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 Reaction To Another Privacy Organization

Washington, D.C. – A new group called Future of Privacy is being created reportedly to help shape the discussion of privacy policy during the Obama administration. Jules Polonetsky, AOL’s former chief privacy officer will co-found the group along with Christopher Wolf of the Washington law firm Proskauer Rose LLP. The Computer & Communications Industry Association…

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New Evidence Of Surveillance Abuse

Two military intercept officers who worked at a National Security Agency center in Georgia told ABC News they eavesdropped on the phone conversations of hundreds of U.S. citizens overseas. The officers told how operators would pass around time codes of the calls journalists, soldiers and aid workers made to friends and family back home. The…

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