Consumer privacy is an area of policy where companies can and must work alongside their users to protect data while providing their services. Companies should design products with privacy in mind from the start, following Fair Information Practice Principles (FIPPs) such as transparency, choice, and security. The questions posed today revolve around how companies should go about implementing those FIPPs, who should enforce those principles, and how we can maintain the flow of data, particularly across borders, while still protecting users.

Balance is the prevailing question when examining privacy policy. The desire to bring the power of government to bear on a the problem is a strong one, but it must be set against the need to encourage innovation and the incredible social value of big data. Too much regulation risks creating too-high barriers to entry for new services and may even prohibit the creation of services that users would actually want to take advantage of and that uses personal data respectfully. Walking this line is a cautious process.

The best way to manage this process is through multi-stakeholder convenings with the goal of developing codes of conduct that can be enforced by the FTC. By bringing everyone to the table, companies, civil society, academics, and others can collaborate, understand the issues, and reach results that protect privacy, give users the information and choices they need, and still be flexible enough to allow for innovation and the development of services. The Commerce Department and the World Wide Web Consortium have both instituted projects along these lines, and positive outcomes seem possible.

Most Recent Statements & Filings:

CCIA Praises Facebook’s New Transparency Report

CCIA congratulates Facebook on the release yesterday of their first transparency report. The report, which lists the numbers of government requests for information about Facebook users, will serve to increase users’ trust.  Reports such as these have become popular among web companies that store users’ data for them and Facebook’s report helps add to that growing body of information. The…

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CCIA Praises Facebook's New Transparency Report

CCIA congratulates Facebook on the release yesterday of their first transparency report. The report, which lists the numbers of government requests for information about Facebook users, will serve to increase users’ trust.  Reports such as these have become popular among web companies that store users’ data for them and Facebook’s report helps add to that growing body of information. The…

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Tech Industry Asks White House For Changes To Government Data Collection

Technology trade associations have sent a joint letter Tuesday asking the White House to take three key steps to better protect civil liberties and innovation as the government collects private data on citizens. The Computer & Communications Industry Association has been a longtime voice against government surveillance without checks and balances, and joined other associations at a…

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