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

Oct
29
Wed
4:00 pm Big Data and Privacy: Navigating... @ Schulze Hall
Big Data and Privacy: Navigating... @ Schulze Hall
Oct 29 @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
The rapid emergence of “big data” has created many benefits and risks for businesses today. As data is collected, stored, analyzed, and deployed for various business purposes, it is particularly important to develop responsible data[...]
Oct
30
Thu
9:00 am The Privacy Act @40: A Celebrati... @ Georgetown Law
The Privacy Act @40: A Celebrati... @ Georgetown Law
Oct 30 @ 9:00 am – 5:30 pm
The Privacy Act @40 A Celebration and Appraisal on the 40th Anniversary of the Privacy Act and the 1974 Amendments to the Freedom of Information Act October 30, 2014 Agenda 9 – 9:15 a.m. Welcome[...]
Nov
7
Fri
all-day George Washington Law Review 201... @ George Washington University Law School
George Washington Law Review 201... @ George Washington University Law School
Nov 7 – Nov 8 all-day
Save the date for the GW Law Review‘s Annual Symposium, The FTC at 100: Centennial Commemorations and Proposals for Progress, which will be held on Saturday, November 8, 2014, in Washington, DC. This year’s symposium, hosted in[...]
Nov
11
Tue
10:15 am You Are Here: GPS Location Track... @ Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows
You Are Here: GPS Location Track... @ Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows
Nov 11 @ 10:15 am
EFF Staff Attorney Hanni Fakhoury will present twice at the Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association’s Annual Sunny Climate Seminar. He will give a presentation on government location tracking issues and then participate in a panel[...]
Nov
12
Wed
all-day PCLOB Public Meeting on “Definin... @ Washington Marriott Hotel
PCLOB Public Meeting on “Definin... @ Washington Marriott Hotel
Nov 12 all-day
The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board will conduct a public meeting with industry representatives, academics, technologists, government personnel, and members of the advocacy community, on the topic: “Defining Privacy.”   While the Board will[...]
Nov
20
Thu
all-day W3C Workshop on Privacy and User... @ Berlin, Germany
W3C Workshop on Privacy and User... @ Berlin, Germany
Nov 20 – Nov 21 all-day
The Workshop on User Centric App Controls intents to further the discussion among stakeholders of the mobile web platform, including researchers, developers and service providers. This workshop serves to investigate strategies toward better privacy protection[...]
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.

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