On Thursday at noon ET, the Obama administration is expected to unveil a comprehensive plan to protect consumer privacy. I’ll discuss this more when I see the full report that will be issued by the White House, but here’s some information from a fact sheet (pdf) issued by the White House:
The Obama Administration unveiled a “Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights” as part of a comprehensive blueprint to protect individual privacy rights and give users more control over how their information is handled. This initiative seeks to protect all Americans from having their information misused by giving users new legal and technical tools to safeguard their privacy. […]
The President will assure strong individual privacy protection in the Internet age with the following actions:
· Putting in place a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights: American Internet users should have the right to control personal information about themselves. Based on globally accepted privacy principles originally developed in the United States, the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights is a comprehensive statement of the rights consumers should expect and the obligations to which companies handling personal data should commit. These rights include the right to control how personal data is used, the right to avoid having information collected in one context and then used for an unrelated purpose, the right to have information held securely, and the right to know who is accountable for the use or misuse of an individual’s personal data.
· Convening commercial and public interest stakeholders to assure dynamic rules: The Commerce Department’s NTIA will convene stakeholders including industry and privacy advocates to develop enforceable codes of conduct that implement the principles in the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights for specific industry sectors. The President’s privacy framework assures that as new Internet services develop privacy rules will keep up with, and not hamper, the pace of innovation. This framework takes advantage of the flexibility of self-‐regulatory processes but assures that new codes of conduct are guided by a comprehensive, forward-‐looking set of privacy principles and that all interested parties such as consumer advocates have a voice in the process.
· Strong Enforcement by the Federal Trade Commission: FTC enforcement is critical to ensuring that companies are accountable for adhering to their privacy commitments and that bad actors do not disadvantage responsible companies. The Administration expects that a company’s public commitment to adhere to a code of conduct will be enforceable under existing FTC authority, just as a company is bound today to follow its privacy commitments. In addition, the Administration will work with Congress to develop legislation that provides the FTC and State Attorneys General with specific authority to enforce the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights. […]
· Enacting comprehensive privacy legislation: The Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights outlines the basic principles the Administration believes should be reflected in a privacy law and will work with Congress to enact these rights. In addition to proposing these clear and actionable rights, the Administration’s privacy report outlines an a way for companies to be confident that they are respecting these rights through an FTC-‐approved enforcement safe harbor.
Read the full fact sheet to learn more. The White House report will be available after noon ET today.