Happy Data Privacy Day, and Coming Events!

Hi Folk,

Thanks to all who joined us on Thursday. And Happy International Data Privacy Day!

First celebrated in 2007, Data Privacy Day commemorates the signature of the Council of Europe’s Convention for the Protection of Individuals with Regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data on January 28, 1981. Widely hailed as the first binding international agreement protecting privacy rights, the Convention has been ratified by all of the Council of Europe’s member states in addition to numerous non-member states, and it has been regularly updated since its initial passage (most recently, in 2018). January 28 is now recognized as Data Privacy Day around the world! (Often and originally as Data Protection Day, because what fun would internationalism be if we could all agree on what to call things?)

How Privacy Got On The Calendar – forbes.com Then the cookie became a “monster.” It turned into a tracker in 1995 as Doubleclick, an internet advertising pioneer, repurposed cookies to follow users from one site to another. www.forbes.com

Talks, classes, and celebrations in honor of data privacy have been extended to a Data Privacy Week and even a Data Privacy Month by organizations eager to spread the good word about privacy! (🎉.) And although January is coming to a close, events with the NYLS Privacy Law Association are just getting started:

Data Privacy Day – iapp.org CIPP Certification. The global standard for the go-to person for privacy laws, regulations and frameworks. CIPM Certification. The first and only privacy certification for professionals who manage day-to-day operations iapp.org

Event: Privacy Issues for Technology Lawyers with Jonathan Espiritu

Next Tuesday, February 7, join the PLA, the Innovation Center for Law and Technology, and Klaviyo Senior Counsel Jonathan Espiritu (NYLS Class of 2006) to talk about privacy issues for technology lawyers. At Klaviyo, Jonathan leads the creation, implementation, and management of company-wide policies on domestic and international privacy regulations, among many other responsibilities. As a former in-house counsel for several software and technology providers including Snyk, VMware, and Mosaic Group, Jonathan’s expertise includes the legal aspects of data governance, software and SaaS licensing, product development, and digital marketing.

The event will run from 12:50pm to 1:50pm in room W402.

Save the Date: Lexis+ Seminar on the Data Privacy and Cyberlaw Practice Area

After hearing about privacy issues from Jonathan Espiritu on the 7th, come learn about Lexis+ Data Privacy and Cyberlaw resources on the 9th! Lexis of course features up to date statutes—particularly important in a field as rapidly-evolving as privacy law—but its Data Privacy and Cyberlaw practice area also includes practical guidance and state-by-state resource kits that provide everything you need to hit the ground running. Plus, earn some Lexis points while you’re at it!

The event will be held remotely over Zoom and run from 1pm to 1:30pm on Thursday, February 9. Expect an email with the Zoom link next week.

Event: Privacy Law Association General Body Meeting

Last but not least, our General Body Meeting for the spring semester! If you’re on this mailing list, you know that privacy law is where it’s at, and our general body meeting is where you’ll meet new and existing members, hear about upcoming privacy events and opportunities, and—perhaps most importantly—grab some free pizza! Bring a friend, bring a question about privacy law that you want answered, bring an appetite; we can’t wait to see you all there.

The event will run from 1pm to 2pm in room W402 on Thursday, February 16.

Privacy News

Those of you following us on Twitter will of course have seen the new regarding Meta’s recent sanctions in Europe. Suffice it to say, although the fines are notable, it’s the failure of the Terms of Service contract to act as a viable legal basis for data processing that may do real harm to Meta’s business model overseas. Did that last sentence seem needlessly convoluted or arcane? Come hang out with the PLA and learn to jabber jargon with the best of ’em.

Re: Twitter, Privacy Lapses, and Things That Surprise No One

If you’ve been following us on Twitter (or, indeed, if you’ve been on Twitter at all), remember that the security of most social media is about as robust as wet tissue paper. Still, a new whistleblower complaint alleges that Twitter has sunk to (remained at?) decided lows, with over 4,000 employees allowed unfettered and unmonitored access to user accounts. Coming on the heels of existing concerns, the new complaint has FTC regulators facing “a sort of existential moment” as the tech giant’s potential violations pile higher and higher.

New Twitter Whistleblower Says Privacy Lapses Continued Into Musk Era – Bloomberg A new whistleblower has told Congress that Twitter Inc. continued to violate privacy and data security protections into the Elon Musk era, potentially risking legal action including hefty penalties. www.bloomberg.com

Surveillance Implications for Reproductive Rights

Privacy doesn’t just protect your right to be a dog on the internet. Privacy rights in healthcare provide the basis for the right to reproductive control—although it was overturned last year in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, it was the Supreme Court’s holding in Roe v. Wade that, “This right of privacy… is broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.”

With Roe v. Wade overturned, however, the importance of privacy to reproductive rights has taken on another dimension. With so much private information easy to subpoena from Meta and other platforms, police departments are capitalizing on online data to track down potential offenders of anti-abortion laws. And if you missed the memo back in 2022, health apps may be among those platforms leaking data to third parties and the police.

How US police use digital data to prosecute abortions In late April, police in Nebraska received a tip saying 17-year-old Celeste Burgess had given birth to a stillborn baby and buried the body. Officers soon learned that her mother, Jessica Burgess … techcrunch.com
Should you worry about data from your period-tracking app being used against you? – @politifact After the Roe v. Wade draft opinion leak, social media users started telling people to delete their period-tracking app data in case it could be used to prosecute them. techcrunch.com

This week’s news is hardly shocking, but it’s a reminder of the need for digital privacy in our incredibly online lives. Privacy lawyers help make sure the future looks a little bit less like a dystopian projection from the past. This International Privacy Day, let’s all remember that George Orwell is dead.

Kyle Hunt
President, Privacy Law Association

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