Future of Privacy Forum and Israel Tech Policy Institute Cyber Week Delegation, 2022
Last week, The Future of Privacy Forum’s (FPF) Israel Tech Policy Institute (ITPI) welcomed a delegation of trailblazing privacy professionals from around the world to participate in Tel Aviv University’s Cyber Week conference and to meet with start-ups, regulators, and academics.
The week started with an illuminating tour of the Peres Center for Peace & Innovation, followed by a trip to Team8 headquarters and a roundtable discussion with Duality, a leading developer of privacy protection homomorphic encryption technology.
Around the table sat government officials (from Europe and the U.S.) alongside chief privacy officers of leading fintech, education, and transportation companies, gathering to discuss the current and future landscape of privacy regulation and practice.
At night, the delegation gathered to celebrate Cyber Week at an FPF and Goodwin reception, providing an opportunity to socialize, eat, and network with leading attorneys in the privacy space from around the world.
Together, the group discussed the difficulties inherent in reconciling state laws and instability across sectorial regimes of enforcement, and assessed the uncertain path forward for federal legislation. Speakers flagged the need to establish shared definitions when drafting contracts, and the general practice of referring to California’s CCPA as a benchmark for compliance across the nation. An interesting discussion surrounding “Dark Patterns” – and how far symmetry in website design must truly go – ensued, with critiques on the concept of total symmetry. Amit, Pollack, Matalon & Co graciously hosted the FPF event, which included breakfast for participants to connect over before the event began.
Later in the day, Limor Shmerling Magazanik, Managing Director of ITPI, led an informative panel discussion at Tel Aviv University’s Cyber Week Main Plenary Stage on Finding the Right Balance between Privacy, Security, and Competition.
View a recording of the session here.
Apple’s Jane Horvath, the Federal Trade Commission’s Noah Phillips, and the European Commission’s Karolina Mojzesowicz examined methods of ensuring competition and innovation while supporting consumer data protection. Consumer role inhabited much of the conversation, with Horvath advocating for the consumer to be at the center of the discussion regarding tensions between security and privacy; Mojzesowicz echoed this desire, hoping to place decision-making power – regarding what is done with data and who profits from it – at the hands of the individual. Mojzesowicz explained that “there is no privacy without security,” while FTC Commissioner Phillips elaborated that online security is a necessary prerequisite to people feeling protected in their privacy. Throughout the discussion, panelists examined how to navigate the technical and legal complexities of these tensions, their roles in the marketplace, and visions for their hopes in finding the right balance.
FPF then hosted a Cyber Week Conference on Data Protection: Predicting and Managing the Path Forward. FPF CEO Jules Polonetsky began the conference with a panel entitled The Future of Digital Advertising: Regulators, Platforms and the Path Forward.
Panelists included FTC Commissioner Noah Phillips, eBay CPO Dr. Anna Zeiter, AppsFlyer Legal Counsel Leor Hurwitz, and Apple CPO Jane Horvath, who each commented on their optimism regarding advertising’s future. While Commissioner Phillips highlighted the importance of carefully balancing trade-offs in user experience and increased privacy, Zeiter discussed limiting 3rd party cookies and investigating uses of Privacy Enhancing Technologies. Horvath explained the appropriate uses and restrictions for the use of Apple’s technical identifiers, the importance of educating consumers on the implications of their consent, and the need for patience as companies adjust from opt-out to the newly implemented opt-in data access system. Hurwitz highlighted the value in developing new data technologies to improve the ecosystem as a whole, citing data clean rooms, scalable cryptographic solutions, aggregation, and conversion modeling as some potentially useful models of privacy by design. All panelists shared optimism about a future where privacy and advertising co-exist, leveraging technological innovation, careful regulation, and user experiences as key avenues to navigate the path forward.
Goodwin’s Lore Leitner then led a panel discussion entitled International Data Flows: From Legal Restrictions to Sufficient Safeguards. EU Commission’s Bruno Gencarelli, Google CPO Keith Enright, Duke University Professor David Hoffman, and TransUnion CPO Shoshana Gillers spoke on the varying international legal regimes, frustration over the lack of a Safe Harbor between the US & EU, and the complexity of the issue. Key comments included focusing on increased consumer demand and expectations of privacy, concerns about data localization, and insights on positive developments in technology coexisting with opportunities to improve regulation. Audience questions further sparked discussion on the complexity of regulating smaller entities within the space, and the importance of cost-benefit analysis regarding every contract, transaction, and international data transfer.
FPF’s Data Protection Conference at Cyber Week continued with a presentation of the Distinguished Public Service Award to Amit Ashkenazi, a leading public figure in Israeli privacy and security law. Goodwin’s Omer Tene provided an overview of how Ashkenazi helped set up the Israel Privacy Protection Authority–serving as its first Head of Legal Department–after spending a decade at the Ministry of Justice Legislation and Counseling Department. Ashkenazi reflected on his time in service after the award presentation, emphasizing the importance of creating agile regulations with sufficient resources for enforcement. Ashkenazi shared his excitement for bringing the GDPR’s abstract concepts to new, Israel-specific legal formulations, and demonstrated pride in the experiment of regulating technology through government action, displaying a clear enthusiasm that continuous innovations in law can protect, build, and empower both technology and privacy industries.
FPF’s delegation concluded their Cyber Week formal events by meeting with the Israel Privacy Protection Authority (IPPA) for a conversation about Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PETs). Gilad Semama, IPPA’s commissioner, highlighted that Israel serves as a world leader in the PET space, fostering Privacy by Design solutions alongside innovative technologies from start-up companies.
Commissioner Semama emphasized the importance of tailoring PETs to specific circumstances, data, and usage, and explained how certainty in legal standards could support broader uses of PETS by government and industry. In an animated roundtable discussion, the FPF delegates had an opportunity to comment on their company’s PET uses, potential new solutions, and the role of regulation. Many advocated for the creation of regulatory sandboxes, while others explained the tension between innovation and safety teetering with PETs, as regulatory uncertainty places a cooling effect on innovation. Placing privacy at the heart of responsible technologies can help balance human rights of all types with company interests, and PETs can serve as a potential solution; however, instilling a sense of urgency in understanding, building, scaling, and implementing these technologies may be key to their successes (or failures). FPF plans to work on efforts to collaborate globally with regulators interested in advancing PETS.
Later that evening, FPF’s Delegation reconvened to explore Tel Aviv’s Jaffa neighborhood through a guided walking (and eating) tour of the neighborhood, filled with historical information, Shakshuka, and rooftop sunset views. The next day, the group ventured to Jerusalem for a day of touring and activities.
The tour started at the Israel Museum, with an explanation of historic Jerusalem alongside mini modeling of the city, followed by a visit to the Mount of Olives, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and a guided tour of the Western Wall Tunnels and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
FPF and ITPI are proud to have hosted this incredible group of delegates in Israel for this year’s Cyber Week Conference, and confident that all who joined gained an in-depth awareness of the complexity surrounding many privacy debates, technologies, and regulations. Through social events, informal conversations, and informative programming, the delegation gathered insights to bring back to their companies while forming bonds, memories, and conversations with other privacy professionals.
To all who participated, thank you! FPF members or prospective members interested in participating in next year’s Israel delegation and future trips to the APAC region should contact Membership Director Judy Gawczynski at [email protected].