Later today the White House will release its long-awaited privacy report entitled, “Consumer Data Privacy in a Networked World: A Framework for Protecting Privacy and Promoting Innovation in the Global Digital Economy.” The report is the follow-up to the Commerce Department’s Internet Policy Task Force Green Paper entitled: “Commercial Data Privacy and Innovation in the Internet Economy: A Dynamic Policy Framework,” which was issued in December 2010. The cornerstone of the White House report is a “Privacy Bill of Rights” aimed at improving consumers’ privacy protections and providing greater certainty to businesses in order to foster innovation and growth in the Internet economy. The report contemplates a stakeholder-driven process to specify how these new rights will apply to specific business contexts, a process which will be spearheaded by the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration, and envisions “strong enforcement” by the Federal Trade Commission. In addition, the report also calls for greater interoperability between the privacy frameworks of the United States and its international partners.
A White House statement released on Wednesday revealed that the Privacy Bill of Rights will provide consumers with the following rights:
· Individual Control: Consumers have a right to exercise control over what personal data organizations collect from them and how they use it.
· Transparency: Consumers have a right to easily understandable information about privacy and security practices.
· Respect for Context: Consumers have a right to expect that organizations will collect, use, and disclose personal data in ways that are consistent with the context in which consumers provide the data.
· Security: Consumers have a right to secure and responsible handling of personal data.
· Access and Accuracy: Consumers have a right to access and correct personal data in usable formats, in a manner that is appropriate to the sensitivity of the data and the risk of adverse consequences to consumers if the data are inaccurate.
· Focused Collection: Consumers have a right to reasonable limits on the personal data that companies collect and retain.
· Accountability: Consumers have a right to have personal data handled by companies with appropriate measures in place to assure they adhere to the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights.
The White House also announced in its statement that the companies responsible for the delivery of nearly 90% of online behavioral advertisements have agreed to honor consumers’ privacy choices made via Do Not Track technology on web browsers. The companies that make this commitment to Do Not Track technology will be subject to enforcement by the Federal Trade Commission.
We will post another blog entry following the formal unveiling of the report, which will contain more details on its contents.