The Future of Privacy Forum

Society is approaching a turning point that could well determine the future of privacy. Policy-makers and business leaders soon will make decisions about technology practices that will either ensure that data is used for the benefit of individuals and society, or take us down a path where we are controlled by how others use our data.

These words convey the worry among various privacy experts in law, policy, and industry who recently launched “The Future of Privacy Forum.” The group, headed by Jules Polonetsky and Christopher Wolf, hopes to influence policy and develop best practices on privacy for online and ICT businesses.

In their words:

FPF advocates for privacy advances that promote transparency and user control in a manner that is practical for business to implement to ensure personal autonomy for all who seek to embrace the benefits of our digital society.

While some are skeptical of an industry-funded effort to shape privacy policy and legislation, I’m optimistic that the FPF will work in good faith to bring together “dedicated technologists, policymakers, industry groups and advocates” to work towards new privacy practices and frameworks.

I’ve long argued that rather than a purely aggressive stance, we privacy advocates must work collaboratively with industry in order to find pragmatic solutions that foster the value-conscious design of new technologies to protect privacy, support corporate social responsibility, and yes, even profitability.

I hope the FPF can help move us down this path.

UPDATE: Please read the reaction to my post by Chronicles of Dissent. I obviously didn’t adequately convey that I do support aggressive stances (and they often are necessary), but also feel they can and should be complemented by more collaborative approaches. And I also don’t mean to take AT&T off the hook in terms of their problematic past wrt user privacy.

1 comment

  1. Thanks for this, I run the KiasWorld privacy website – and we have been working toward this for a while – lets hope this goes in the right direction.

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