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6 May 2019
Pam Dixon

AI will alter the world of work, both in workplaces and in workplace information ecosystems. Labor experts have a term for negotiating the near and long-term effects of AI: “A fair and just transition.”[1] These and other experts have already begun documenting the emerging changes in the workplace resulting from AI deployments.[2] Some consequences are positive, some are deleterious.

For example, there is a risk that automation could intensify income inequalities and displace a meaningful percentage of the global workforce.[3] …


A PATIENTS’ GUIDE TO HIPAA: NEW E-BOOK + COMPLETE UPDATE

For immediate release

5 March 2019

Oregon: World Privacy Forum’s classic and highly popular health privacy resource for consumers, A Patient’s Guide to HIPAA, has been given a complete end-to-end update and is now also available as an ebook.

A Patient’s Guide to HIPAA is the only resource of its kind and fills a meaningful gap in consumer privacy education. “We are delighted with how well the Patient’s Guide to HIPAA has been received and utilized over the past 10 years,” said WPF executive director Pam Dixon. …


WPF has written to the US Department of Health and Human Services advising them on their Request for Information (RFI) about possible changes to HIPAA privacy and security protections. The RFI has a number of suggestions that, should they become part of a formal proposal, would significantly weaken HIPAA privacy protections.

Of the proposals in the RFI that impact privacy, we are the most concerned about HHS’s possible change regarding making disclosure of health records mandatory for treatment, and possibly also mandatory for healthcare operations. A requirement for mandatory disclosure of patient health records — even for treatment purposes —…


The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has produced a set of cybersecurity resources for healthcare provider organizations from small to large. The Cybersecurity Act of 2015, Section 405(d)mandated that HHS respond meaningfully to security threats to the health care sector. HHS created a multidisciplinary task force with the aim of raising awareness, providing “vetted cybersecurity practices,” and facilitating consistency within the health care sector in detecting, understanding, and mitigating cybersecurity threats.

The task force began convening meetings in 2017. The effort encompassed a large multistakeholder group of more than 150 cybersecurity and health care professionals who crafted…


WPF issued this statement in response to the Senate Commerce Committee hearing Oct. 10, 2018 on consumer data privacy. The committee is considering drafting legislation that seeks to address consumer data privacy.

World Privacy Forum Statement on Federal Privacy Legislation

October 10, 2018

Portland, Oregon: Consumer data privacy comprises the core of World Privacy Forum’s mission and purpose. A meaningful part of our work and research has focused on data brokers and secondary uses of consumer data. …


The National Academies of Science have released Securing the Vote: Protecting American Democracy. The consensus report richly documents how, during the 2016 presidential election, actors sponsored by the Russian government attacked the US voting and election infrastructure. The report assesses the web of technology infrastructures related to voting, and gives detailed recommendations for strengthening these infrastructures, from municipal to state to federal governments, to vendors.

One recommendation that stood out was to provide “voting data breach” notification of any efforts “to probe, tamper with, or interfere with voter registration systems” to the Department of Homeland Security, the US Elections Assistance…


A data ethics conversation has been growing on a global scale for some time now, but particularly since 2015, when the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) issued an Opinion on the matter and formed a Data Ethics Advisory Group to further consider the issue. Along the way, other countries, such as Canada, have begun formal processes to think about how to implement data ethics at a practical level.

First, the work in Canada. This week WPF is participating in a data ethics multi-stakeholder meeting as part of the Comprehensive Assessment Oversight Dialog: Canadian Data Review Boards Project (Office of the…


Today we took the new PriBot privacy policy analyzer and chatbot tool out for a test run. The PriBot chat tool uses AI to analyze privacy policies — many of which are verbally and legally complex — and returns bite-size nuggets of information to those interested. The overall impact of using the chat tool in our test runs is that we could find answers to key questions very quickly, without digging through entire policies. In the test run for this blog post, we used the WPF privacy policy to show you how the PriBot chat bot works.

The bot’s query…


The government of India has published an important white paper discussing its approach to data protection legislation, White Paper of the Committee of Experts on Data Protection Framework for India. The government of India is accepting comments on its white paper until January 31, 2018.

This paper is particularly important because of its future impact on legislation that will determine the data protection rules regarding the Aadhaar national biometric ID ecosystem. Aadhaar is now mandatory in India, and has been controversial for its lack of data protection and its data breaches, among other issues. WPF has done extensive in-field research…


In the world of privacy and global digital communications, the case of the United States v. Microsoft is a big deal. In June 2016 Microsoft won a victory in the case in the U.S. 2nd Circuit. This week, the U.S. Supreme Court surprised many when it announced that it granted a petition to review Microsoft’s victory. The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to review the case is remarkable given that there was not a conflicting decision, often called a circuit split, in the lower courts.

What’s at stake? A lot. This case, no matter how decided, will be a landmark privacy…

World Privacy Forum

The World Privacy Forum is a non-profit public interest research group; we focus on pressing and emerging data privacy issues. www.worldprivacyforum.org

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