Department Of Commerce Proposes New Privacy Framework, Recommend Creation Of New Privacy Policy Office

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On December 16, 2010, the Department of Commerce’s Internet Policy Task Force issued a “green paper” detailing its proposed privacy policy framework, Commercial Data Privacy and Innovation in the Internet Economy: A Dynamic Policy Framework.1 Released just after the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued its report on privacy, the Commerce Department’s report presents a framework focused on five major topics: expanding Fair Information Practice Principles; promoting voluntary, enforceable privacy codes of conduct; encouraging global interoperability of privacy regimes; standardizing security breach notification rules; and revising the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. Although the FTC and the Department of Commerce are proposing new frameworks for analyzing consumer privacy issues, the reports differ in scope: the Commerce Department’s report addresses online privacy, while the FTC’s report applies to privacy in both online and offline contexts. Both agencies are seeking public comment on their proposals.

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