The White House today released its white paper setting forth a framework for "Protecting Privacy And Promoting Innovation in The Global Digital Economy" (the " Framework"). The Framework is far reaching, touching on everything from a call for legislation, including a national standard for security breach legislation, to promoting international interoperability.The Framework centers on The Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, which contains seven core principles relating to "personal data." Note that "personal data" is defined broadly, to encompass any data, including aggregated data, which can be linked to a specific individual, and may include data linked to a specific computer or other device. It is worth noting that the Framework includes, as an illustrative example of personal data, "an identifier on a smartphone or family computer that is used to build a usage profile."
The Google Buzz settlement that the Federal Trade Commission announced on March 30, 2011 is the latest in the line of the Commission's numerous Section 5 actions related to privacy and data security violations. The Google Buzz settlement, however, is unique in several important ways. The settlement represents (i) the first FTC settlement order has requires a company to implement a comprehensive privacy program to protect the privacy of consumers' information, and (ii) the Commission's first substantive U.S.-EU Safe Harbor framework enforcement action. Let's dive in (make sure to read the "Action Item" at the conclusion of the post!).