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Obama for stronger FTC regulations

Submitted by on 16 August, 2013 – 4:32 pm

About twelve leading privacy and customer response groups met up with members of President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team Tues.

to debate the Fed. Trade Commission’s role in defending client privacy. Whilst participating affiliations addressed a variety of issues and potential solutions, the underlying message was clear : the FTC has for too much time authorized industries to self-regulate their net privacy practices–to the detriment of shoppers. “The FTC keeps moving the goal post on what privacy recommends need to prove” before it provides certain regulation, announced Chris Jay Hoofnagle, director of the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology’s Info Privacy Programs. “The commission has taken this posture that permitted business interests to win by just showing up. Self-regulation in online privacy has gotten more than a fair shake.”. The groups had a meeting with Susan Ness and Phil Weiser, the FTC review team leaders for the Obama transition team.

Whilst the transition’s agency review leaders have been looking for understanding from many sources about the functionality of agencies like the FTC, this meeting was held at the request of the privacy groups, according to Jeff Chester, the executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy. “We would have liked to affect on the transition team that there are several online privacy issues that have to be the highest concern of the incoming Obama FTC,” Chester expounded. “The last 8 years has been a tragedy for client protection and privacy, and the agency hasn’t actually had the interest to work for buyers to research the web ad industry and its damaging and tricky practices.”.

Along with the requirement for better regulation of centered online selling, the groups debated the necessity for more oversight in the information broker industry and privacy policies for medical info, among other stuff. A variety of solutions were offered, from more baselines for self-regulated industries to extra laws. If the FTC is going to let industries self-regulate their privacy policies, it should provide clear baselines, Hoofnagle recounted. Without obviously outlining the issues that have to be solved and the measures of success, the commission cannot know when it should interpose, he revealed.

The group declared Tues. it updated its code of behavior, but multiple groups at the meeting with the Obama transition team announced that behavioral tracking and targeting is still a difficulty that the FTC desires to address. Susan Grant, director of shopper protection at the Customer Federation, called the practice “deceptive on its face.”.

“The FTC approach to this issue is emblematic of its shy and insufficient approach to purchaser privacy generally over the last many years,” she announced. The Buyer Federation is looking for the FTC to build a “Do Not Track” registry, Grant expounded.

The FTC already supervises the don’t Call Registry, which can let consumers back out of receiving telemarketing calls. The registry has been extraordinarily successful, Hoofnagle related, with telemarketers reporting bigger profits and better results.

“It was a polar opposite from the self-regulatory system,” he claimed. “It appears we are able to learn from these lessons but the FTC couldn’t.”. Groups like Center for Digital Democracy are now waiting for Congress to introduce legislation to empower the FTC to better control in this area, Chester recounted. Politician Ed Markey ( D-Mass. ) is, in truth, interested in introducing some kind of omnibus electronic privacy legislation next Congress, according to his communications director Jessica Schafer. Though the law has still to be drafted or finalized, it might likely include provisions to guard buyers from online Internet tracking used to form centered online advertisements, she claimed.

Markey has criticised behavioral tracking during the past. More oversight of the information broker industry. Multiple groups at Tues.’s meeting additionally told the transition team the information broker industry wants better oversight from the FTC. “This is an unregulated industry that should be analyzed by the FTC,” Givens declared.

Information brokering might have made a contribution to the mortgage disintegration of the year just gone, Hoofnagle claimed, since Web users would typically face a deluge of offers from mortgage brokers after making a single investigation online about the best way to get a mortgage.

Those that took part in the meeting claimed it was not easy to gauge the transition team’s interest in their ideas.

“They were in fact-gathering mode,” Grant expounded. One heavy improvement Obama could make to the FTC, Hoofnagle recounted, would be to change its makeup by designating a commissioner to with a background in patron advocacy. “If you look round they are regularly antitrust lawyers,” he revealed. “That reflects its significant antitrust mission, but that leaves the other half the mission a little short.”. The privacy and customer recommends also advised Obama consider making a state privacy official. The U. S. And Japan are the sole 2 nations in the developed world that don’t have overarching privacy laws or an official who enforces them, declared Barry Steinhardt, director of the Technology and Freedom Program for the ACLU.

“It’s time for the us to get in the global consensus on that,” he revealed.

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