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

Dec
2
Tue
all-day IAPP Practical Privacy Series 2014
IAPP Practical Privacy Series 2014
Dec 2 – Dec 3 all-day
Government and FTC and Consumer Privacy return to Washington, DC. For more information, click here.
Dec
11
Thu
9:00 am Progress of the EU Data Protecti...
Progress of the EU Data Protecti...
Dec 11 @ 9:00 am
The EU Member States have agreed to conclude the negotiations on the EU Data Protection draft Regulation in 2015. The process will have arrived at a critical point by the end of this year. The[...]
Jan
26
Mon
8:30 am Privacy as a Profit Center: Leve... @ Old Slip by Convene
Privacy as a Profit Center: Leve... @ Old Slip by Convene
Jan 26 @ 8:30 am – Jan 27 @ 4:15 pm
Learn how those on the leading edge of privacy governance and digital innovation from companies including Cigna, Cisco Systems, eBay Inc. Public Policy Lab, FocusMotion,Ghostery, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Google, HP Enterprise Security Products, JPMorgan[...]
Jan
28
Wed
all-day Data Privacy Day
Data Privacy Day
Jan 28 – Jan 29 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 Day commemorates the 1981 signing of Convention 108, the first[...]
Mar
4
Wed
all-day Global Privacy Summit 2015
Global Privacy Summit 2015
Mar 4 – Mar 6 all-day
For more information, click here.
Mar
10
Tue
6:00 pm CDT Annual Dinner “TechProm” 2015
CDT Annual Dinner “TechProm” 2015
Mar 10 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Featuring the most influential minds of the tech policy world, CDT’s annual dinner, TechProm, highlights the issues your organization will be facing in the future and provides the networking opportunities that can help you tackle[...]
Mar
13
Fri
all-day BCLT Privacy Law Forum
BCLT Privacy Law Forum
Mar 13 all-day
This program will feature leading academics and practitioners discussing the latest developments in privacy law. UC Berkeley Law faculty and conference panelists will discuss cutting-edge scholarship and explore ‘real world’ privacy law problems. Click here[...]

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