Future of Privacy Forum Issues Recommendations For New Presidential Administration

Among seven recommendations, FPF calls for the appointment of a Chief Privacy Officer

January 14, 2009

3 Min Read


WASHINGTON, Jan. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) today proposed seven privacy recommendations to the upcoming administration. FPF Co-chairs Jules Polonetsky and Christopher Wolf applaud President-Elect Obama for recognizing that the use and development of technology is key to the future of our country. FPF urges the President-elect to also appoint a Chief Privacy Officer (CPO) in order to recognize that responsible use of data by businesses and government is critical to the economy, to protecting civil liberties and to ensuring public safety.

The Future of Privacy Forum recommends the following for the Obama Administration:

1. Appoint a Chief Privacy Officer to Promote Fair Information Practices in the Public and Private Sectors 2. Ensure that Interactive Tools used by Government Provide Users with Enhanced Transparency and Controls 3. Establish a Standard Definition of Personal Information 4. Increase Technology and Research support for the Federal Trade Commission 5. Enhance Criminal Law Enforcement Support for the Federal Trade Commission 6. Provide National Leadership to Resolve the Conflict between Privacy and Online Safety for Youth 7. Encourage Accountable Business Models

"By appointing a CTO, President-Elect Obama will be taking an important and necessary step to ensure that the new Administration has the leadership in place to coordinate technology policies that will improve the quality of life for all Americans," said Wolf. "We are in an era where the personal use of data brings opportunities for advancements that can improve millions of lives, but the misuse of data can also negatively impact millions of citizens."

"As a former CPO I can attest that the partnership between the CTO and CPO is critical for ensuring that new technologies are deployed in a way that respects consumer rights. Traditionally, government privacy protections were intended to limit the collection of data by government about its citizens. In today's web 2.0 environment, citizens expect to interact electronically by exchanging information with government leaders and agencies," said Polonetsky. "Charting the appropriate user controls around this data is critical for both the civic success and the long-term privacy implications of this new relationship."

FPF Board Member Chris Hoofnagle supports the recommendations.

"The Future of Privacy Forum agenda recognizes the link between enhanced consumer protections and trust in online businesses and services," said Hoofnagle, Director of the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology's information privacy programs and senior fellow to the Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic. "Consumer privacy and business priorities are not a zero-sum game; creating sound, reasonable protections for consumers will spread and deepen adoption of internet-based services."

The above proposals do not intend to cover the full range of privacy issues facing the new Administration. Rather, FPF seeks to highlight areas that affect consumers, with co-chairs whose backgrounds give them particular insight into privacy issues. Polonetsky is the former AOL Chief Privacy Officer and Wolf Chairs the Privacy and Data Security Practice Group at Proskauer Rose LLP.

About the Future of Privacy Forum:

The Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) seeks to improve the state of online privacy by advancing responsible data practices. FPF is led by privacy experts Jules Polonetsky and Christopher Wolf and includes an Advisory Board comprised of leading figures from industry, academia, law and advocacy groups. Members of the FPF Advisory Board provide input to the Forum in support of transparency, user control and the advancement of trustworthy data practices. By serving as advisors, they are not responsible for the content of the Web Site nor do they necessarily endorse the positions taken by FPF.

More information on FPF, its mission and Advisory board members can be found online at www.futureofprivacy.org.

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