Dec 162010
 
 December 16, 2010  Business, Laws, Online

I still haven’t had time to read the report for myself, but the online “buzz” about the new report and recommendations from the Commerce Department is that it falls far short of where we need to be. Here are just two news stories about reactions.

Brian Prince of eWeek reports:

A new U.S. Dept. of Commerce report (PDF) on online privacy drew a mixed reaction from watchdogs Dec. 16, some of who called it a thinly veiled gift to the online advertising industry.

The sweeping report, released Dec. 16, calls for a “Dynamic Privacy Framework” that would revitalize Fair Information Practice Principles (FIPPs) and establish a commercial data-focused Privacy Policy Office that would identify areas where new industry or use-specific codes are needed. The paper focuses on the promotion of “informed consent” and transparency for consumers.

While some privacy advocates commended the report’s recognition of privacy issues, the report has also been criticized for falling short in certain ways – namely in its emphasis on self-regulation by the online advertising industry and its proposal of creating a safe harbor against enforcement actions by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as an incentive for businesses to adopt better privacy practices.

[…]

And Juliana Gruenwald of Tech Daily Dose reports:

Privacy advocates were skeptical of the proposals outlined in a privacy report released by the Commerce Department Wednesday.

While pleased that the agency is bringing attention to the need to do more to protect consumer privacy online, representatives from five privacy groups said in a conference call that the report’s proposed measures are too focused on industry self regulation. It’s a “Christmas gift to the data collection industry from the Obama administration,” according to John Simpson of Consumer Watchdog.

[…]

Update: Of course, no sooner do I post the above then I see: Department of Commerce Privacy Report: Dynamic and Innovative from TRUSTe.

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