Putting the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights into Practice

June 15, 2012 by Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator Lawrence E. Strickling
Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator Lawrence E. Strickling

Earlier this year, the Obama Administration released a comprehensive blueprint to improve consumers’ privacy protections in the information age and promote the continued growth of the digital economy. The White House requested that NTIA convene interested stakeholders -- including companies, privacy advocates, consumer groups, and technology experts -- to develop enforceable codes of conduct that specify how the principles in the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights apply in specific business contexts. NTIA then asked for your input on what issues should be addressed through the privacy multistakeholder process and how to structure these discussions so they are open, transparent, and consensus-based.

Based on input from a broad range of stakeholders, we are today announcing that the first topic for the privacy multistakeholder process will be: Providing transparency in how consumer data is handled by mobile applications. On July 12, NTIA will convene the first meeting for stakeholders to begin developing a code of conduct that applies the Transparency principle in the Consumer Bill of Rights to mobile apps.

We proposed this as an initial topic because it is a privacy challenge that affects many consumers yet is discrete enough to be addressed in a reasonable period of time. Many of you agreed. We expect the stakeholder experience in developing a code of conduct on this topic will inform future efforts to develop codes that address other privacy issues.

When codes of conduct are developed and implemented, consumers will have clearer protections and businesses will have greater certainty. And maintaining consumer trust in the Internet will help ensure that it remains an engine for American innovation and economic growth.