April 14, 2011 – The Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights introduced on Tuesday by Senator John Kerry and Senator John McCain is finding support in the information management community, according to statements issued by various groups.
The goal of the privacy legislation is to protect consumers in the collection, use and dissemination of their personally identifiable information. According to the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation and others, the legislation manages to do so while still fostering competition, choice and innovation in technology.
ITIF states that there is $300 billion in annual economic activity generated by the Internet in the U.S., and the organization issued a statement showing appreciation for the fact that the legislation recognizes the importance of the information economy. ITIF also noted that strict privacy regulations, misguided privacy legislation or the misguided administrative implementation of it can have a negative impact on the Internet ecosystem. The bill, says ITIF, allows industry to partner with government to potentially create flexibility that could help reduce any negative impact on the information economy.
HP, Microsoft, eBay and Intel also co-issued a joint statement of support for the bill. “We have long advocated for comprehensive federal privacy legislation, which we believe will support business growth, promote innovation and ensure consumer trust in the use of technology. The complexity of existing privacy regulations makes it difficult for many businesses to comply with the law,” they wrote.
“We support the bill’s overall framework, which is built upon the Fair Information Practices principles. We appreciate that this legislation is technology neutral and allows for flexibility to adapt to changes in technology. The bill also strikes the appropriate balance by providing businesses with the opportunity to enter into a robust self-regulatory program,” the companies stated.
ITIF has recommendations for legislators. “Before acting, policymakers should carefully consider the potential economic consequences of certain requirements, such as data minimization [minimizing and retaining sensitive data for a limited time], that restrict current business processes, do not harm consumers, and can lead to the development of new products and services,” said ITIF senior analyst Daniel Castro.
More IM privacy coverage can be found here.
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