U.S. Department of Commerce Launches Broad Internet Privacy Review

The U.S. Department of Commerce has announced the launch of a broad public review of consumer privacy policy and the Internet economy.  Through a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) published in the Federal Register, the Department seeks comment from all Internet stakeholders "on the impact of current privacy laws in the United States and around the world on the pace of innovation in the information economy.  The Department seeks to understand whether current privacy laws serve consumer interests and fundamental democratic values." 

The Commerce Department has created an agency-wide Internet Policy Task Force whose mission is to identify key public policy issues in the online environment, one of which is consumer privacy.  That task force will ultimately prepare a report on "Privacy and Innovation in the Information Age."  The NOI acknowledges the efforts of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in this area and asks a number of specific questions about the impact of state, federal and international privacy laws and regulations on the further development of Internet commerce.

The Department of Commerce also announced that it will be holding a public meeting on May 7th to discuss all of these issues.

ANA has been very active over a number of years to encourage industry best practices and strong, effective self-regulation of consumer privacy interests.  Working with other industry groups, last July we announced a set of self-regulatory principles for companies engaged in online behavioral advertising. 

If you have any comments or questions, please contact Dan Jaffe (djaffe@ana.net) or Keith Scarborough (kscarborough@ana.net) in ANA's Washington, DC office at (202) 296-1883.