White House Releases Long-Anticipated Privacy Report

The White House has finally released its long-anticipated report on consumer privacy.The 60-page White House report, “Consumer Data Privacy in a Networked World: A Framework for Protecting Privacy and Promoting Innovation in the Global Digital Economy,” is the start of what promises to be a fascinating legislative and regulatory process. 

It is curious that the Department of Commerce has been charged with "work[ing] with other Federal agencies to convene stakeholders, including our international partners, to develop enforceable codes of conduct that build on the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights" since it has been the FTC that has been the more active federal agency on privacy issues.

While this report claims that it "builds on the recommendations of the Department of Commerce Internet Policy Task Force’s December 2010 report, Commercial Data Privacy and Innovation in the Internet Economy: A Dynamic Policy Framework," that prior report was a false start and this now marks the real start of an effort comprehensive federal privacy legislation. Because data privacy and security is now seen as a matter of national competitiveness, and there is a desire to avoid falling behind the EU in this regard, it is more likely than not that Congress will act on consumer privacy legislation this year.

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