The Obama Administration announced a privacy plan last week in hopes of increasing protections for consumer privacy. The Administration has been working toward this effort for several months and has created a framework consisting of a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, a multi-stakeholder process to determine how the rights will apply to the context of business, an adequate enforcement model, and a commitment to strengthen interoperability between the privacy standards in the U.S. and its global partners.
While privacy advocates welcomed the proposal, for the most part, some of them have voiced concerns about the enforcement of the plan. Others, including Adam Thierer, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, have also spoken out in opposition of the White House’s proposal.
According to Thierer, the intentions at the core of the plan appear to be good, but the consequences that may result instead could be very harmful. For instance, he believes the framework is strikingly similar to the privacy laws and regulations in Europe.
He told us that, if fully executed, the Administration’s approach could be damaging to consumers and competition for Internet businesses. In addition, Thierer said the plan could limit new services and lead to more government regulations over the Web.
In the White Paper released, the Administration asks Congress to adopt the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights and give the FTC and state attorneys general the power to enforce them. However, given the election year and other pressing issues, Thierer pointed out that it was unlikely that anything would happen in this regard this year.
Do you think the U.S. needs “Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights”? We’d love to hear your opinion.