Privacy as a National Policy Issue; Facebook’s Atlas: Ghostery Dispatch

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Dear Friends,

Last week’s announcement that President Obama will now receive regular updates on foreign cyber attacks shows that privacy and security issues have been elevated to national security status.  While it may be coincidence that the massive cyberattack at JPMorgan Chase began soon after the US imposed harsh economic sanctions against Russia for its invasion of the Ukraine, some suspect the attack originated in Russia and was a retaliatory measure in response. In other evidence of privacy’s national importance, the President publicly voiced his support for net neutrality, urging the Federal Communications Commission to reverse its recommendations to allow Internet ‘fast lanes’ for faster content delivery.

In EU news, the former Estonian Prime Minister and Commissioner-designate for the Digital Internet Market, Andrus Ansip, turned heads at a hearing before the European Parliament by announcing that he has not ruled out suspending the Safe Harbor Agreement with the US, which is a mechanism used by more than 3,000 companies to move personal data from the EU to the US.  While it is not clear how much of the Safe Harbor criticism is politically motivated, this presents an opportunity to improve the program. Also, be sure to read the fascinating study that shows EU citizens value their personal data at approximately 170 Euros.  Interestly, as mobile is becoming the default platform, 77% of consumers said its “very important” for mobile operators to be transparent about data use.  When taken in conjunction with GPEN’s recent findings that 85% of apps failed to provide sufficient privacy disclosures, I see a ripe area for EU privacy enforcement in 2015.

In industry news, Facebook, putting itself in direct competition with Google, Yahoo and Twitter, officially launched Audience Network, its mobile advertising platform that will allow Facebook powered advertisments to follow you around the mobile universe. In other industry news, Privacy by Design, which is a privacy-centric approach to software development, is gaining traction, with ad tech company 4Info adopting this rigorous process to improve consumer privacy.  I’ve long been a fan of Privacy by Design and am heartened to see innovative companies recognize that privacy can be a competitive advantage.  In other industry news, be sure to register here for the EDAA’s upcoming webinar on OBA Self-Regulation for Advertisers in the EU.  

In Ghostery news, don’t forget to register for our one-day Hack the Trackers event happening on November 7 in New York City.  Space is limited and it’s almost sold out.  Finally, it’s time to do a Dispatch refresh to make sure we stay relevant.  If there are different news categories that you want covered, or if there are ways to make this better, I’d love to hear from you at

Until next week,

Todd, CPO at Ghostery, Inc.



Hack the Trackers



Chase Bank Hack Persuades Obama To Make Cyberwarfare A Top National Security Issue

JPMorgan cyberattack largest ever bank hack

Obama Reiterates His Opposition to Internet ‘Fast Lanes’



Facebook Opens Its Mobile Ad “Audience Network” To All Advertisers And Apps

Privacy-by-Design’ Is Crucial, but Not Easy or Cheap

OBA Self-Regulation for Advertisers



Ansip threatens to suspend Safe Harbour data agreement with US 

ORANGE : Consumers value their personal data at €170 / £140, Orange study finds

Global Privacy Sweep Raises Concerns About Mobile Apps 


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