Obama administration backs 'online bill of rights'

©IDG Communications, Inc. Photo contributed by Matthew Mikaelian.

DMNews, 3/16/11

The Obama administration urged Congress to create federal legislation that would allow consumers new online privacy rights and give the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforcement authority, federal officials told a Senate committee on March 16.

Lawrence Strickling, an assistant secretary within the Commerce Department, said the White House “recommends that legislation set forth baseline consumer data privacy protections – that is a consumer ‘privacy bill of rights.’” Numerous online consumer privacy bills have been put forward in the past two sessions of Congress, but none have passed the House and Senate.

“Legislation should provide the FTC with the authority to enforce any baseline protections,” he told the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, according to prepared remarks. “Legislation should create a framework that provides incentives for the development of codes of conduct, as well as continued innovation around privacy protection.”

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