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ISO Privacy Steering Committee to Meet in February; ANSI Virtual TAG Re-Activating

New York, Dec 21, 2009

A Privacy Steering Committee (PSC) reporting to the Technical Management Board (TMB) of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) will hold its first meeting in Berlin on February 24, 2010. Established by the TMB at its September 2009 meeting, the PSC is charged with implementing three recommendations put forward by an earlier TMB task force addressing the issue of ISO technical standards and privacy, with specific focus on the protection of personally identifiable information and fair information handling.

In brief, the three charges of the PSC are:

  1. to hold a conference (tentatively planned for April 2010) to facilitate information sharing and coordination among ISO technical committees (TCs) involved in privacy-related work;

  2. to develop a common terminology document on privacy and privacy principles; and

  3. to create a live inventory of privacy-related work.

In addition, the TMB has directed the PSC to further explore the feasibility of three additional recommendations contained in the earlier task force report. These include dialoguing with public policy organizations on commonality of privacy principles, developing an ISO privacy-management standard, and developing a common framework of privacy standards. The PSC has been asked to provide the TMB with an outline of its proposed workplan and related timeframes by June 2010.

Membership in the PSC is open to representatives of ISO TCs working in the privacy field, experts to be named by TMB members, and other experts to be identified and added if necessary. The Secretariat of the PSC is assigned to ISO/IEC Joint Technical Committee (JTC) 1, subcommittee (SC) 27, IT Security Techniques. Krystyna Passia of DIN, the ISO member body from Germany, will act as the Secretary of the PSC. The PSC will be chaired by Dr. Johannes Messer, a technical relations executive with IBM in Germany and a long-term, actively participating expert in the German mirror committee to SC 27.

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) ISO Council (AIC) has approved the appointment of Mark MacCarthy, an adjunct professor at Georgetown University's Communication, Culture, and Technology Program and former senior vice president of global public policy for Visa Inc., to serve as ANSI's expert to the PSC. Mr. MacCarthy served as ANSI's expert on the earlier TMB privacy task force.

The AIC also has approved the appointment of Scott Matthews, acting assistant director in the Office of Technology and Electronic Commerce at the U.S. Department of Commerce, to chair the ANSI virtual U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) that will provide support and input to ANSI's expert on the PSC.

Persons interested in participating in the ANSI virtual TAG or signing up for its distribution list to receive information regarding this activity should contact Jim McCabe, ANSI senior director of consumer relations and IDSP, at It is anticipated that the virtual TAG will carry out its work via conference call and electronically as needed.

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