GDPR triggers demand for EU Data Privacy Officers … with an opportunity for consulting firms and law firms




Catarina Conti

Eric De Grasse



6 December 2016 – The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is set to replace the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC effective 25 May 2018.



Although many companies have already adopted privacy processes and procedures consistent with the Directive, the GDPR contains a number of new protections for EU data subjects and threatens significant fines and penalties for non-compliant data controllers and processors once it comes into force in the spring of 2018.



With new obligations on such matters as data subject consent, data anonymization, breach notification, trans-border data transfers, and appointment of data protection officers, to name a few, the GDPR requires companies handling EU citizens’ data to undertake major operational reform.



GDPR (Article 37) acknowledges the value of “privacy on the ground” by requiring designation of a data protection officer. Readers on our EU job lists have seen the spike in data protection officer job postings. They are in high demand … and difficult to find.



But Article 37 does not establish the … Read more

Trying to spot sarcasm? How about a little vector space mathematics to help.




Gregory P. Bufithis, Esq.

Sarcasm is almost impossible for computers to spot. A mathematical approach to linguistics could change that.

20 October 2016 – Back in 1970, the social activist Irina Dunn scribbled a slogan on the back of a toilet cubicle door at the University of Sydney. It said: “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.” The phrase went viral and eventually became a famous refrain for the growing feminist movement of the time.

The phrase is also an example of sarcasm. The humor comes from the fact that a fish doesn’t need a bicycle. Most humans have little trouble spotting this. But while various advanced machine learning techniques have helped computers spot other forms of humor, sarcasm still largely eludes them. These other forms of humor can be spotted by looking for, say, positive verbs associated with negative or undesirable situation. And some researchers have used this approach to look for sarcasm.

But sarcasm is often devoid of sentiment. The phrase above is a good example — it contains no sentiment-bearing … Read more

The “fog of cyber war”: getting to grips with that Yahoo/NSA issue





9 October 2016– We call it the “fog of cyber war”. In an era where everyone is amped up about cyber attacks, “other Snowdens”, etc. a lot of first impressions are tinged with paranoia and misinformation or are just flat out wrong. I don’t know what to do about this except to say that, as with other dramatic events like mass shootings, it’s best to take first reports with a giant grain of salt.

For instance, last week we were told that Harold Martin, the contractor arrested by the F.B.I. on Aug. 27th, brazenly violated basic security rules, taking home a staggering quantity of highly classified material. He had been doing this undetected, agency officials were chagrined to learn, since the late 1990s. He was “another Snowden”.

Except now intelligence officials say they have not been able to definitively connect Martin any of the leaked documents. So that means there was at least one more leaker still at large. For a list of the “not Snowden” leaks see the end of this post.

And in another

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