ITAA Press Release
Re: FTC Plans to Request to Regulate Internet Privacy.
Date: May 20, 2000.
Source: Information Technology Association of America.
|For Immediate Release
May 20, 2000
ITAA Calls Possible FTC Internet Privacy Action Unwarranted
Arlington, VA -- The Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) today said the reported intention of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to seek to regulate the Internet is extremely disappointing and entirely unnecessary.
"Empowered users, not Washington bureaucrats, are best able to determine adequate privacy protections on the Internet," said ITAA President Harris Miller. "If true, this misguided move comes when data indicate privacy protections are becoming widespread and just weeks before industry will demonstrate new technology based privacy protections."
Miller continued, "The marketplace has responded to the important privacy concerns of consumers and will continue to do so in practical ways. Every e-business understands how important privacy protection is to its customers. They also understand an alternative e-vendor is only a mouseclick away if privacy is not protected."
"This is a first step down the slippery slope of government regulation of the Internet," Miller stated. "Consumers clearly want privacy protection. Just as clearly, they want industry leadership in this area. However, instead of allowing this process to run its course, the FTC would rather try to prove that it knows best, even if that means sacrificing the incredible momentum of the Internet and e-commerce."
A story in today's New York Times says an unannounced FTC Commission vote favors a staff recommendation to seek legislation to regulate Internet privacy.
Earlier this month, Miller wrote Congress and the FTC that the Platform for Privacy Preferences or "P3P," being developed by the World Wide Web Consortium at the MIT Laboratory for Computer Sciences, is an excellent example of technology which will empower users to make appropriate privacy choices: "Tools such as P3P will take privacy protection to a higher level.
This new browser technology will allow consumers to set their privacy preferences online. The browser will then automatically query online sites to determine whether those preferences are being met. This is an industry-supported technology initiative that empowers consumers to make appropriate privacy choices," he noted.
The Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) provides global public policy, business networking, and national leadership to promote the continued rapid growth of the IT industry. ITAA consists of 400 direct and 26,000 affiliate corporate members throughout the U.S., and a global network of 41 countries' IT associations. The Association plays the leading role in issues of IT industry concern including taxes and finance policy, intellectual property, telecommunications competition, workforce and education, encryption, information security, global trade, online privacy and consumer protection, securities litigation reform, government IT procurement, and human resources policy. ITAA members range from the smallest IT start ups to industry leaders in the Internet, software, IT services, ASP, digital content, systems integration, telecommunications, and enterprise solution fields. For more information visit www.itaa.org <http://www.itaa.org>.