Alert: March 27, 2012

Earlier today, the Federal Trade Commission released its final Commission report Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change: A Proposed Framework for Businesses and Policymakers

The report calls on companies to implement three primary recommendations for protecting consumer privacy:

1.      Privacy by design – privacy protections should be built in during every stage of product development, including data security, limited collection and retention of data and reasonable procedures to insure accuracy.

2.      Simplified choice for businesses and consumers – including some form of do-not-track mechanism.

3.      Greater transparency – consumers should have access to data collected about them and companies should disclose details about the collection and use of such data.

During his press conference, FTC Chairman Leibowitz was very complimentary of the Digital Advertising Alliance self-regulatory program and noted that participating companies have made significant strides towards meeting the three recommendations.  He was particularly pleased that the DAA has said honoring do-not-track headers in browsers will be a part of the program.

The Chairman called on Congress to pass data security legislation.  He also suggested that Congress consider enacting baseline privacy protections.  While he noted that a number of privacy bills have been introduced, he declined to endorse any specific piece of legislation.

Broad industry compliance with the DAA program is an important way to show the FTC and Congress that industry is serious about consumer privacy protections.  It will also help to increase consumer confidence in doing business online – a plus for industry and consumers.

AAF recently hosted a webinar explaining how AAF members can participated in the DAA self-regulatory program.  You can view the archived webinar here.

As always, do not hesitate to contact me if you have any comments or questions.

Clark Rector
Executive Vice President-Government Affairs
American Advertising Federation
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