Today the Obama administration published a blueprint for a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights for the Digital Age. This bill includes seven key rights:
- Individual control: Consumers have a right to exercise control over what personal data companies collect from them and how they use it.
- Transparency: Consumers have a right to easily understandable and accessible information about privacy and security practices.
- Respect for Context: Consumers have a right to expect that companies will collect, use, and disclose personal data in ways that are consistent.
- Security: Consumers have a right to secure and responsible handling of personal data.
- Access and Accuracy: Consumers have a right to access and correct personal data in usable formats, in a manner that is appropriate to the sensitivity and risk associated with the data.
- Focused Collection: Consumers have a right to reasonable limits on the personal data that companies collect and retain.
- Accountability: Companies should be accountable to enforcement authorities and consumers for adhering to these problems.
President Obama explained: “Never has privacy been more important than today … So, it is incumbent on us to do what we have done throughout history: apply our timeless privacy values to the new technologies and circumstances of our times."
The US consumer organisations Consumers Union and Consumer Federation of America welcomed the blueprint in principle. Susan Grant, Director of Consumer Protection at Consumer Federation of America, said: “We are encouraged by this announcement today, but we urge the Administration to ensure that it carries out this process in a fair and transparent manner, and that consumer voices are heard and acted on.”
Further information: www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/02/23/we-can-t-wait-obama-administration-calls-consumer-privacy-bill-rights-digital-age, www.consumerfed.org/pdfs/GrantWH-PrivacyEventPR2-23-12.pdf and www.consumerfed.org/pdfs/Multi-stakeholderProcessPR2-23-12.pdf
Source: White House, Consumers Union and Consumer Federation of America