portability.

By: Peter Swire, Yianni Lagos