As a proponent of baseline federal privacy legislation, I am encouraged that proposals that would have been poison not long ago, such as individual rights to see, correct and delete data as well as new authority for the Federal Trade Commission, are drawing wide support now. But some crucial and difficult issues remain wide open.
In a recent Brookings paper looking at early draft privacy bills that include some of the proposals, I observed that “thinking about how to address standards for behavior in U.S. legislation—how data is collected, used, and shared—are less evolved than for the individual rights under discussion.” Yet standards for collection, use and sharing of personal information are at the crux of the debate ahead. Such standards will determine how much legislation succeeds in shifting the focus from consumer choice to business behavior and thereby enables individuals to trust that personal information will be protected regardless of what notices they manage to read, pop-up windows they click through or privacy settings they adjust.
- Robert Bryson
- David TeSelle
Edward D. Tolley
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