Commerce Department Privacy Report Leaves Consumers In The Cold, Recommendations Favor Current Industry Practices, Consumer Watchdog Says
WASHINGTON, DC — The Commerce Department’s “Green Paper” about online privacy is an industry friendly document that would perpetuate current failed practices that give companies, not consumers, control of consumer data, Consumer Watchdog said today.
The report calls for “voluntary, enforceable codes.” It proposes relying on a failed self-regulatory model when it's clear that real regulations with meaningful enforcement are necessary, Consumer Watchdog said.
“The Commerce report starts off on the wrong foot with the title, ‘Commercial Data Privacy...’ We are talking about consumers’ data and their right to privacy, not about a business commodity,” said John M. Simpson, Consumer Advocate with the nonprofit, nonpartisan public interest group. “This is an early Christmas gift to the data collection industry.”
Consumer Watchdog said that even though the Commerce Department’s proposals are inadequate to protect consumers, the report will play an important role in prompting necessary debate about privacy policies.
On Dec. 1, the Federal Trade Commission issued its own online privacy report, which noted that industry self-regulation has failed to protect consumer privacy.
Consumer Watchdog has been working to protect consumers’ online privacy rights and educate them about the issues through its Inside Google Project. The goal has been to convince Google of the social and economic importance of giving consumers control over their online lives. By persuading Google, the Internet’s leading company, to adopt adequate guarantees, its policies could become the gold standard for privacy for the industry, potentially improving the performance of the entire online sector.
- 30 -
Consumer Watchdog, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan consumer advocacy organization with offices in Washington, DC and Santa Monica, CA. Consumer Watchdog’s website is www.ConsumerWatchdog.org. Visit our new Google Privacy and Accountability Project website: http://insidegoogle.com
1/22/2014News ReleaseGoogle’s Social Network Relies On Unfair Practice, Consumer Watchdog Tells FTC; Public Interest Group Also Says New Gmail Link Would Violate ‘Buzz’ AgreementSANTA MONICA, CA – Google’s social network, Google+, relies on a flagrant and fundamental privacy design flaw that is... More >
1/3/2014News StorySACRAMENTO — For privacy advocates, these are heady days. European leaders are weighing tough new online data protection... More >
1/16/2014News StoryMost states have their own "security breach laws" requiring companies to notify consumers if their credit card numbers... More >
1/22/2014News StoryGoogle, through its plan to link Gmail addresses to its Google+ social network, is violating a privacy agreement the company... More >
2/10/2014News StoryThe National Telecommunications and Information Administration Feb. 6 convened the first of a series of multistakeholder meetings... More >