Category Archives: Uncategorized

IAF Takes Education to the Enforcement Agencies

The Information Accountability Foundation (IAF) held a seminar with and for the Colombia Superintendent of Industry and Commerce (SIC) on March 7, 2018 that was attended by 35 members of the SIC data protection staff. The seminar is a continuation of the IAF’s Digital University that takes the IAF’s research directly to policymakers and implementers. The SIC is the data protection enforcement agency in Colombia.

Maria Claudia Caviedes Mejia, SIC Deputy Superintendent, and Martin Abrams

The seminar focused on accountability as a guiding principle for effective data protection in an observational age. SIC published a guidance circular in 2015 on accountability that emphasized the role of accountability in a data protection program. The seminar purpose was to provide additional substance on how the accountability principle works in effect.

The IAF team included Martin Abrams, IAF executive director, Scott Taylor from Merck, Victoria Anzola from Segge, and Jose Alejandro Bermudez from Bermudez Legal.

Abrams presented on the Essential Elements of Accountability and their meaning in a data era where observation and analytics play a prominent role. He was followed by Taylor who spoke on governance and the questions a regulator might ask to measure the presence of an accountability based program. Victoria Anzola, who runs a Colombia based consultancy for SMEs, discussed how accountability is implemented in smaller enterprises. Bermudez discussed accountability in a South American context. The program closed with a second Abrams presentation on the key role accountability plays when data is available across borders.

The IAF is a non-profit whose charitable purpose is research and education. It is the incorporation of the Global Accountability Dialogue that facilitated the Essential Elements of Accountability. The Digital University is a proactive initiative to take IAF research and objective content of how digital processes actually work for the sole purpose of informing policymaker and implementer audiences. It is predicated on the notion that government and regulatory agencies often do not have the budget to attend educational conferences and that knowledge needs to be taken to them. The IAF and Digital University operate in all regions and actively collaborate with other organisations interested in informed information policy. For more information about IAF and Digital University, contact Martin Abrams at

We lost A True Mensch – Joe May You Rest In Peace

This weekend Joe Alhadeff passed away after a long bout with cancer. Joe is a founder of the Information Accountability Foundation, just one of a number of organizations that he saw as providing solutions to an increasing complex set of eco-systems.  He has been a colleague of mine for well over a decade.  He was… Continue Reading

The Need for An Ethical Framework

The vast amount of data made possible and accessible through today’s information technologies, and the ever-increasing analytical capabilities of this data, are unlocking tremendous insights that are enabling new solutions to health challenges, business models, personalization and benefits to individuals and society. At the same time, new risks to individuals can be created. Against this… Continue Reading

Alexa, Observation and Practical Solutions

Sitting in our family room is a little disk that answers to Alexa that joined us on Christmas day.  She (it?) sits there quietly asleep until someone calls her name.  Then she wakes up and does our bidding.  It is typically mundane things such as turning on the lights or finding music.  One might argue… Continue Reading

Defining the Privacy Right and the FCC Rulemaking

If you cannot define a problem, you cannot solve it. The term “privacy” has always been hard to define. Bring ten experts into a room, and the definition of privacy will be different depending on with whom you are talking. However, we can begin to give it structure. The term “privacy” in an information age… Continue Reading

Key Documents for IAF Workshop at IAPP-GPS

Key Documents for IAF Workshop at IAPP-GPS: “Big Data Project Vetting to Assure Fair and Innovative Data Use” 4 April 2016 Washington, DC The material includes: IAF Big Data Ethics Initiative Overview Workshop Agenda Workshop Hypothetical A Unified Ethical Frame for Big Data Analysis (Part A) Enforcing Big Data Assessment Processes (Part C) Contextual Assessment… Continue Reading

IAF Brainstorming Session | 10 September 2015

IAF will hold a brainstorming session on September 10 in Washington, DC. The meeting will address three themes that have continued to arise in our work that have not been addressed by the privacy community. Those are: (1) transparency, (2) codes of conduct, and (3) the broad range of individual, societal, and business interests that drive… Continue Reading