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Wednesday, March 17, 2010 : FTC Privacy Briefings - Sensitive Data Parry Aftab to Join FTC Panel Today

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  • David P. Dillard
    . Wednesday, March 17, 2010 : FTC Privacy Briefings - Sensitive Data Parry Aftab to Join FTC Panel Today Parry Aftab s Blog Where Parry Aftab Blogs on
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 18, 2010

      Wednesday, March 17, 2010 : FTC Privacy Briefings - Sensitive Data Parry
      Aftab to Join FTC Panel Today
      Parry Aftab's Blog
      Where Parry Aftab Blogs on Cybersafety, Privacy and Cybersense


      What is sensitive data?

      Sensitive Data categorically includes but is not limited to data related
      to an individuals health or medical condition, sexual behavior or
      orientation, or detailed personal finances, information that appears to
      relate to children under 13, racial or ethnic origin, political opinions,
      religious or philosophical opinions or beliefs and trade union membership.

      Four common ways in which sensitive data is exposed

      The first three listed are far less prevalent, combined, than the fourth.

      1. Intrusion

      Intruders gain access to data through a weakness in the computer system
      or poor digital hygiene allowing access to computers, desktop and wireless

      2. Phishing

      Involves a method of extracting sensitive data from unsuspecting
      individuals through fraudulent emails and communications from seemingly
      reputable companies and organizations

      Intruders obtain sensitive data by posing as representatives of a
      legitimate company or organization

      3. Social Engineering

      Involves gathering public information that can be gleaned from social
      networks, online services and community sites, including games, and
      offline legal sources and combining it in such a way as to understand
      sensitive and otherwise personal information through de-anonymizing data.

      4. Voluntary Sharing of PII

      Online community network users share a tremendous amount of PII all at
      once or in small portions with the public or with a broad user group

      Some is intentional, while others are shared through poor digital hygiene
      and failure to use privacy settings or the lack of privacy settings

      This information can be direct disclosure or available through profiling
      the users preferences, groups and surfing patterns, much of which is made
      publicly available by the user him or herself

      Children are often the source of public disclosures of sensitive data,
      not only about themselves, but about their friends and family. They may do
      this intentionally, to harass or torment the person whose information is
      being disclosed or they may do it without realizing the harm

      Some information is shared, unwittingly, by adults and businesses when
      disclosing communications, employee information and other sensitive data.
      In addition, adults, as well as children, share personal information about
      others either intentionally to harm them or without realizing the harm

      Differing definitions of sensitive data

      There has been a difference in what sensitive data means among marketers
      and privacy advocates in the current push to regulate online advertising.

      For the most part, the government has had a hands-off approach toward
      online marketing, giving companies relatively free rein in how they use
      tools that track what people do online and then use the data gathered to
      deliver tailored marketing messages.

      On July 2, 2009, advertising/marketing industry groups proposed a set of
      guidelines for self-regulation (http://www.ana.net/news/content/1801) in
      which they proposed the following definition of sensitive data:

      The Principle calls for entities not to collect financial account numbers,
      Social Security numbers, pharmaceutical prescriptions, or medical records
      about specific individuals for Online Behavioral Advertising purposes
      without Consent.


      Many users have expressed concerns about their location being exposed
      in ways they don control and in effect, adversely impacting their
      safety and freedom. However, others believe that treating location data
      like medical data will only shroud it in complete privacy and present a
      detriment to the location service ecosystem. In addition, with GPS
      built-into most cell phones and many computers and games and other
      social networks using location to help pair users and locate
      on-the-ground stores, services and points of interest, how desirable is
      it to block access to and use of location data?

      The complete article may be read at the URL above.

      More Information


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