Privacy Update: FTC’s Final Privacy Framework

Casey BartoThe Web has been abuzz this week with the announcement from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) of the release of a final version of its Online Privacy Report framework. The final version comes more than a year after the draft was introduced.
Deemed a set of “best practices” for how companies should protect privacy online, the framework is designed to “to give [consumers] “greater control over the collection and use of [our] personal data through simplified choices and transparency.” By doing so, the FTC says companies can “enhance trust and stimulate commerce.”

According to the report, three principles that companies should follow to protect consumer privacy online include: 1) incorporating privacy protections as new products and services are developed; 2) giving consumers a choice over how their data is collected and shared; and 3) being transparent about their data collection and sharing practices.

So, what does this mean for marketers? If you collect data from your customers online, the FTC wants you to “self-regulate” – which is what most companies that collect and use consumer data for targeting have already been doing.

The new report also stresses the need for a standard “Do Not Track” mechanism that can be used globally, which the FTC will work with the Digital Advertising Alliance and World Wide Web Consortium to develop. The mechanism should be available for use by the end of the year, according to FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz.

The need for companies to obtain “affirmative express consent” from consumers before they use their online data for purposes other than targeting remains at the forefront of the report. From the Washington Post: “The agency called on companies to… encourage Congress to consider baseline privacy legislation and measures on data security and data brokers. The FTC also reiterated its recommendations that Congress pass legislation to provide consumers with access to their personal data that is held by companies that compile data for marketing purposes.”

You can access the full FTC report here. What are your thoughts on these latest developments?

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  1. […] missed over the last few weeks. Let’s start with privacy news. It’s been a while since anything huge has happened regarding Do Not Track and the privacy debate, but just last week Twitter announced it supports the […]

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