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International Data Privacy Day Spreads

International Data Privacy Day Spreads

America is joining a global recognition of data privacy today.

The House of Representatives has approved a bill declaring today National Data Privacy Day. Several states were also planning to recognize January 28 as data privacy day.

Meanwhile, there will be shred-ins, educators and privacy professionals will lead discussions with pre-teens, teens and young adults about privacy and data protection, and Data Privacy Day has its own site on Facebook.

This is the second year in a row that America has participated in International Data Privacy Day. Last year's effort got financial support from Intel (NASDAQ: INTC), Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL), IBM (NYSE: IBM), Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG) and Quintiles.

It was also backed by various organizations, including the U.S. Federal Trade Commission; the Delegation of the European Commission in Washington; and the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners.

The House of Representatives on Monday overwhelmingly approved Bill H. RES.31, expressing support for the designation of January 28, 2009, as national privacy day. Sponsored by Representative David Price (D-NC) and co-sponsored by 50 other representatives, it was approved 402-0.

Data breaches keep making the news. Two payment processors have been hit within one month. The more recent one was Heartland, in a breach expected to be bigger than the TJX data breach that compromised millions of credit cards.

Earlier this month, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) re-introduced two bills to protect consumers' privacy. Both have been read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.

Official support for Data Privacy Day is growing. To date, Arizona, North Carolina, Washington, Oregon, Massachusetts and California have recognized January 28 as data privacy day, and the National Association of State Chief Information Officers, or NASCIO, has urged state participation in the event.

Intel has set up a Web site for Data Privacy Day with links to educational materials and events.

Not to be outdone, Facebook has a data privacy day page on its site.

Ixquick.com, which runs the privacy search engine Ixquick, is announcing that it has completely stopped recording the IP addresses of users. "Previously Ixquick deleted the privacy details of its users within 48 hours," the company said in a statement. "The technical need to store IP addresses for 48 hours has been overcome by recent technological developments."

The move comes at a time when cybercriminals are already using various technologies to make it more difficult to track them. Ixquick was not immediately available for comment.

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