FPF and the Brussels Privacy Hub Host 4th Annual Brussels Privacy Symposium
On December 2, 2020, the fourth iteration of the Brussels Privacy Symposium, “Research and the Protection of Personal Data Under the GDPR,” took place as a virtual international meeting where industry privacy leaders, academic researchers, and regulators discussed the present and future of data protection in the context of scientific data-based research and in the age of COVID. The virtual event is the latest aspect of an ongoing partnership between FPF and Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB).
Keynote speakers were Malte Beyer-Katzenberger, Policy Officer at the European Commission; Dr. Wojciech Wiewiórowski, the European Data Protection Supervisor; and Microsoft's Cornelia Kutterer. Other notable speakers and participants included FPF CEO Jules Polonetsky, VUB Professor Christopher Kuner, FPF Senior Counsel Dr. Gabriela Zanfir-Fortuna, EDHEC Business School Professor Gianclaudio Malgieri, and others. Their presentations sparked engaging conversations on the complex interactions between data protection and research as well as the ways in which processing of sensitive data can present privacy risks, and also unearth covert bias and discrimination. Thank you to the 2020 sponsors of the Brussels Privacy Symposium, BigID and TomTom.
Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Act Shifts Away from a Consent-Centric Framework
The Singapore Parliament passed amendments to its Personal Data Protection Act 2012 (PDPA) on November 2, 2020, making it the first comprehensive review and change of this law since its enactment in 2012.
In a new blog post, Dr. Gabriela Zanfir-Fortuna, Caroline Hopland, and Hunter Dorwart address the key changes to the Act, including that consent is required for collecting and otherwise processing personal data, how accountability has been enhanced, the introduction of a right to data portability, and new requirements to notify affected parties about data breaches.
California’s Prop 24, the “California Privacy Rights Act,” Passed. What’s Next?
November 3rd, 2020 produced an important moment for privacy legislation: California voters approved Proposition 24, better known as the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA). Garnering 56.1% of the vote, the initiative will become the new law of the land in California.
Stacey Gray, Katelyn Ringrose, Polly Sanderson, and Veronica Alix released a blog post that explores the implications of a new privacy agency in California, analyzes significant aspects of the law, and predicts how CPRA could influence other state and federal privacy bills. The authors also lay out a timeline for the bill's next steps before it becomes operative in 2023.
Digital Data Flows Masterclass: Machine Learning and Speech
On December 9, 2020, FPF hosted an intermediate-level Digital Data Flows Masterclass on Machine Learning and Speech. During the event, participants gained insights into the technology powering voice-based digital assistants; the differences between supervised, semi-supervised, and unsupervised machine learning (ML); and how different ML training approaches lead to different technical and non-technical performance outcomes.
Subject matter experts included Professor Marine Carpuat from the University of Maryland and Dr. Prem Natarajan, Vice President, Alexa AI-NU. The event was moderated by FPF's Dr. Sara Jordan and Dr. Rob van Eijk.
FPF and LGBT Tech Host LinkedIn Live on Human Rights Day
This Human Rights Day, December 10, FPF and LGBT Tech hosted a special conversation on LGBTQ+ rights to privacy. Discussion included the many beneficial uses of SOGI (sexual orientation and gender identity) data, as well as the risks posed by its collection, use, and sharing. The speakers also addressed current gaps in legal protections for LGBTQ+ individuals, as well as outlining important steps companies and policymakers can take to protect sensitive SOGI data.
The event was moderated by Jules and featured experts including LGBT Tech Executive Director & Co-Founder, Chris Wood; LGBT Tech Deputy Director & General Counsel, Carlos Gutierrez; President of FPF, Christopher Wolf; FPF Policy Counsel, Dr. Sara Jordan; and FPF Christopher Wolf Diversity Law Fellow, Katelyn Ringrose,
FPF and the National Education Association Call for Review of Mandatory Video Policies in Online Learning
Casey Waughn, Anisha Reddy and Juliana Cotto from FPF, and Antwan Perry, Donna Harris-Aikens, and Justin Thompson at the National Education Association released new recommendations for the use of video conferencing platforms in online learning. The recommendations ask schools and districts to reconsider requiring students to have their cameras turned on during distanced learning. These requirements create unique privacy and equity risks for students, including increased data collection, an implied lack of trust, and conflating students’ school and home lives.
“Mandating the use of video requires students to share more about their private home lives than they may want to, from their living situation to who they live with, creating potential social harm,” said Amelia Vance, FPF’s Director of Youth and Education Privacy, "Video can be a helpful tool in online learning, but it shouldn’t be a mandatory one – or the only one – that educators use to engage with and assess students.”
FPF Analyzes New Brookings Report on Paths to Federal Privacy Legislation
The Brookings Institution released a new report, "Bridging the gaps: A path forward to federal privacy legislation," a comprehensive analysis of the most challenging obstacles to Congress passing a comprehensive federal privacy law. FPF's Stacey Gray and Polly Sanderson published a blog post that discusses how the Brookings report addresses the two “endgame issues,” enforcement and preemption, in a path towards federal privacy legislation.
The Brookings proposal concludes by suggesting a potential compromise for enforcement: a tiered and targeted private right of action which would require potential plaintiffs to exercise a “right of recourse” before bringing a suit. The report also proposes several potential compromises to attempt to bridge the gaps between Democratic and Republican bills on preemption. One compromise would be to preempt state laws only where they interfere with federal provisions specifically related to data collection, processing, transfers, and security.
Global Policy Framework for Ethical Smart Cities
The G20 Smart Cities Alliance debuted a new "Global Policy Framework for Ethical Smart Cities" as part of the November 17th virtual Smart City Expo World Congress. FPF is an institutional partner of the G20 Smart Cities Alliance and FPF's Kelsey Finch co-led the task force that developed one of the initial model policies in the Global Framework.
Implications of a New U.S Administration
FPF has hosted several events looking ahead to the policy implications of a new Administration and Congress in 2021, including a roundtable discussion where Jules was joined by Jonathan Baron, Principal of Baron Public Affairs, a leading policy and political risk strategist, as well as FPF's Global and Europe leads, Dr. Gabriela Zanfir-Fortuna and Rob Van Eijk. In addition, Jules; FPF Senior Fellow Peter Swire; VP of Policy John Verdi; and Senior Counsel Stacey Gray also held a briefing with members of the media to discuss expectations on what the Biden administration, FTC, and states will accomplish on privacy in the coming year. IAPP published an article summarizing the briefing.
Jules and other FPF staff have hosted several LinkedIn Live sessions regarding recent privacy news and events. Make sure to check FPF social media pages on Twitter and LinkedIn, as well as Jules' LinkedIn page for upcoming Live sessions in the coming months.