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

Sep
15
Mon
all-day Big Data: A Tool for Inclusion or Exclusion? @ Constitution Center
Big Data: A Tool for Inclusion o… @ Constitution Center
Sep 15 all-day
The Federal Trade Commission will host a public workshop entitled “Big Data: A Tool for Inclusion or Exclusion?” in Washington on September 15, 2014, to [...]
Sep
17
Wed
all-day IAPP Privacy Academy and CSA Congress 2014 @ San Jose Convention Center
IAPP Privacy Academy and CSA Con… @ San Jose Convention Center
Sep 17 – Sep 19 all-day
This fall, the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) and Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) are bringing together the IAPP Privacy Academy and the CSA Congress [...]
Oct
21
Tue
6:00 pm Consumer Action’s 43rd Annual Awards Reception @ Google
Consumer Action’s 43rd Annual Aw… @ Google
Oct 21 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
To mark its 43rd anniversary, Consumer Action’s Annual Awards Reception on October 21, 2014, will celebrate the theme of “Train the Trainer.” Through the power of [...]
Jan
28
Wed
all-day Data Privacy Day
Data Privacy Day
Jan 28 all-day
“Data Privacy Day began in the United States and Canada in January 2008, as an extension of the Data Protection Day celebration in Europe. The [...]
Jan
28
Thu
all-day Data Privacy Day
Data Privacy Day
Jan 28 all-day
“Data Privacy Day began in the United States and Canada in January 2008, as an extension of the Data Protection Day celebration in Europe. The [...]

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