The Obama Administration today unveiled a report entitled Consumer Data Privacy in a Networked World:  A Framework for Protecting Privacy and Promoting Innovation in the Global Digital Economy.  A central component of the report, which is directed at improving online privacy protections, is a “Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights.” 

The Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights sets forth basic tenets for protection of consumer data and echoes generally accepted privacy principles, such as:

  • Individual control over the personal data that is collected;
  • Transparency with respect to privacy and security practices;
  • Using personal data in a way that is consistent with the context in which the data is collected;
  • Secure and responsible handling of personal data;
  • The right to access and correct personal data;
  • The right to reasonable limits on the collection and retention of personal data; and
  • Accountability for those who are handling personal data for adherence to these rights. 

In addition to the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, the Report contains three other key elements:  a stake-holder driven process to specify how these rights apply in particular business contexts, enforcement by the Federal Trade Commission, and greater operability between U.S. privacy protections and those of other nations.  The Commerce Department expects to convene stakeholders over the coming weeks to establish specific practices to implement the principles set forth in the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, and the Administration intends to “work with Congress to write these flexible, general principles into law.”

Also today, in conjunction with the release of the Report, companies representing the delivery of nearly 90 percent of online behavioral advertising announced that they are committing to act on Do Not Track technology in most major web browsers in order to make it easier for users to control online tracking and to be subject to FTC enforcement if they fail to honor their commitment.

For additional information on the report, see this press release from the White House Press Office.