Author(s): Paul M. Schwartz
Abstract: Successive revolutions in information technology raise new challenges, risks, and opportunities for consumer privacy protection. Perhaps the most basic question is how these new technologies are changing the actual practices of companies in processing personal information. After all, emerging technologies can make legal regulations obsolete or out-of-date. The consequences can be ineffective regulation and a waster of corporate resources without meaningful protections for consumer privacy.
To understand the impact of new technologies on company practices and legal regulations, I researched how six leading North American companies manage their global use of personal information. This work was sponsored by the Privacy Projects, a new nonprofit organization devoted to empirical research into privacy issue.
My whitepaper, Managing Global Data Privacy, looks at companies that are developing pharmaceuticals, providing marketing, selling financial services, and offering a range of Internet-based software, technology, and online services. These companies collect and process and personal information about clinical health research, customer services, consumer surveys, mortgage renewals, e-mail accounts, and global job applicants.
Keywords: privacy, pharmaceuticals, information technology