Thursday, January 30, 2014

Merck (And IBM): First Two Multinationals To Receive International Trade Group Privacy Certification

Opening note: As irony would have it, this small bit of news came out overnight -- just as I've started having a bit of an issue with comment trolls. And not the commercial, "buy viagra online" kind. No, these are personal ones -- and I supsect they relate to my "street-law style" self-help justice post, about IsisTheScientist. And so, for a little bit now, all my comments will be moderated.

They will not be tampered with; nor will they be visible to others. I'll see them all -- and you may still make entirely anonymous comments. They just won't become visible -- until I've reviewed them. The goal is to eliminate a chance publishing of libelous and false content, here. And there has been some of that, in the last few evenings -- coincidentally, right around the lunch hour in London. So it goes. Been there. Done this dance before -- got the tee shirt. My sincere apologies to the faithful readership here, as a few bridge trolls occasionally impact everyones' enjoyment. We will be rid of them soon enough, though.

Now, where was I? Oh. Right. Back to our story, then. I'd normally not even mention it, but it seemed the timing was prodigious, given the above. Merck should be celebrated here -- for taking the lead, and getting certified -- on privacy issues. Even so, I should remind readers that Merck's "nascent technologies" investing arm, presently doing business as Merck Capital Ventures, owns a significant stake in a company that is harvesting doctors' prescribing data -- in near real time -- off their PDAs, smart phones, laptops and tablets. It has held the stake since early 2011.

Okay. Here is that typo riddled story from Lexology (seriously, do go read it all), put together by a pair of Winston & Strawn lawyers. That's surprising. But the substance of it is useful -- if not earth-shattering, just the same:

. . . .Merck & Co. Inc. (Merck) became the first health-care company and the second multinational company (after IBM) whose privacy program become [note: tense error in origial] certified under the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Cross Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) system.

Merck obtained this certification for its privacy program by developing voluntary and enforceable codes of conduct. Its privacy program is designed around the following key elements: transparency, respecting choices, understanding perspectives, security and treating Merck stakeholders with respect and in a manner consistent with the company’s values.

Overall, the APEC CBPR System is considered to be a self-regulatory initiative designed to protect the privacy of consumer data flowing between the United States and other APEC Member Economies, through voluntary and enforceable codes of conduct on cross-border privacy procedures adopted by participating businesses. . . .

Tip of the fedora to Dr. Gee. Welcome to the bigs, junior.

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