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Intel Calls For U.S. Privacy Legislation

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rtbfhillNTIA’s recent request for comments on big data provided companies, privacy advocates and activists with an opportunity to highlight the promise of big data and analytic processing and to consider how to address some of the unique privacy challenges they raise. But big data is only one example of the new technologies, data collection and data uses that can address difficult and persistent problems in health care, research, education, development, delivery of social services, and energy distribution.

Intel believes that to realize the potential of big data, the Internet of Things, and the cloud – and all of the new and exciting technologies and applications we’ve yet to imagine - it is critical that we get the privacy solutions right. That means creating a data ecosystem where innovation is encouraged, and where individuals can trust that information about them is collected, used and protected in responsible, privacy-respectful ways.

We believe that passing comprehensive privacy legislation in the U.S. is critical to attaining that goal. Intel has called for legislation for some time, most recently at the White House-MIT big data event in March of 2014, and at the Internet Education Foundation’s forum on “the right to be forgotten” on Capitol Hill last week. Any law must take into account the realities of the information-rich, technology-driven world we create. For this reason, Intel believes that privacy protections should be established in law that preserves traditional values enshrined in fair information practices, but allows for their application in practical ways that serve the data environment and empower innovation.  It will require a concerted, forward-thinking effort to re-interpret these principles for the future – this is a process of evolution, not revolution.

As we have noted in this blog and in many public fora, workable privacy legislation will be founded based on principles of fair information practices as articulated by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Effective law will incorporate transparency, a core of acceptable uses, risk assessment and mitigation, and enhanced security. In addition, it will be important to require that all organizations be accountable for establishing privacy policies that protect the individual, programs and practices that promote successful implementation of that policy, internal oversight, and a mechanism that allows individuals to obtain recourse when their data is mishandled or misused. Such an approach helps organizations take privacy into consideration over the course of the design and development process and to build privacy in at the beginning.

Privacy and innovation are not a zero-sum game. With strong, workable privacy legislation that serves organizations and individuals, we can create the kind of data environment that fosters innovation and provides individuals with a trusted, protected space to reap the benefits. Intel continues to work toward a comprehensive privacy law that will help all of us realize that vision.  We call this effort Rethink Privacy 2.0.

Who will join us in the Rethink?