IBM launches privacy, data protection initiatives

IBM has formed a Privacy Management Council and a Privacy Institute to focus on privacy and data protection issues in the computer industry.

The IBM Privacy Management Council – consisting of participants from select public and private institutions – will work with IBM to address emerging privacy needs and define next-generation Tivoli privacy management software.

The IBM Privacy Institute, under the direction of Dr. Michael Waidner, institute executive, will conduct research in IBM’s eight research laboratories around the world. The institute will also sponsor workshops and other outreach efforts to the business, academic and research communities.

The Institute will focus on developing technologies that help preserve privacy in the areas of e-commerce, including e-business, pervasive and mobile computing, knowledge management and intrusion detection.

Specific areas of research will initially include the development of software that allows enterprises to manage, use and distribute personal data according to their privacy policies and their customers’ preferences, as well as technology that enables organisations to allow consumers to control what they reveal about themselves in e-commerce transactions.

The Institute will work with IBM solution groups and with customers from the privacy management council. What’s more, it will receive input and guidance from an international external advisory board of technology, government and policy experts that include Professor Peter Swire from George Washington University, Dr. Ann Cavoukian, the information and privacy commissioner of Ontario, Canada, Dr. Tatsuaki Okamoto from NTT in Japan, Malcolm Crompton, the Australian privacy commissioner, Marit Kohntopp from the Independent Centre for Privacy Protection in Germany and Lorrie Cranor from AT&T Labs-Research in the US.

Founding members of the privacy council include Deloitte & Touche, Fidelity Investments, the US Department of Commerce, Travelers Insurance, Marriott International, T. Rowe Price, Novant Health and Telus.

Each organization will receive a number of benefits, including the ability to provide suggestions for the design of new privacy management software.

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