Privacy Threats No Longer "Terra Incognita"

Michael Geist writes an excellent summary of The International Data Protection and Privacy Commissioner's Conference held in Montreal last week.

While this is more of a conference for lawyers and commissioners -- these are issues that we as technologists must consider carefully. Here's a little excerpt:

Moreover, privacy law has also emphasized the distinction between
personally identifiable information - information that can be traced to
a particular person and is therefore deserving of legal protection -
and non-identifiable information that does not enjoy any legal
protection.  Technology threatens the ability to easily distinguish
between the two as powerful computers and ever-expanding databases make
it easier to identify individuals from what was once thought to be
non-identifiable information.

Addressing these legal
shortcomings will command the privacy community's attention for the
foreseeable future; however, it was Chertoff's keynote address that
crystallized the challenge to global privacy protection. In a room full
of privacy advocates, Chertoff came not with a peace offering, but
rather a confrontational challenge. He unapologetically made the case
for greater surveillance in which governments collect an
ever-increasing amount of data about their citizens in the name of
security.

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