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White House Unveils Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights

29 Feb, 2012 By: Jackie Jones


WASHINGTON – The White House has released its “Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights” for online consumers, part of an overall strategy to improve consumers’ privacy protections and ensure that the Internet remains an engine for innovation and economic growth, according to an official statement by the Obama administration.

The Commerce Department will also now begin convening companies, privacy advocates and other stakeholders to develop and implement enforceable privacy policies based on the “Consumers Privacy Bill of Rights” in order to give consumers more control of their personal information amid a rapidly changing digital environment.

“American consumers can’t wait any longer for clear rules of the road that ensure their personal information is safe online,” said President Barack Obama. “As the Internet evolves, consumer trust is essential for the continued growth of the digital economy. That’s why an online privacy Brill of Rights is so important. For businesses to succeed online, consumers must feel secure. By following this blueprint, companies, consumer advocates and policymakers can help protect consumers and ensure the Internet remains a platform for innovation and economic growth.”

Many industry groups, including the Council of Better Business Bureaus’ (CBBB) Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program, have welcomed the White House initiative and the Obama administration’s recognition of the importance of accountability programs in the self-regulatory process, according to a CBBB statement.

“The objective oversight provided by the BBB Accountability Program is critical to success,” said Genie Barton, CBBB vice president and director of the Accountability Program. “This partnership between the online advertising industry and BBB, working closely with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), is a great example of how industry self-regulation can and should work.”

Additionally, major online players including Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and AOL have signed an industry agreement on “Do Not Track” technology for behavior-based Web advertising.

“It’s great to see that companies are stepping up to our challenge to protect privacy so consumers have greater choice and control over how they are tracked online,” FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said. “More needs to be done, but the work they have done so far is very encouraging.”


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