Privacy: Accountability and EnforceabilityJamie YooApril 11, 2006CPSC 457: Sensitive Information in a Wired World
Control of Personal InformationBasic Problem: Data subject lacks control of sensitive information after initial disclosureOrganizations lack control of the information that they manage once they disclose it to third parties
Fair Information Practices PrinciplesCollection limitationData qualitySecurity safeguardsOpennessPurpose specificationUse limitationIndividual participationAccountability
Fair Information Practice Principles are guiding principles not law.Problem: Companies will claim to follow fair information practice principles but degree of implementation varies among companies.
Example: Data Resellers
Data Resellers (Brokers)Information Resellers are businesses that collect and aggregate personal information from multiple sources and make it available to their customers.
Collection LimitationInformation Resellers Generally Do Not Limit Data Collection to Specific Purposes and Do Not Notify Data SubjectsPrivacy Problems
Collection Limitation ProblemResellers are limited only by laws that apply to specific kinds of information.Otherwise, resellers aggregate unrestricted amounts of personal information.No provisions are made to notify the data subjects when the reseller obtains personal data.Individuals are not afforded an opportunity to express or withhold their consent because many times resellers do not have a direct relationship with data subjects.Some offer an opt-out option but usually under limited circumstances for specific types of data and under specific conditions.
Data QualityInformation Resellers Do Not Ensure That Personal Information They Provide is Accurate for Specific Purposes Privacy Problems
Data Quality ProblemNo standard mechanism for verifying the accuracy of the data obtainedSome privacy policies state that resellers expect their data to contain some errorsVarying policies regarding correction of data determined to be inaccurate as obtained by themBecause they are not the original source of the personal information, information resellers generally direct individuals to the original sources to correct any errors. That is, data that may be perfectly adequate for one purpose may not be precise enough or appropriate for another purpose.
Purpose SpecificationInformation Resellers Specification of the Purpose of Data Collection Consists of Broad Descriptions of Business Categories Privacy Problems
Purpose Specification ProblemInformation resellers specify purpose in a broad, general way by describing the types of businesses that use their data.They generally do not designate specific intended uses for each of their data collections.Generally, resellers obtain information that has already been collected for a specific purpose and make that information available to their customers, who in turn have a much broader variety of purposes for using it.
AccountabilityOften times, data subjects do not even know that data resellers are selling their personal information, so accountability from an individual data subjects standpoint is less than ideal.Privacy Problems
Problems withCurrent Solutions
Limitations of LegislationEither too broad or too specificSlow to changeDifficulty to enforceEspecially across borders
Limitations of the FTCThe Commission prosecutes unfair and deceptive practices violations.However, usually letters from consumers or businesses, Congressional inquiries, or articles on consumer or economic subjects triggers an FTC investigation.Unfortunately, data subjects are often not even aware of privacy violations, especially since they are not usually aware of specific instances of data disclosures by authorized data recipients to third parties
Example of EPAL Rule
Consumer bases her decision on announced P3P policy, which is not formally related to operative EPAL policy.Current Usage Scenario
IssuesPrivacy promises made without mechanism for enforcementThe stickiness of policies is not enforceableToo much trust in the enterpriseLeakages can still happenMinimal user involvement (negotiation)Privacy management is more than authorization
Suggested ScenarioTrust Auditing and Tracing AuthorityEnterprise 1Enterprise 2Personal Data(encrypted)Privacy PoliciesData SubjectPersonal Data(encrypted)Privacy Policies (EPAL rules)Decryption Key
LimitationsDifficult to build a trusted network of this typeInherent technical difficulty in representing privacy policies as machine-readable code remainsEx: A very large number of EPAL rules required to implement HIPAA, making it difficult to implement as well as maintain.Future of Trusted Computing is unknownRegardless of technical solutions, there must be legislative enforcement to encourage this type of rigorous auditing and also to prosecute violations