Guest Blog on Privacy Safe Harbors

Guest Blog on Privacy Safe Harbors

The following is a guest post to the FPF Blog from Ira Rubinstein, a Senior Fellow at the Information Law Institute and Adjunct Professor at New York University School of Law

In early May, Reps. Rick Boucher (D-VA) and Cliff Stearns (R-FL) released a discussion draft of comprehensive privacy legislation. The draft bill would require companies that collect and use personal data to disclose their privacy practices and obtain consent for various uses of such data, including express consent for the collection or use of sensitive information. The bill also regulates online ads and specifically addresses targeted ads based on a user’s Web browsing history. Section 3(e) requires opt-in consent for third-party information sharing (e.g., with advertising networks) but offers a very narrow “safe harbor” exception for firms that follow certain defined practices (such as allowing a person to manage their preference profiles and to opt-out of receiving targeted ads).

Safe harbors are a very powerful regulatory instrument. In what follows, I offer some fairly radical ideas for greatly expanding the use of safe harbors in privacy law by adopting a regulatory approach sometimes referred to as “co-regulation.” I have written about these ideas at greater length in a law review article, Privacy and Regulatory Innovation: Moving Beyond Voluntary Codes, I/S: A Journal of Law and Policy for the Information Society (forthcoming Winter 2011) available at All page references below are to the draft version currently posted on SSRN…

To read Rubinstein’s full blog about this issue click here

Leave a Reply

Privacy Calendar

10:00 am Privacy Principles in the Era of Massive Data @ Georgetown Law Center
Privacy Principles in the Era of… @ Georgetown Law Center
Apr 22 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Experts from the public and private sectors will join public policy experts from the Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy and privacy law experts [...]
all-day 6th Biannual International Surveillance & Society Conference
6th Biannual International Surve…
Apr 24 – Apr 25 all-day
The 6th Biannual International Surveillance & Society conference hosted by the University of Barcelona and supported by the Surveillance Studies Network is currently calling for [...]
12:00 pm Data Privacy in Education: Ensuring Student Security while Encouraging Innovation in K-12 Education @ Rayburn House Office Building, Room B-354
Data Privacy in Education: Ensur… @ Rayburn House Office Building, Room B-354
Apr 24 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
The Congressional E-Learning Caucus in cooperation with Into and the National Coalition for Technology in Education and Training presents a luncheon to discuss “Data Privacy [...]
all-day IAPP Europe Data Protection Intensive 2014
IAPP Europe Data Protection Inte…
Apr 29 – May 1 all-day
The IAPP Europe Data Protection Intensive features timely programming centred on the top issues impacting the European data protection community, with a focus on addressing [...]
5:30 pm InSecurity: Race, Surveillance and Privacy in the Digital Age @ New America Foundation
InSecurity: Race, Surveillance a… @ New America Foundation
Apr 30 @ 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Now more than ever, digital tools sit at a precarious tipping point, and many question whether they will be used to address pre-existing disparities, [...]
all-day IAPP Canada Privacy Symposium 2014
IAPP Canada Privacy Symposium 2014
May 7 – May 9 all-day
The IAPP Canada Privacy Symposium is the leading conference for education, debate and discussion of issues that matter most to Canadian privacy and data protection [...]
all-day Privacy Law Scholars Conference (7th Annual) @ The George Washington School of Law
Privacy Law Scholars Conference … @ The George Washington School of Law
Jun 5 – Jun 6 all-day
  UC Berkeley School of Law and The George Washington University Law School will be holding the seventh annual Privacy Law Scholars Conference (PLSC) on [...]
all-day Computers, Freedom, and Privacy 2014 Conference @ Airlie Center
Computers, Freedom, and Privacy … @ Airlie Center
Jun 8 – Jun 10 all-day
Mark your calendars! The 2014 Computers, Freedom, and Privacy Conference will be held June 8-10 at the Airlie Center in Warrenton, Virginia. The Airlie Center [...]

View Calendar