David Vladeck Previews FTC's Report on Online Privacy

Speaking this morning, David Vladeck, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, discussed some of the major points of the Commission's upcoming report on online privacy. Mr. Vladeck said that the FTC's report will set out strategies for reducing the daunting burden consumers currently are facing in safeguarding their online privacy. 

Here are some of the major points the report is expected to raise:

  • Implementation of privacy by design; building privacy choices and technology into products and services as they are developed
  • Transparency of privacy practices and consumer privacy notices; providing short, precise notices at the data collection point
  • Simplification of consumer choices; making the choices meaningful
  • Simplification of consumer choices through a one stop shop for opting out of marketing or tracking (the FTC distinguishes between tracking and targeting); Mr. Vladeck believes there are technological means to implement this option, but the FTC does not have the authority to mandate such a system without Congressional action

  • Respect for consumers' choices; the FTC will not tolerate use of technological means to circumvent consumer choice

  • Encouraging competition on privacy by enabling consumers to compare privacy practices of competing websites
  • Strong protection for sensitive data, such as children's information, geo-location data and other information
  • Giving consumers access to their data; access is an important ingredient in privacy accountability
  • Focus on consumer and business education about privacy

Mr. Vladeck encouraged privacy stakeholders to answer questions that the FTC’s report will pose and provide other comments. The deadline for comments will be January 31, 2011.

Check back with us later today for a detailed analysis of the FTC’s report.