Privacy Showdown? Not! The US is finally “in the game”!

Privacy Showdown? Not! The US is finally “in the game”!

It was very disappointing to read today’s NYTimes story which raised the idea that the Department of Commerce was focusing on privacy in order to somehow head off the FTC’s upcoming report on a privacy framework.  We at FPF and many others have been urging the Administration to step into the privacy efforts in the private sector and internationally and to provide leadership in advancing a serious data protection agenda. We  issued a privacy agenda for the White House in its first days and we have provided detailed measures that would advance consumer privacy protections. We are very optimistic that some of these ideas will show up in the soon-to-be-released Department of Commerce ‘green paper’ on privacy.  At the OECD meeting on privacy in Jerusalem,  we were thrilled to hear Assistant Secretary Strickland announce support for our idea of a new position of a central appointed US leader to advance privacy at home and abroad.

For years, the US has had a minimal voice in the international privacy debates that have been raging.  The FTC is present at international meetings to discuss their agenda and important enforcement activity, but as an independent agency, they do not speak for the Administration. The Department of Homeland Security is active, but the only on the topic of national security concerns.  It was therefore very encouraging to see Administration leaders like Cameron Kerry, Larry Strickling and Danny Weitzner taking active roles at the recent OECD and Data Commissioner Conferences in Jerusalem.

We understand the knee jerk assumption that the Department of Commerce is supposed to support ‘commerce.’  But anyone with perspective should recognize that US business interests around the world and free flows of data that are needed for commerce will not advance unless the US shows that it is serious about privacy.  We think the team in place at Commerce gets that quite well.  Whether the Commerce report or the new cross agency privacy committee calls for legislation, self regulation or something in between, the plan seems to be to at long last move the privacy agenda forward.

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Privacy Calendar

Apr
22
Tue
10:00 am Privacy Principles in the Era of Massive Data @ Georgetown Law Center
Privacy Principles in the Era of… @ Georgetown Law Center
Apr 22 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Experts from the public and private sectors will join public policy experts from the Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy and privacy law experts [...]
Apr
24
Thu
all-day 6th Biannual International Surveillance & Society Conference
6th Biannual International Surve…
Apr 24 – Apr 25 all-day
The 6th Biannual International Surveillance & Society conference hosted by the University of Barcelona and supported by the Surveillance Studies Network is currently calling for [...]
12:00 pm Data Privacy in Education: Ensuring Student Security while Encouraging Innovation in K-12 Education @ Rayburn House Office Building, Room B-354
Data Privacy in Education: Ensur… @ Rayburn House Office Building, Room B-354
Apr 24 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
The Congressional E-Learning Caucus in cooperation with Into and the National Coalition for Technology in Education and Training presents a luncheon to discuss “Data Privacy [...]
Apr
29
Tue
all-day IAPP Europe Data Protection Intensive 2014
IAPP Europe Data Protection Inte…
Apr 29 – May 1 all-day
The IAPP Europe Data Protection Intensive features timely programming centred on the top issues impacting the European data protection community, with a focus on addressing [...]
Apr
30
Wed
5:30 pm InSecurity: Race, Surveillance and Privacy in the Digital Age @ New America Foundation
InSecurity: Race, Surveillance a… @ New America Foundation
Apr 30 @ 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Now more than ever, digital tools sit at a precarious tipping point, and many question whether they will be used to address pre-existing disparities, [...]
May
7
Wed
all-day IAPP Canada Privacy Symposium 2014
IAPP Canada Privacy Symposium 2014
May 7 – May 9 all-day
The IAPP Canada Privacy Symposium is the leading conference for education, debate and discussion of issues that matter most to Canadian privacy and data protection [...]
Jun
5
Thu
all-day Privacy Law Scholars Conference (7th Annual) @ The George Washington School of Law
Privacy Law Scholars Conference … @ The George Washington School of Law
Jun 5 – Jun 6 all-day
  UC Berkeley School of Law and The George Washington University Law School will be holding the seventh annual Privacy Law Scholars Conference (PLSC) on [...]
Jun
8
Sun
all-day Computers, Freedom, and Privacy 2014 Conference @ Airlie Center
Computers, Freedom, and Privacy … @ Airlie Center
Jun 8 – Jun 10 all-day
Mark your calendars! The 2014 Computers, Freedom, and Privacy Conference will be held June 8-10 at the Airlie Center in Warrenton, Virginia. The Airlie Center [...]

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