Privacy / Security

The Future of Privacy and Regulation

In his June 24 remarks on the future of privacy and regulation, Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith described how, by 2020, 50 billion devices will connected to networks around the world.  The exponential growth of data will ensure that privacy “is an issue that will continue to become more important.”
Turning to what this data-driven society means for privacy policy, Smith spoke about “how the two halves of this issue may come together” ― both “the relationship between citizens and between consumers and companies.”   He laid out “four questions” ― a set of issues or principles ― that need to be addressed in both sectors to insure that both governments and technology “continue to serve people.”  These are (1) transparency, a right to know what information is collected and how it is used; (2) “appropriate control” over personal information; (3) accountability; and (4) international norms and collaboration.
Privacy in the Public and Private Spheres
Smith spoke about how these principles may operate differently in the public and private sectors.  For example, in the public sector, control belongs to “the public as a whole … through the rule of law” but, in the private sector, control should reside with individual consumers through mechanisms of “notice and consent and management.”

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