This cartoon is about de-identifying PHI under HIPAA. De-identifying personal data is quite complicated. Researchers have been able to re-identify sets of personal data with just names, birth dates, and gender. The reason why de-identifying data is difficult is that there is more and more identified personal data online that can be matched up with de-identified data and used to link up names.
This cartoon is about new technology and privacy. With each new technology, there have been outcries that privacy will be lost forever. A while ago, I wrote a post collecting headlines and book covers that proclaimed “the death of privacy” throughout the ages.
Despite being under constant threat, privacy has somehow has managed to survive.
The story from history is not apocalyptic. Instead, with each challenge, people found ways to protect privacy. The new technologies of today certainly make protecting privacy difficult, but it is not impossible. Moreover, as this cartoon depicts, we should avoid being too nostalgic about the past. I commonly hear people mention how in the past, it was easier to have privacy because people could live in greater obscurity and not be captured on video or have their data constantly gobbled up and digested by computers.
This cartoon is about the “privacy paradox” — the phenomenon where people say that they value privacy highly, yet in their behavior relinquish their personal data for very little in exchange or fail to use measures to protect their privacy.
Commentators typically make one of two types of arguments about the privacy paradox. On one side, privacy regulation skeptics contend behavior is the best metric to evaluate how people actually value privacy. Behavior reveals that people ascribe a low value to privacy or readily trade it away for goods or services. The argument often goes on to contend that privacy regulation should be reduced.
This cartoon is about the GDPR’s lawful basis requirement to process personal data. One of the biggest differences between U.S. and EU privacy law is that in the U.S., organizations can collect and use personal data in nearly any way they choose as long as they state what they are doing in their privacy notice and follow what they say. In the EU, in contrast, the GDPR requires that organizations have a “lawful basis” to collect and process personal data. The GDPR specified six lawful bases, including consent, performance of a contract, compliance with a legal obligation, public interest, protect the vital interests of the data subject or other people, and legitimate interest in processing the data.
Many organizations use legitimate interest as their lawful basis.
Article 6(1)(f) of the GDPR provides:
1.Processing shall be lawful only if and to the extent that at least one of the following applies:
(f) processing is necessary for the purposes of the legitimate interests pursued by the controller or by a third party, except where such interests are overridden by the interests or fundamental rights and freedoms of the data subject which require protection of personal data, in particular where the data subject is a child.
For Data Privacy Day, here’s a cartoon about the history of privacy. A constant stream of articles and books proclaim that privacy is dead. But people have been saying that privacy is dead for quite some time. This is either the longest death scene in history, or privacy isn’t dying.