Future of Privacy Forum Releases Statement on Federal Trade Commission’s Privacy Report


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Media Contact: Ted Kresse
December 1, 2010 202.777.3719
[email protected]

Future of Privacy Forum Releases Statement on Federal Trade Commission’s Privacy Report

WASHINGTON – Today, the Federal Trade Commission released their preliminary staff report on “Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change: A Proposed Framework for Businesses and Policymakers.”  The Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) released the following statement in response to the report. This statement should be attributed to Jules Polonetsky and/or Christopher Wolf, co-chairs of the Future of Privacy Forum:

“Today’s FTC report identifies the most pressing privacy issues facing consumers today. The report raises a number of questions for public consideration and input; indeed, it raises more questions than it answers, which is understandable given the complexities. The Commission correctly recognizes that the current framework needs to be updated to reflect consumers’ ongoing concerns about how their data is being collected and used.   By focusing on key issues such as Privacy By Design, employee training and consumer education the Commission lays out the foundation that needs to exist for any company to successfully deliver on its privacy promises.   A key focus of the report is the failure of current privacy policies and notices that are provided to consumers.  We applaud the Commission’s focus on the need for and testing of new types of notices to ensure their effectiveness.

As we have previously noted, the current cookie based opt-out system is ineffective in managing consumer choices.  Rightly, the Commission calls for a better system for users to be able to control online data collection.  The Commission was widely expected to call for legislation of a Do Not Track mechanism, but wisely left the door open to either legislative or self regulatory solutions.   The industry should act quickly to explore and implement a Do Not Track mechanism that both supports responsible advertising practices and enhances consumer controls and choices.”

Later this afternoon the Future of Privacy Forum will hold an event entitled ‘Do Not Track’ Demystified, which will feature individuals from across the government, business, advocacy and academic arenas, discussing the merits, flaws, and technological capabilities of a ‘Do Not Track’ mechanism.  To learn more about the event visit: fpf.org

The Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) is a Washington, DC based think tank that seeks to advance responsible data practices. The forum is led by Internet privacy experts Jules Polonetsky and Christopher Wolf and includes an advisory board comprised of leading figures from industry, academia, law and advocacy groups.