Alert March 06, 2012

White House Issues Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights

The White House released a white paper, Consumer Data Privacy In a Networked World:  A Framework for Protecting Privacy and Promoting Innovation in the Global Digital Economy, to fill what it sees as two gaps in the current United States consumer data privacy framework – a clear statement of basic privacy principles and a continued commitment to address consumer privacy issues as technology changes.  The framework has four elements:  (1) the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights; (2) a multi-stakeholder process for implementation; (3) enforcement; and (4) a commitment to increase interoperability.

First, the Bill of Rights, looks to well-recognized Fair Information Practice Principles to establish a baseline of consumer protections focused on individual control, transparency, context (meaning where and how the data is collected and used), security, access and accuracy, focused collection and accountability.  Second, the multi-stakeholder process seeks to create an open environment for stakeholders to deliberate and adopt codes of conduct and legislation based on the Bill of Rights, as well as continue to review, renew and modify privacy polices, as needed.  Third, the framework calls on Congress to authorize the FTC to enforce the Bill of Rights and its resulting laws and regulation.  Finally, international interoperability focuses on mutual recognition of shared privacy policies and goals and enforcement cooperation between U.S. and foreign companies and enforcement agencies.  Click here for the white paper.