Many Internet sites collect information about users. Such information may serve to allow companies to get in touch with users or to make sure that the services offered correspond to their wishes. It may also help Internet companies make sure that advertising on their website, which may be funding most or even all of the costs of the site, is more relevant to users.
To the extent that the collected data can be linked to an identifiable person, it may be caught by Privacy and Data Protection laws. These laws seek to establish a balance between the requirements of the services offered by these the websites and the users’ right to privacy.
It is important that all companies that offer privacy sensitive services on the web comply with these rules, in order to create a level playing field, on which they can compete in a fair and open manner. Competition based on the quality of the privacy practices offered can and will normally lead to continuously improving privacy for users. But that requires that the rules are actively enforced.
Compliance should not just be measured in terms of the length of the retention period of such personal data, but also on the extent to which the data is anonymised upon expiry of that period.
A selection of articles can be found on our industry news page.
32nd International Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners Conference; October 2010
- An ICOMP hosted cross-industry panel discussion held in conjunction with the conference explored one issue at the heart of this debate and an underlying theme of this year’s event: Privacy by Design. Simon Davies, visiting senior fellow at the London School of Economics and founder of the advocacy and watchdog group, Privacy International, opened the session with a précis of his ICOMP-sponsored discussion paper reinforcing the significance of PbD and raising questions on how it can evolve from a mere concept into concrete enhancement of privacy protection.
ICOMP Conference: Privacy & Competition in the Online Marketplace; April 2009
- A full programme of the event, which took place on April 27th 2009, with presentations from David Wood, Peter Swire, Javier Celaya and Philippe Renaudière can be found on the ICOMP events page.
Privacy Symposium; Summer 2008
- ICOMP was present at the Privacy Summer Symposium. A detailed overview of the event, and keynote speakers can be found here.