Obama may toughen Internet privacy rules, report says
Watchdog planned for online privacy, WSJ report says
Computerworld - The Obama administration is reportedly considering plans to step up policing of Internet privacy issues and to establish a new position to direct the effort.
The plans will be detailed in a report to be released by the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday, citing unnamed sources.
As part of the effort, the White House has already established a special task force led by Christopher Schroeder, assistant attorney general at the Department of Justice, and Cameron Kerry, general counsel of the Commerce Department and brother of Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), the Journal reported.
The White House task force will work on transforming the Commerce Department's recommendations into policy, the story said.
According to the Journal, the recommendations being drafted by the Commerce Department are not final and could still change. While it is unlikely that the department will recommend any specific Internet privacy legislation, the report will highlight the inadequacies of industry self-regulation in the Internet privacy arena, the paper said.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the reported plans.
The Obama administration's reported push for stronger federal oversight over online privacy is likely to be welcomed by privacy advocates increasingly concerned about the data-collection and data-sharing practices of big Internet companies and marketing companies. High profile cases such as the uproar over Facebook's personal data collection habits and the public reaction to Google's continuing problems over its Street View Wi-Fi snooping have created a broader awareness of online privacy issues.
The big question, though, is just how successful any fresh attempt at enforcing new privacy strictures on the Internet will be. With Republicans soon to be in charge of the U.S. House of Representatives, analysts expect that there will be strong opposition to any attempt to pass privacy mandates on the private sector.
While both parties are seen as sharing a common commitment to bolstering Internet privacy and security, analysts say that the Republican approach will be to foster better privacy through better industry self-regulation, rather than via mandates.
Jaikumar Vijayan covers data security and privacy issues, financial services security and e-voting for Computerworld. Follow Jaikumar on Twitter at @jaivijayan, or subscribe to Jaikumar's RSS feed . His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about Privacy in Computerworld's Privacy Topic Center.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Pay-as-you-Grow Data Protection: IBM Tivoli's Full-featured Data Protection Suite for Small to Medium Businesses IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Suite for Unified Recovery gives small and medium businesses the opportunity to start out with only the individual solutions...
- Streamline Data Protection with IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Operations Center IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) has been an industry-standard data protection solution for two decades. But, where most competitors focus exclusively on Backup...
- Simplify and Consolidate Data Protection for Better Business Results Learn about IBM® Tivoli® Storage Manager Operations Center, which provides advanced visualization, built-in analytics and integrated workflow automation features that leapfrog traditional backup...
- HP HAVEn: See the big picture in Big Data HP HAVEn is the industry's first comprehensive, scalable, open, and secure platform for Big Data. Enterprises are drowning in a sea of data...
- Data Protection and Disaster Recovery with iSCSI and VMware Get this on demand webcast now
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well... All Privacy White Papers | Webcasts