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    Wall Street Journal: Obama Administration Tries ‘Carrot and Stick’ on Web Privacy

    The Wall Street Journal reports on efforts by the Obama Administration concerning online privacy:

    The Obama administration will pursue a “carrot and stick” approach to enhanced privacy protection by pushing for a new law while encouraging industry to do a better job policing itself, a key policymaker said Thursday.

    Daniel Weitzner, deputy chief technology officer in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, said the administration wants to strengthen privacy protection for consumers without stifling innovation.

    Speaking at the Privacy Law Scholars Conference in Berkeley, Calif., and a later interview, Mr. Weitzner said he is “optimistic” that Congress will enact a privacy law. The administration in March proposed a “privacy bill of rights” to protect Americans from intrusive data gathering, creating what would be the nation’s first general privacy law. […]

    Mr. Weitzner said the administration plans to release a “white paper,” with more-detailed privacy proposals, later this year.

    Asked what the administration would do if Congress does not act, Mr. Weitzner said there is “a series of short-term steps we can take” to close gaps in existing laws.

    He said the administration later this year would bring together industry representatives and privacy advocates, urging them to adopt stronger “codes of conduct” for protecting privacy. Ultimately, the administration wants the Federal Trade Commission to enforce those codes, Mr. Weitzner said.


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