President Obama Anonces Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights

Posted by at 11:37 am on February 23, 2012

President Obama and his administration this week released a white paper (PDF) outlining proposed new online privacy rules. A big part of the regulations includes Do Not Track technology for behavior-based web advertising. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will oversee and enforce these rules.

The contained Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights will regulate how businesses will handle consumers’ private information. Also contained in the proposal is negotiating a set of practices with industry, consumer protection advocates, privacy advocates, and others with a stake in privacy policies.

The Do Not Track agreement has already been agreed to by Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and AOL, which the government say account for almost 90 percent of behavior-based advertisement. It lets users opt out of having their browsers collect and save cookies from the sites they’ve visited. While the companies listed above entered the agreement voluntarily, they will now be subject to the FTC’s supervision.

The Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights has seven principles, including Individual Control, Transparency, Respect for Context, Security, Access and Accuracy, Focused Collection, and Accuracy. These would give consumers easily understandable rules, limit what information is collected and how it’s used, and access and correct the collected information, among other benefits.

The effort aims to put US privacy rules on par or close to similar measures in the EU and other places around the world.

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