The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued a final report setting forth best practices for businesses to protect the privacy of U.S. consumers and give them greater control over the collection and use of their personal data. In the report, ‘Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change: A Proposed Framework for Businesses and Policymakers,’ the FTC also recommends that Congress consider enacting general privacy legislation, data security and breach notification legislation, and data broker legislation.
The final privacy report expands on a preliminary staff report the FTC issued in December 2010. The final report calls on companies handling consumer data to implement recommendations for protecting privacy, including building consumer privacy protections at every stage of product development, giving consumers the option to decide what personal information to share and with whom, and offering greater transparency in disclosing details about consumer data collection.
‘If companies adopt our final recommendations for best practices – and many of them already have – they will be able to innovate and deliver creative new services that consumers can enjoy without sacrificing their privacy,’ says Jon Leibowitz, chairman of the FTC. ‘We are confident that consumers will have an easy-to-use and effective 'Do Not Track' option by the end of the year, because companies are moving forward expeditiously to make it happen and because lawmakers will want to enact legislation if they don't.’
The full report is online.