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    National Journal: White House ‘Won’t Wait’ for Congress to Protect Online Consumer Privacy

    The National Journal reports that the Obama administration will be moving ahead on voluntary privacy self-regulation for companies even as Congress continues to debate privacy legislation:

    The White House won’t wait for Congress to act to protect the privacy of online consumers, a top White House technology official said on Monday.

    While recent efforts in both the Senate and House have been encouraging, the White House is moving ahead with its own version of a consumer privacy bill of rights, Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Internet Policy Daniel Weitzner said at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce event.

    In declaring that the White House would “shortly” be introducing such a bill of rights on its own, Weitzner repeated the administration’s talking point that its work would not be held up by a recalcitrant Congress.

    Still, Weitzner said officials in the executive branch see their plan as part of a “larger conversation” about what rules are needed to protect privacy online, rather than a substitute for congressional action. He also noted that some of the administration’s proposals are included in some plans being circulated on Capitol Hill. […]

    The White House plan would include “voluntary but enforceable” codes of conduct and principles that companies can either adopt or propose alternatives to that can be approved by government regulators, Weitzner said. He did not elaborate on what consequences companies would face for not adopting the “voluntary” principles.


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