page highlights industry groups and public interest advocacy
bodies concerned with privacy.
It covers -
As lobbying in the US and elsewhere gets serious, industry
and community groups are proliferating. The
following paragraphs are not comprehensive - they're a
selection from the plethora of bodies concerned with online
privacy and the implications of new technologies.
Broader questions regarding the nature of advocacy, and
of its regulation, are explored here.
The Washington-based Electronic Privacy Information Centre
established by Marc Rotenberg in 1994, is perhaps the
leading 'web privacy' public interest group. EPIC has
produced some of the major studies in the area, including
comprehensive overviews of legislation and practice in
all developed economies.
At the beginning of 2001 EPIC joined with Privacy International
in establishing Privacy.Org,
a privacy information gateway. Its primary focus is the
EPIC now faces competition from the Center for Democracy
& Technology (CDT),
after criticisms - somewhat unfair - that EPIC had been
captured by the grey bermuda triangle known as the Washington
Beltway. It has a strong interest in privacy, intellectual
property and telecommunications access issues. The CDT
consumerprivacyguide.org in partnership with Common
Cause and the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (PRC).
The smaller US Consumer Project on Technology (CPT)
was established by Ralph Nader in 1995. In contrast,
is a "proudly free-market, pro-technology" advocacy
group opposed to regulation by (but most definitely not
of) the US government.
The Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR),
like the somewhat faded Electronic Frontier Foundation
has a wider ambit. Those sites are worth perusal - today's
brouhaha in the USA tends to become tomorrow's policy
in Australia. The American Civil Liberties Union
is still playing catch-up with the technology and continues
to focus on government at the expense of concerns about
private sector privacy abuses.
The Internet Privacy Coalition (IPC)
is a disparate grouping of cryptographers, public interest
groups and businesses encouraging the widespread use of
cryptography and relaxation of export
controls on cryptography.
Privacy International (PI)
is a global human rights group with a Sydney presence.
The Global Internet Liberty Campaign (GILC)
has a particular interest in censorship and privacy.
The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (PRC),
a California-based consumer group, teaches individuals
how to protect their privacy.
The Online Privacy Alliance (OPA)
is a US business-driven group primarily concerned with
encouraging trust by online consumers. It sponsored the
privacy survey from the McDonough School of Business at
a business lobby group, has recently launched a Net Privacy
Campaign aimed at US consumers.
was established by the Center for Social & Legal Research
- publisher of Privacy & American Business
- and focuses on EU-US privacy issues. It has one of the
more information-rich sites, with valuable extracts from
commercial reports dating back to the 70's
Microsoft, a member with IBM of the TRUSTe
organisation, announced in late 1999 that it will withdraw
advertising from sites that do not have strong privacy
policies. It has, however, been widely criticised for
the strangelovian test-marketing in Australia and the
EU of online licensing requirements for users of the Office
The Better Business Bureau, a commercial body, earlier
this year launched BBBOnline,
a certifying service. We have provided pointers to major
ecommerce certification bodies in our consumers
is a privacy education cum public relations - critics
have characterised it as disinformation - offspring of
online advertising and consumer monitoring giant DoubleClick.
The US Privacy Leadership Initiative (PLI)
overlaps - same
members, same objectives - with the OPA.
In Australia the Communications Law Centre (CLC)
in Sydney is an independent scholarly body affiliated
with the University of NSW. Over the past decade it has
provided incisive analysis.
The Australian Privacy Charter Council (APCC)
brings together lawyers, public policy specialists and
others with an interest in policy development across Australia.
The Australian Privacy Foundation (APF) is
a similar body.
Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA),
modelled on the US EFF, is shrill - arguably to the point
of ineffectiveness - and strongly cyberlibertarian. It
is tacitly opposed by industry interests such as the Australian
Direct Marketing Association (ADMA)
Two major international conferences are those on Computers,
Freedom & Privacy (CFP)
- an annual event - and the conference of Privacy Commissioners.
A perspective is provided by Susan Ingargiola's 2002 thesis
Realizing Privacy in the Information Age: An Exercise
in Uncovering the Values Shaping the Online Privacy Debate
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