Privacy report emphasizes transparency, not regulation
The U.S. Commerce Department has released a report on privacy and the Internet that leans heavily on transparency but treads lightly on new regulation. In a cover letter that is part of the 88-page report, Commercial Data Privacy and Innovation in the Internet Economy: A Dynamic Policy Framework, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke observes that “the Internet is becoming the central nervous system of our information economy and society.” But the technologies prompt new concerns because they “allow the collection and use of personal information in ways that, at times, can be contrary to many consumers’ privacy expectations,” Locke said. The report is the work of the department’s Internet Policy Task Force that Locke appointed in April. Its key recommendation is that the federal government enunciate “certain core privacy principles” to set a baseline of consumer protections and then convene members of government and other stakeholders to “address specific privacy issues as they arise,” Locke said.