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:

Howard Schmidt Appointed Cybersecurity Chief

The Computer & Communications Industry Association is issuing the following statement in response to President Obama’s appointment of Howard Schmidt to serve as the nation’s cybersecurity chief. The following statement can be attributed to CCIA spokeswoman Heather Greenfield: “With momentum building on Capitol Hill to move cybersecurity legislation, this appointment comes at a critical time…

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Update online privacy laws now

Read CCIA’s Blog Post for The Hill’s Congress Blog CCIA’s Comments to FTC on consumer online privacy issues Congress and the Federal Trade Commission are gathering information to consider rules to protect consumer privacy on-line from potential commercial abuse.  Efforts at reform are missing the mark if they don’t address the very real privacy concerns…

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CCIA Urges FTC, Congress to Address Government Surveillance Along With Other Online Privacy Issues

The Computer & Communications Industry Association has filed comments today in response to the FTC’s announcement of a roundtable series to explore consumer online privacy issues. CCIA commends the Commission for hosting a series of roundtable discussions to explore important consumer online privacy issues surrounding information collection, and urges it and Congress not to lose sight of…

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