Feb 23, 2012

Comcast Endorses Multi-stakeholder Approach to Developing Online Privacy Principles

Today, the Administration released its white paper on commercial data privacy, which details a thoughtful and comprehensive framework for preserving consumer trust and encouraging innovation in the evolving Internet economy. Comcast supports these important policy objectives and welcomes the Administration's recognition that the dynamic and complex nature of the Internet economy requires a governance approach that is flexible, inclusive, and not beholden to any legacy state or federal regulatory model. We believe it is critical that consumers have a consistent online experience and are assured that their privacy is protected equally by all companies engaged in online commercial activity.

A key component of the Administration's framework is the creation of multi-stakeholder groups of industry, civil society, and government participants to address significant data privacy concerns and to develop industry codes of conduct for the use of consumer data that would be enforceable by the Federal Trade Commission. Comcast applauds this effort to include a broad set of perspectives on what's needed to protect consumers' privacy.

A multi-stakeholder process is not guaranteed to produce a workable solution and will not yield a work product that pleases everyone. But collaborative, constructive, good faith efforts of multi-stakeholder groups provide the best opportunity for interested parties to build trust and understanding, promote cooperation, and protect privacy, while enabling innovation and creativity to flourish.

Any framework to protect consumer privacy must take into account the fact that in today's Internet economy, online service providers (OSPs) compete against (and partner with) each other, bringing benefits to consumers. Much of that competition entails the collection and use of an array of consumer-related data, used to deliver interactive services and effective advertising. Establishing a level playing field on which all OSPs can operate under the same rules and provide consumers with consistency in their online activities is one of the key outcomes that we hope will emerge from the multi-stakeholder process.

While it's too early to tell the likely outcome of a multi-stakeholder process to address consumer online privacy issues, Comcast stands ready to be a fully committed and constructive participant.

Tags : Commercial Data Privacy, Online Privacy

 
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