Privacy Trends in 2012

The last year has been illustrative of how important privacy practices are. Privacy and data security are going to be even more crucial in the coming year. For this reason , Avantika Banerjee, our Legal & Policy Analyst,  put together a list of what we can expect to see this year when it comes to privacy. See below for her 2012 predictions:

I.        All eyes are on mobile

  • With the aggressive and continued growth of mobile usage, there will be a greater need for creating consolidated privacy standards in the mobile arena
    • Privacy guidelines will have to clarify the manner in which data is being collected and used
    • In keeping with this trend, the MMA released a privacy policy framework for mobile applications, which serves as a starting point; Covington and Burlington has provided a succinct summary and analysis of the MMA framework here

II.      Push for data breach notification regulation at the federal level

  • The number of data breaches has been consistently growing; to combat this 47 states now have data breach notification laws 
  • There is no single federal regulation dealing with data breach, and there is going to be a stronger push for such a legislation

III.    EU standards will set the bar for privacy norms

  • The new proposed EU data protection regulation  is set to replace the original EU Data Protection Directive 95/46
  • This proposal consists of standards that are more stringent than the current ones
  • The new regulation will apply to non-EU companies that interact with data subjects within the EU, or whose activities involve monitoring the behavior of data subjects within the EU; it will impact multiple categories of online service providers
  • IAPP (International Association of Privacy Professionals) has provided a brief summary and analysis of the regulation here

IV.   COPPA steps up its standards

  • Childrens Online Privacy Protection will be a major issue and more stringent standards are going to be applied
  • The FTC has proposed amendments  to the existing act, in keeping with the changing environment.

V.     The FTC plans to release its Privacy Report

  • The report titledProtecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change: A Proposed Framework for Businesses and Policymakers” will be released in early 2012
  • This report will play a significant role in influencing privacy practices and will follow up from the original report published in 2010 

VI.   There will be a greater need for data encryption at all levels

VII. Third party privacy certification providers will be in high demand

  • Certification and auditing services will become more prominent as a result

VIII.  Privacy Impact assessments will play a stronger role in a company’s security structure

  • These assessments will gauge the health and relevancy of a company’s data security and privacy practice

IX.  Deceptive privacy practices will be heavily scrutinized

  • Company Privacy Policies will be scrutinized at greater length and will have to accurately present the company data practices
  • The FTC is going to play a stronger role in aggressively penalizing those companies that are not adhering to their written privacy policies
  • Recent examples illustrating this include the settlement with Facebook and ScanScout

X. Privacy by design will become more widely accepted

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