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Polling commences to identify the key privacy issues of the coming year

eye tapping surveillance security

By Simon Davies

Over the next few days the Privacy Surgeon will poll many of the world’s leading privacy specialists, policy-makers, media professionals and legal experts to identify the ten key issues that are most likely to dominate the privacy landscape over the coming year. This will by the first of an annual poll conducted every summer by the Privacy Surgeon.

Preliminary polling suggests that the hot issues are likely to centre on three domains: regulatory changes, surveillance of online and communications activities and data security.

Preliminary polling suggests that the hot issues are likely to centre on three domains: regulatory changes, surveillance of online and communications activities and data security.

Specific aspects that are trending include cloud computing, online advertising, face recognition, encryption policy, identity legislation, geo-location and corporate governance.

Significant technological and legal shifts are occurring globally and these are reflected in the first round of views. As Europe and parts of Asia and South America move toward regulatory reform the dynamics of trade will shift. Interoperability of services will create new privacy challenges while investment in new forms of surveillance will create frequent privacy controversies that will prompt scrutiny of investors and venture capital companies.

We’re not looking for a list of what’s right or wrong in privacy, but more a guide to the issues that are likely to come to the attention of policy-makers and the public.

It isn’t possible to directly contact everyone, so if you have a view that will help us in this challenge please contact us with your predictions. We’ll publish our analysis early in the week of 13th August.

The key issues raised so far are:

  • Online advertising, in particular the search market domination and the dispute over the merits of Do Not Track versus Tracking Protection Lists.
  • Cloud computing
  • Data protection reform in the EU
  • The emergence of data protection and privacy regulation in Asia and South America
  • Data breaches and the requirement for data breach notification
  • social networking issues
  • geolocation
  • face recognition
  • Then transparency and utility of privacy policies
  • Curtailment of online freedoms in Asia and the middle east
  • Export of surveillance technology to repressive regimes
  • A showdown between Canada and the US over privacy regulation
  • corporate governance
  • encryption policy, particularly in regions such as India
  • Regulation and control over apps on platforms
  • The emergence of new genetic predictive and analysis techniques
  • The establishment of legally mandated access to health information for health researchers.
  • Relations between Chines market operators and the West
  • The development of the surveillance industrial complex
  • Instant message and micro-blogging surveillance
  • Scrutiny of the due diligence of investors and venture capital companies
  • Internet voting and efforts to eliminate the secret ballot
  • jurisdiction and extraterritorial application of US laws
  • Behavioral indicator surveillance and analysis (predictive data analysis techniques for law enforcement, e.g., future attribute screening or “Pre-Crime”), behavioral detection monitoring (thought signatures, bio-feedback analysis).