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 email@example.com.
Read more about Privacy in Computerworld's Privacy Topic Center.
- Enable secure remote access to 3D data without sacrificing visual perfomance Design and manufacturing companies must adapt quickly to the demands of an increasingly global and competitive economy. To speed time to market for...
- The Truth About Virtual Computing for CAD If you're a user of graphics-intensive software such as 3D modeling, simulation and analysis, and visualization, you might be skeptical about moving to...
- Virtually Delivered High Performance 3D Graphics "A picture is worth a thousand words." That old phrase is as true today as it ever was. Pictures (i.e., those with heavy...
- Simplifying Product Design In A Complex World Product design engineering has moved far beyond the confines of ever-more powerful workstations. Companies can't afford to restrict projects to using only local...
- Data Protection and Disaster Recovery with iSCSI and VMware Get this on demand webcast now
- What should I look for in a Next Generation Firewall? SANS Provides Guidance With so many vendors claiming to have a Next Generation Firewall (NGFW), it can be difficult to tell what makes each one different.... All Privacy White Papers | Webcasts
Our new bimonthly Internet of Things newsletter helps you keep pace with the rapidly evolving technologies, trends and developments related to the IoT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!