Omer Tene is an Associate Professor at the College of Management School of Law, Rishon Le Zion, Israel, and a legal consultant admitted to practice in Israel and New York. He consults the Israeli government, data protection authority and private sector businesses, including Fortune 100 companies, on privacy, data protection and law and technology. He was appointed by the Israeli Minister of Justice as Member of the National Privacy Protection Council and is a member of the advisory board of the Future of Privacy Forum; European advisory board of IAPP; and Editorial Board of the International Data Privacy Law (Oxford University Press). He headed the Steering Committee for the 32nd annual conference of privacy and data protection commissioners. He is a graduate of the JSD and LL.M. programs at NYU School of Law and received an MBA degree from INSEAD as well as LL.M. and LL.B. degrees from Tel Aviv University. Omer Tene was an associate at the New York office of Debevoise & Plimpton and at the Paris office of Fried Frank and a Senior Research Fellow at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law in London, where he directed the Data Protection Group. He published articles in English, Hebrew and French on privacy and data protection and comparative financial regulation.
Privacy does not cause airplanes to crash; neither does pilot depression. The wave of criticism against Germany’s strict privacy laws in the aftermath of the findings following the calamitous fate of Germanwings Flight 9525 is misguided and quite possibly dangerous.
The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) resounding victory over Wyndham Worldwide Corporation in a U.S. District Court paves the way for increasing privacy and data security action by the agency, which over the past decade has asserted itself as the most forceful and well-respected privacy enforcement authority in the world.
Hollywood writers could not have scripted it better. Merely a month before the implementation date of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May this year, a data protection scandal roils the world. A whistleblower reveals the leakage of personal data from Facebook through Cambridge Analytica to malevolent actors aiming to influence the U.S. presidential elections. What could possibly better illustrate the crucial role of GDPR in an age where data drives not only marketing and online commerce but also fateful issues for democracy and world peace?
One would think privacy was a concept that Justice Antonin Scalia disliked. After all, how could a textualist, who firmly believed in lawyers’ obligation to follow the text, respect a concept as nebulous and blurry edged as privacy? A concept whose very meaning continues to befuddle lawyers, political philosophers and social scientists more than a century after it was introduced into legal jargon by Louis Brandeis, another Supreme Court giant to come?
Facebook's announcement — establishing guidelines, review processes, training and enhanced transparency for research projects — marks another milestone in the emergence of data ethics as a crucial component of corporate governance programs.
With the proliferation of personal data generated from smartphones, apps, social networks and ubiquitous sensors, companies have come under increasing pressure to put in place internal institutional review processes more befitting of academic philosophy departments than corporate boardrooms.
"Instead, companies might continue to wait and see what happens with Brexit and hope that European regulators do not pursue the issue before they spend what could amount to "hundreds of thousands of dollars on very expensive legal solutions," said Omer Tene, Vice President and Chief Knowledge Officer at the International Association of Privacy Professionals.
"Companies entering into agreements relating to data with vendors in the UK, or vice versa, are already weighing the additional friction and cost of getting data in and out post Brexit," he said.
"“It could be curtailed by a court decision, which might come down eight years down the line,” said Omer Tene, vice president at the International Association of Privacy Professionals. “Certainly a company like Facebook has the firepower to fight fire with fire and actually take the U.S. government all the way to the Supreme Court, and maybe once and for all settle the authority the FTC has in privacy and data security.”"
"Security experts said there's really no way to know, especially in the absence of third-party validation. "You cannot determine with certainty that the information will never wind up in the hands of people who are going to use it," said Ryan Calo, a law professor at the University of Washington."
""I think there is a lot of pressure on the data companies from a lot of different directions," says Omer Tene, vice president and chief knowledge officer at the International Association of Privacy Professionals. "Apple will continue to be the most aggressive proponent of privacy as it provides them a competitive advantage."
Yet, whether technology companies that provide services for free can wean themselves off of data remains to be seen, the EFF's Hoffman-Andrews says.
"“What’s not so clear yet is whether G.D.P.R. has had an effect on privacy and on corporate data practices,” said Omer Tene, vice president and chief knowledge officer at the International Association of Privacy Professionals. “Has the underlying business model of the internet changed? Is consumer privacy better? I think those questions are very much still open.”"
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What harms are privacy laws designed to prevent? How are people injured when corporations, governments, or other individuals collect, disclose, or use information about them in ways that defy expectations, prior agreements, formal rules, or settled norms? How has technology changed the nature of privacy harm?
Solutions to many pressing economic and societal challenges lie in better understanding data. New tools for analyzing disparate information sets, called Big Data, have revolutionized our ability to find signals amongst the noise. Big Data techniques hold promise for breakthroughs ranging from better health care, a cleaner environment, safer cities, and more effective marketing. Yet, privacy advocates are concerned that the same advances will upend the power relationships between government, business and individuals, and lead to prosecutorial abuse, racial or other profiling, discrimination, redlining, overcriminalization, and other restricted freedoms.
The Future of Privacy Forum, in partnership with the Application Developers Alliance and the Stanford Center for Internet and Society, will host the App Developer Privacy Summit to discuss “The Complex App Ecosystem.” The event will examine the important privacy challenges and opportunities facing the app ecosystem and will include app developers, platforms, advertisers and privacy experts who will discuss how to ensure a trusted consumer environment for continued growth in the dynamic app market.
Video of the first session from the Big Data & Privacy: Making Ends Meet conference held on September 10, 2013. The event was co-hosted by the Future of Privacy Forum and Stanford Law School's Center for Internet and Society.
Professor Omer Tene, privacy expert in law and technology, sat down with TAP to discuss the risks big data poses to privacy and the challenges to existing privacy rules. Additionally, he proposes enabling individuals to have useful access to their data.