This post was co-authored by Professor Paul Schwartz, Berkeley Law School.
Education was one of the first areas where privacy was regulated by a federal statute. Passed in the early 1970s, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) was on the frontier of federal privacy regulation. But now it is old and ineffective. With the growing public concern about the privacy of student data, states are starting to rev up their engines and become more involved. The result could be game-changing legislation for the multi-billion dollar education technology industry.
2013 was a remarkable year in privacy developments. Here are four main trends I saw occurring this year:
1. The heat on the NSA for its broad surveillance programs has been sustained and productive.
The Edward Snowden leaks revealed massive NSA surveillance efforts. What is most interesting in the aftermath of the recent NSA surveillance revelations has been the strong public disapproval of the NSA surveillance and courts finally taking some leadership on the issue, such as one court declaring the surveillance likely unconstitutional. The President’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies recommended curbs on the NSA. Congress has yet to show leadership on the issue, which remains disappointing, but we are finally seeing the stirrings of a response and perhaps change. Indeed, 56% of people in a Pew poll “say that federal courts fail to provide adequate limits on the telephone and internet data the government is collecting.”
Moreover, the story regarding NSA surveillance keeps going on. It hasn’t faded. The overall trend is that there is now sustained heat on the NSA and a sustained stirring for changing the law to provide greater oversight and controls on government surveillance.
We have launched several new privacy training programs, including a series with brief introductions to privacy law. We have completed a privacy training program about US Privacy Law with a video and interactive material / quiz questions. And we just completed a training program about EU Privacy Law. This program has a 7.5 minute video (as well as an abridged version at 4.5 minutes), and there’s a separate excerpt on the Safe Harbor Arrangement for those who only want to cover Safe Harbor in their training programs.
We have begun producing a new program series about financial privacy. The first two programs are completed.
The first part is an overview video that discusses the importance of financial privacy and the various laws and regulations that regulate. These laws and regulations are discussed very broadly. The video concludes with some key best practices for protecting financial data. This video is made in a unique style — an animated piece of currency.
The second program focuses on the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA). The video discusses the GLBA’s scope, notice, confidentiality, data sharing, and security. The video also explains why protecting the privacy and security of financial data is important.
There are interactive materials and quiz questions to accompany the video.