WASHINGTON — As data becomes the bedrock for more and more businesses, data security is becoming increasingly important. The sheer amounts of data, coupled with headline-making data breaches, has led the Federal Trade Commission to be more active in the space. FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez yesterday took part in a Q&A at the Global Privacy Summit, an event hosted by the International Association of Privacy Professionals here in Washington, D.C., where she talked about a range of topics from de-identification to the need for regulation to international compliance.
Expect the FTC, 100-years-old this year, to begin working in earnest to develop guidelines for data de-identification. Data collectors often throw around terms like hashing and encryption, tools for stripping personally-identifiable information from consumer data. However, there are no industry standards in place for so-called de-identification, an increasingly necessary process for enabling marketers to employ data while protecting consumer privacy.