Department of Commerce Internet Policy Task Force Green Paper

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The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) issued its proposed framework as to consumer privacy regulation in December 2010. An updated proposal is anticipated in early 2012. The paper includes five recommendations:

1. proposed set of Fair Information Practice Principles (FIPP) intended to protect personal information that is not covered by current sectoral law;

2. adoption of FIPP as a baseline for global interoperability;

3. use of voluntary and enforceable codes of privacy conduct, designed to maintain flexibility of the current U.S. privacy policy framework;

4. creation of a new Privacy Policy within DOC to oversee privacy policy within the federal government (with the Federal Trade Commission retaining jurisdiction over enforcement of consumer protection laws pertaining to privacy); and

5. establishment of a federal standard for breach notifications (which are currently regulated by varying state statutes in 46 of the 50 states).

Commerce's approach primarily relies on self-regulation by industry via voluntary enforceable codes of conduct.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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