Revisiting Data Privacy Day

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We regret that we did not have space to publish this in our upcoming print edition, but we here at Infosecurity nonetheless thought it was important to provide our readers with this feedback we received recently on one of our web news items. Since it is in reference to an online item, we thought we would use my blog to publish this for our online audience:

Dear Infosecurity,

I am a program manager for Data Privacy Day in the US and Canada. I read your article about DPD with an extensive interview with [Pat] Clawson [CEO of Lumension], and I think many of his ideas about the importance of getting education about privacy and security into the schools are exactly right. While most high school students have not heard of DPD, we are working as hard as we can to make sure high school students have access to education about privacy and security online through DPD efforts. In fact, teen education has been a major focus of Data Privacy Day since 2007.

Also, Data Privacy Day did not originate with Congress in the US in 2009. Rather Data Privacy Day in the US/Canada arose from the efforts of some individuals at Intel Corporation, a gentleman from Spain visiting Duke University, and a number of academics and industry representatives in the fall of 2007. It was an effort to build upon Data Protection Day that began in the EU in January 2007. It has been growing nationally and internationally since that time, and we were very pleased that Congress chose to recognize DPD in 2009. The Senate also recognized DPD in 2010 and a resolution is pending for recognition this year as well. We also work with Attorneys General and Chief Privacy Officers around the US and Privacy Commissioners in Canada to obtain substantive participation as well as official recognition of the day.

While I greatly appreciate your coverage of Data Privacy Day, it seems that neither the author of the article nor Mr. Clawson is very informed about the subject. As Infosecurity is clearly a publication that reaches privacy and security professionals, we very much hope that your readers will be able to access accurate information about Data Privacy Day – information that may lead them to see how they can contribute to raise awareness and promote education about privacy.

Happy (belated) Data Privacy Day – and best,

Jolynn Dellinger
The Privacy Projects

And here was our response to this reader's feedback:

Indeed, our reader is correct to point out that Data Privacy Day did not originate with the US Congress, but was instead first proposed and marked by the EU in 2007. We appreciate you pointing this out and apologize for not providing more background for our readers. However, the comments made by Lumension’s Pat Clawson, regarding the relative effectiveness of DPD, are his own, and he is entitled to make his own judgment about the day’s effectiveness in preventing data leakage. Regardless, we encourage all our readers to voice their own opinions on this and similar topics. Feel free to do so in the comments section of each feature or news item on our websites. But, please, keep it clean.

As always, we welcome any comments or feedback on any of our print or online articles. You can leave them in the comments section online (for registered users), or email our editorial inbox.

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