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 Encourages DOJ To Reassess Policies Regarding Warrants For Data Stored In The Cloud in Light of DreamHost Dispute

Washington — On Tuesday, the Department of Justice filed a motion in the District of Columbia Superior Court to narrow the scope of a controversial warrant it had served on web host DreamHost, regarding an Inauguration protest website. The initial warrant was widely characterized as overbroad by CCIA and others. CCIA has advocated for reasonable…

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Trump Administration’s Cybersecurity Executive Order Smartly Builds On Previous Efforts

Last week, the Trump Administration released its long awaited Presidential Executive Order on Strengthening the Cybersecurity of Federal Networks and Critical Infrastructure (“Cybersecurity EO” or “Executive Order”). The Order launches significant reviews of the federal government’s digital vulnerabilities, existing efforts to protect critical infrastructure, and the development of the “cyber workforce”, and focuses on three…

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