MEDIA ADVISORY: White House unveils a “Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights”

“The success of this legislation will ultimately hinge upon the fines imposed by the Federal Trade Commission for non-compliance,” says Darren Hayes, a professor at Pace University’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems.

 

 

February 23, 2012

NEWS SOURCE

Topic: White House unveils a “Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights”

“The success of this legislation will ultimately hinge upon the fines imposed by the Federal Trade Commission for non-compliance.”

So says Darren Hayes, a leading expert in computer forensics and security who has been a consultant on legal cases involving digital evidence. Hayes is a professor at Pace University’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems in New York who began a 10-year career in the financial services industry in 1990 with Cantor Fitzgerald at the World Trade Center. He manages the computer forensics laboratory at Pace, conducting research with computer science and information systems students. Much of this research has been published through the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

“The Obama administration today announced their intent to protect consumers online with a new privacy bill of rights. The bill is overdue as many other countries in Europe and Asia have already enacted laws to protect personal consumer data from being shared.

“Currently the European Union (EU) is considering online legislation that could drastically impact US companies who operate within their borders. The proposed data protection legislation would force companies like Google and Facebook to explicitly inform consumers about how their data is being collected, have these online services erase their information and generally give much greater control back to the consumer.

“If passed, that legislation would come into effect in 2014. The proposed bill by the White House in many ways mimics the proposed EU legislation currently under review.

“The unveiling of this bill is not surprising given the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) investigations of large data miners, like Google, and their questionable privacy disclosures. The FTC has already fined Google Buzz for deceptive privacy practices. The Obama administration has not only reprimanded big large online businesses but imposed stiff fines for those who may not be entirely forthcoming about how they share personal data.

“Nevertheless, the bill is likely to generate vehement opposition from lobbyists on Capitol Hill, who represent these large online companies with tremendous financial clout. It will be interesting to see if the bill will be watered down by Congress.

“The bill seeks to protect consumers well beyond the scope of what we have seen in other traditional businesses. For example, under the Gramm-Leach Bliley Act (GLBA) financial institutions must disclose their privacy policies to their customers but basically a customer has no rights to prevent their personal information from being shared with third parties.

“The success of this legislation will ultimately hinge upon the fines imposed by the FTC for non-compliance.”

Phone: 212-346-1005 (office) or 516-270-6532 (cell); email dhayes@pace.edu

BACKGROUND: As the Computer Information Systems Program Chair at Pace, Hayes has cultivated partnerships with the United Nations, New York Police Department and many other respected agencies. He has appeared on Fox 5 News and recently has been quoted by CNN.com, Forensic Magazine, Huffington Post, Investor’s Business Daily, MarketWatch, Network World, the New York Post, USA Today, and Wired News.

Media contact:  Bill Caldwell, Pace, 212-346-1597, wcaldwell@pace.edu

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