Wednesday, February 18, 2009

This Week in Privacy

This week has seen some movement in the privacy area. This is not something I generally focus on, but since it has come into the Federal area on more than a few occasions; I thought I would say something.

First - Did you know that the word "privacy" is used 7 times in the FISMA law? Once to define confidentiality, once to reference the Privacy Act of 1974 and the other five times to talk about the Information Security and Privacy Advisory Board. This is a group that gets together 3-4 times a year and does what I would describe as "things". Its true. See for your self.

With that in mind, I will start off by saying that Facebook decided that they would update their Terms of Service. The new terms said that they could do whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted, with information that they collected. After some outrage from the intertubes, along with some people who abandoned their accounts, they have reversed their decision for now.

In other news, the Federal Trade Commission issued a report about targetted online advertising that basically said that companies should do better than they are now. Blah Blah Blah. That lead to other people suddenly caring and can a congressman that said more legislation is on the way.

Lastly, we get a gem from the Department of Homeland Security who issued a report about their keeping information private on their own systems and this report includes recommendations. This is where I felt I needed to say something.

DHS? The Department of Homeland Security is worried about keeping privacy information private? Also, there isn't anything NEW in this report! The recommendations are already in OMB memos and NIST docs. Don't they have a policy or what? Damnit.

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