Data Privacy Day 2016: Governments Face Security Issues

obrBy Betsy — Last Updated: 27 Jan'16 2016-01-26T23:17:11+00:00

As Data Privacy Day approaches on January 28th, governments are facing the issue of personal data privacy vs. intelligence to combat security threats.  The matter is complicated by the looming deadline between the United States and Europe to update the Safe Harbor deal.

Data Privacy Day Logo

Data Privacy Day is  an international effort held annually  to create awareness about the importance of privacy and protecting personal information.

Data Privacy and Safe Harbor

US lawmakers are facing a deadline in passage of a bill that would help address concerns of Europe’s privacy regulators.  Commerce officials from the US federal government and the European Commission are in negotiations to forge a new Safe Harbor pact before the January 31st deadline.  The European Union high court struck down an  agreement negotiated in 2000 , citing numerous privacy failures in the US.  

The Judicial Redress Act is now being considered by the Senate, as it  seeks to address a specific complaint, the right of European citizens who feel their data privacy has been violated to sue in US courts.  Supporters of the bill say it contributes to a restored relationship between the EU and the US, even if it does not directly impact Safe Harbor talks.

Negotiators have expressed confidence that they will meet the deadline, though points of contention between US regulations and the EU’s more stringent data privacy laws have sprung up. US-based technology companies would face potentially serious consequences if an agreement is not reached.

Meanwhile, a push to repeal the Cybersecurity Act of 2015 is being mounted by groups that say it is unlikely to help government agencies detect potential terrorist threats- its intended goal. They say it simply gives government more access to America’s sensitive information.

Data Privacy Day 2016

Known as Data Protection Day in Europe, the annual event is designed to raise awareness of the need to protect privacy and safeguard data online.  The National Cyber Security Alliance’s theme for the event is 

Respecting Privacy, Safeguarding Data and Enabling Trust

Key points in the campaign are:

  • Encouraging consumers to learn to own their online presence 
  • Encouraging consumers to protect their personal information
  • Encouraging businesses to be open about how they collect and use data

A Facebook page by the group has tips and information on protecting data privacy for both consumers and businesses.  Included in the postings are such items as:

  • Video on what Data Privacy Day is all about
  • Link to a page noting “Privacy is good for business”
  • Pew Center Study link on American’s feelings toward sharing information in exchange for benefits
  • Invitation to a State of the Privacy event
  • FTC report with recommendations to businesses on use of big data

A Twitter hashtag has also been setup to give further information. How are you going to spend Data Privacy Day 2016? For a more in-depth look at the subject , check out our experts’ panel piece published last year on the issue.


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