Are You Ready to Stop Talking About Privacy and Do Something About It?

The conversation at the Digital Privacy Forum provided a deep and broad context for the daily privacy decisions made by everyone engaged in social media. After the jump, resources you can learn more and participate in the movement.

The conversation at the Digital Privacy Forum provided a deep and broad context for the daily privacy decisions made by everyone engaged in social media. Whether you feel your personal information is a data property with value you can barter or privacy is a core human right, you can no longer ignore the potential impact – good and bad – of the widespread dissemination of your life’s details.

Here are some resources you can use to learn more and become active in the privacy conversation.

Organizations are cited in the order presented at the Digital Privacy Forum.

Personal Democracy Forum

Observing that technology is changing politics, the Personal Democracy Forum “is one hub for the conversation already underway between political practitioners and technologists, as well as anyone invigorated by the potential of all this to open up the process and engage more people in all the things that we can and must do together as citizens.” Founder Andrew Rasiej‘s presentation opened the forum.

Personal Data Ecosystem

In her presentation, Kayliya Hamlin described, “A nascent but growing industry of personal data storage services is emerging. These strive to allow individuals to collect their own personal data to manage it and then give permissioned access to their digital footprint to the business and services they choose – businesses they trust to provide better customization, more relevant search results, and real value for the user from their data.”

The Personal Data Ecosystem website is for the “growing community for key stakeholders in the Personal Data Ecosystem including end-users, developers, personal data store providers, regulators, etc advocacy groups. Creating an interoperable personal data ecosystem is a classic commons problem: everyone needs it, but no one market player – no matter how large – can make it happen alone. Solving key barriers to an interoperable network of personal data stores and services fosters trust among consumers for the whole concept.”

There are several startups and open source projects in this space, including Statz, Greplin, Personal, The Higgins Project, Project Danube and Kynetx.

Zipano Technologies

Zipano Technologies offers a “user-controllable privacy platform based on technologies originally developed at Carnegie Mellon University’s Mobile Commerce Lab.” Dr. Norman Sadeh described Locaccino, a Facebook app, “built on top of Zipano’s privacy platform that expose more meaningful privacy settings to users.” A demo of how Zipano’s approach to privacy is implemented using Locaccino can be found here.

Electronic Privacy Information Center

EPIC is “a public interest research center in Washington, D.C. It was established in 1994 to focus public attention on emerging civil liberties issues and to protect privacy, the First Amendment, and constitutional values.” The organization’s work touches privacy issues the full spectrum of privacy issues including social media, cloud computing, children’s online privacy, TSA practices and more.

EPIC publishes an award-winning e-mail and online newsletter on civil liberties in the information age – the EPIC Alert.

Future of Privacy Forum

Founded in 2008, this Washington, DC based think tank “seeks to advance responsible data practices. The forum is led by Internet privacy experts Jules Polonetsky and Christopher Wolf and includes an advisory board comprised of leading figures from industry, academia, law and advocacy groups.”

One of the sponsors of the Digital Privacy Forum, the organization’s mission statement sets the tone for its advocacy. “Society is approaching a turning point that could well determine the future of privacy. Policy-makers and business leaders soon will make decisions about technology practices that will either ensure that data is used for the benefit of individuals and society, or take us down a path where we are controlled by how others use our data.”

Representatives of commercial privacy solution developers at the Digital Privacy Forum were exhibitors Preference Central and TRUSTe, along with TigerText and Reputation.Com.