President Obama recently released a document that outlines plans to protect the privacy of Internet users. You can read the entire release or read our abridged version below, if you prefer not to read through all the legalese.
The president often makes regulatory recommendations to Congress. This one, in particular, seeks to help consumers keep their personal data safe while allowing technological innovation to continue. This is important news for consumers and technologists because it could call for some drastic changes in the way personal data is handled and managed.
Who are the players?
- Consumers (You!)
- Commerce Department National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA)
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
- Internet companies like Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft, AOL, etc. (Them!)
What are the goals?
- Protect consumer privacy and assure the ability of continued innovation by implementing flexible privacy rules that can keep up with innovation
- Create the groundwork for interoperability between the U.S. data privacy framework and trading partners (technology systems)
- Require internet companies and online advertising networks to use ‘Do Not Track’ technology
What is being proposed?
- Consumers ability to exercise control over what information companies collect about them and how that personal data is used
- Provide reasonable limits on what personal data companies can collect and retain
- Establish standards on how personal information is secured and handled
- Guidelines for accessibility to a company’s privacy & security practices
- Ensure that companies who collect, use, and disclose personal data do it in ways that are consistent with the context in which the data is provided
- Identify who is accountable for the use or misuse of an individual’s personal data
- Ability for consumers to review, modify or remove the data that has been collected
We all should be considering how companies (and our government) will respect our privacy online. I plan to provide a follow up post on some additional ideas which should be included in the legislation. Meanwhile, take a look at the WebProNews’ video covering the Privacy Bill of Rights below.