Survey Shows Growing Data Privacy Concerns In the Farming Community

Apple orchard and harvesting.

“As the Internet of Things expands and data collection remains a multi billion dollar business, we’ll see concerns about data privacy in every sector, industry and profession,” says TRUSTe CEO Chris Babel.

A recently published survey of 3,380 farmers from The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) conducted from late July to September this year found that the majority of farmers feared their data could be used without their consent. The farmers surveyed cite privacy as a top concern when it comes to their data –particularly keeping their data anonymous so it cannot be traced back to their operation. Key takeaways from the survey:

  • Three out of four farmers are concerned that their farm data could get in the hands of an entity and used for regulatory purposes.
  • More than 50% of farmers indicated that they plan on investing in new or additional precision data technologies in the next couple years.
  • More than half of farmers indicated that they were unsure whether or not their farm data could be shared with an off-farm company’s third party, business partner, or affiliate.

Today’s farmers utilize technology to measure yield, soil conditions, fertilizers used and much more. For major operations, this software is necessary to compete with other farms. Understandably, privacy is a concern for farmers because if their competitors were able to access this data, they would know everything about their operation including the farmer’s cost structure. This would allow competitors to successfully bid for land or seeds. The companies that make this software for farmers hold the keys to the kingdom of a farmer’s operation, which is why it’s essential for these companies to have a solid privacy policy in place. Farmers want to use this helpful software but companies need to ensure transparent and compliant privacy practices are in place in order to assuage consumer concerns.


November Monthly Spotlight — IAPP Data Protection Congress, pii2014


  • November 6, 11 a.m. PT/ 2 p.m. ET

When Worlds Collide – Redefining the Relationship Between Privacy and Compliance 

Webinar Privacy and compliance no longer exist in separate worlds — these areas are fast becoming inter-related and the relationship is being redefined. It’s crucial for governance, risk, and compliance professionals to understand data privacy as changing regulations and emerging technologies produce complex compliance challenges. Join this webinar hosted by TRUSTe’s VP of Product Management Kevin Trilli and GRC20/20 Research’s Principal Analyst Michael Rasmussen to learn about the following:

  • The new ground rules between privacy and compliance.
  • The latest market trends toward privacy automation.
  • The use of GRC tools in the privacy function.

Register here for this webinar.

Read the rest of this entry »


COPPA is Not Just for Kids’ Websites Anymore

School children using digital tablet outside

By Joanne Furtsch, director of product policy at TRUSTe, CIPP/C, CIPP/US

This article was first published in the IAPP Privacy Tracker blog on 10/28/14 

It’s not just online services and websites targeted toward children that need to be diligent about following Children’s Online Privacy Protection (COPPA) regulations. A few months ago the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) took two companies to court for violating COPPA.

These most recent cases highlight two ends of the spectrum of COPPA violators: One was an app specifically targeted toward children, while the other was a popular app for all audiences that had a faulty age-gate mechanism and was collecting personal information from children under age 13 who were using the app.

Regardless of the audience a website or online service is intended for, these recent cases underscore the importance for companies to ensure they comply with COPPA.

COPPA first went into effect in 2000. It only applies to children under 13 because that age group was deemed the most vulnerable to online marketing (although best practices suggest asking parental permission for all minors). Two years ago the FTC revised the COPPA Rule to keep pace with rapidly changing technology by adding five additional regulations to the existing set of rules. The updates include expanding the types of personal information companies cannot collect from minors under the age of 13 unless the company gets verifiable parental consent (VPC).

Read the rest of this entry »


Women In Security & Privacy Event Packs TRUSTe Office

Women In Security and Privacy Group Event at TRUSTe office.

On Oct. 28, a large group of privacy and security professionals — from lawyers to engineers to program managers — gathered for the “Women in Security & Privacy Networking Kickoff” event at the TRUSTe offices in San Francisco.

The event was organized by representatives from six companies: Kenesa Ahmad of Promontory, Elena Elkina of McKesson, Debra J. Farber of TRUSTe, Alya Gennaro of Sunera, Julia Hoffmann of Yapstone, Fatima Khan of Airpush and Katrin Anna Ruecker of Sunera. The event’s sponsors were Promontory, Sunera and TRUSTe.

Organizers of the Women In Security and Privacy event on Oct. 28. From left to right: Debra Farber (TRUSTe), Alya Genarro (Sunera), Kenesa Ahmad (Promontory), Elena Elkina (McKesson), Fatima Khan (Airpush), Katrin Anna Ruecker (Sunera). (Not picture is Julia Hoffmann who was traveling at the time).

Women In Security and Privacy Group Event at TRUSTe office.

Organizers of the Women In Security and Privacy event on Oct. 28. From left to right: Debra Farber (TRUSTe), Alya Genarro (Sunera), Kenesa Ahmad (Promontory), Elena Elkina (McKesson), Fatima Khan (Airpush), Katrin Anna Ruecker (Sunera). (Not picture is Julia Hoffmann who was traveling at the time).


The purpose of the event was to share stories, exchange ideas, drive innovation and empower other women working in security and privacy. This was the first event by the Women in Security & Privacy group.

Sr. Privacy Consultant and Product Manager at TRUSTe Debra Farber said, “We wanted to organize this event to connect people in security and privacy so we can come together with our peers.

“One of our goals is to advance leadership opportunities for women in our industry,” she added.

Guests mingled, enjoyed h’ordeuvres and beverages for about 30 minutes before the organizers delivered a short speech thanking attendees and encouraging more meet-ups such as these in the future so women in security and privacy can connect. Then, the crowd split into break-out sessions to do ice-breakers and discuss privacy and security issues. The night ending with more mingling and sharing stories.

“Women need support, especially in privacy and security fields,” said McKesson Sr. Manager, Privacy Office Elena Elkina, who was also an organizer of the evening’s event. “The goal for this group is to provide women a venue to get inspired, connect and grow professionally.”

For more information on the Women in Security & Privacy group, and to hear about future events, join the group’s LinkedIn page.


73% Open to Wearables at Work but Potential Privacy Issues Could Be a Concern

IoT Statistics - consumer attitudes to data collection through wearable smart devices.

If you use wearables at home, it might be evident how these little tracking devices could be beneficial in the workplace. However, the potential for companies to collect this information without employee knowledge or consent raises the issue of transparency with regards to data collection.

Whether monitoring our daily steps, using intelligent I.D. badges to access buildings and rooms, or wearing smart glasses to check email on-the-go (and much, much more!), a majority of workers (73%) are open to the idea of bringing wearables into the workplace, according to a study released on Monday, October 27, from Kronos Incorporated conducted by Harris titled, “Wearables at Work.”

Nearly 10,000 workers from Australia, China, France, Germany, India, Mexico, Great Britain and the U.S. were surveyed about their thoughts on wearables at work. The majority agreed that these devices could increase efficiency, productivity and safety.

Although privacy was cited as a top concern of U.S. workers interviewed for the survey, less than half (44%) said they believe privacy could be an issue with wearables.

According to a TRUSTe survey from this year, 22% of survey respondents “felt that the benefits of smart devices outweigh any privacy concerns.” However, the vast majority of people surveyed want to know what data is collected and how that data is collected.

Sure, wearables could offer great value to an organization, increase efficiency, and streamline operations if used properly. However, these devices could provide employers with never-before-available information about employees – from their health, to their daily tasks and places they access within the building.

Would you use a wearable device for your job?


Women in Privacy Leadership Roles: Interview with Joanne McNabb

Joanne McNabb, Director of Privacy Education and Policy, California Attorney General.

Joanne McNabb, Director of Privacy Education and Policy, California Attorney General.

Guest Post: Alexandra Ross, The Privacy Guru interviews Joanne McNabb, Director of Privacy Education and Policy, California Attorney General
Privacy is high-profile right now. From major retail and financial sector breaches to revelations over mobile device tracking and intrusive surveillance technologies, the question of whether or not we’ll submit to living in a “post-privacy” society is squarely at the center of tech start-ups, legislation, and personal rights.

What few realize, though, is how many women are leading the way when it comes to protecting and promoting privacy rights. From Ireland’s data regulator Helen Dixon to newly appointed White House CTO Megan Smith, women hold high offices when it comes to championing privacy.

Add to this list California Attorney General Kamala Harris and her director of Privacy Education and Policy, Joanne McNabb. Joanne will be participating in a panel at Always On: The Digital Consumer, co-hosted by TRUSTe and The Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) on October 30th in San Francisco. This event will explore how we can realize the full potential of the Internet of Things while maintaining our privacy and control of personal data.

Joanne was kind enough to answer some questions via email for TRUSTe.

Read the rest of this entry »


The Power of the Privacy Impact Assessment

online privacy

As technology has evolved, companies have realized that the data collection practices they deploy can often make the difference between success and failure. Depending on how this information is leveraged, the use of big data can push a company ahead of the competition through new data-driven strategies, uncovering numerous benefits. But the use of data also brings privacy questions and the challenge of complying with multiple regulations and business requirements.

Privacy professionals are struggling to reap to benefits of data while also keeping pace with the fluid regulatory landscape to protect their brand and reduce risk. Today, many global privacy laws require businesses to perform Privacy Impact Assessments (PIAs) to identify, assess and alleviate privacy risks associated with new products and business initiatives. PIAs can be extremely beneficial to an organization, yet many professionals don’t know where to start.  When do you conduct a PIA? How do you determine the scope or identify the best tools to streamline the process?

On October 21st at 9am PT/12pm ET, join TRUSTe’s Ray Everett, Tony Berman and Return Path’s Dennis Dayman in the webinar titled Tips and Tools for Conducting Effective PIAs in Today’s Complex Privacy Landscape to learn how to efficiently plan and manage PIAs to ensure compliance and protect your brand:

  • Understand how to mitigate compliance risks using PIAs
  • Hear tips on how and when to use PIAs
  • Gain insight from privacy experts with experience of using PIAs within their organizations
  • See a demo of the new automated Assessment Manager module, part of TRUSTe’s Data Privacy Management (DPM) Platform

Don’t miss out – register for this webinar today!


CNIL comments on first findings from Cookie Sweep

CNIL logo

Speaking at the Compliance Week Europe Conference in Brussels yesterday Sophie Narbonne, Deputy Director of Legal Affairs at the CNIL was one of the first to comment publicly following the recent European Cookie Sweep. Clarifying that they are still working on the results she said “It is clear that there is now a first layer of information (on websites) but the next stage is not clear enough and doesn’t give the right information for people to refuse cookies.” Following the coordinated inspections by European Data Protection Authorities last month, this is an interesting indication of what the CNIL, and wider European response will be to the findings.

Cookies were not the only hot topic of conversation as Sophie Narbonne addressed a packed house of Compliance Officers. As well as dealing with the inevitable questions about the Right to Be Forgotten, and progress with the EU Data Protection Regulation she used her keynote presentation to focus on two data protection concepts: accountability and interoperability.

Read the rest of this entry »

Older posts «

» Newer posts