Privacy Advocates: Commerce Department's Call For Self-Regulation Falls Flat

MediaPost Publications


The Department of Commerce recently issued a privacy report recommending that online ad industry groups and consumer advocates should jointly develop self-regulatory privacy principles, and that the administration add a privacy czar who would convene industry groups, advocates and others to develop new self-regulatory codes.
Not surprisingly, some privacy advocates are saying these proposals don't go nearly far enough.
"We've tried voluntary codes for over a decade now, and in the privacy field, it hasn't gone too well," writes Berkeley Law's Chris Hoofnagle in a blog post about the Commerce Department report.
"In the absence of substantive privacy law, commercial data brokers created the very citizen databases that the Privacy Act of 1974 sought to prevent. The government can simply buy data on its citizens now instead of collecting it directly," Hoofnagle writes. 1/27/2011