Earlier today, a Department of Commerce official briefed Hunton & Williams and Centre for Information Policy Leadership representatives on the Department’s forthcoming “Green Paper” on privacy. On November 12, 2010, Telecommunications Reports Daily published an article based on information obtained from an unofficial, pre-release draft version of the Green Paper. It remains to be seen which portions of the leaked draft ultimately will survive the interagency approval process currently underway. The Department of Commerce representative emphasized that the content of the draft Green Paper currently undergoing review is consistent with Assistant Secretary of Commerce Larry Strickling’s October 27, 2010, speech in Jerusalem. In his speech, Secretary Strickling explained that the Department is calling it a “Green” Paper, “not because of its environmental impact, but because it contains both recommendations and a further set of questions on topics about which [the Department] seek[s] further input.”
The Department of Commerce representative indicated that input provided by the Centre for Information Policy Leadership has been influential in the development of the Green Paper. According to the Centre’s Executive Director, Marty Abrams, these contributions are reflective of ongoing work the Centre has been undertaking to link technological innovation and accountability. In June of this year, we reported on the Centre’s involvement with the Commerce Department’s initial inquiry.
It is not clear at this time when the Green Paper will be issued, but it is expected before the end of this year. The document will contain numerous questions and a solicitation for comments from interested stakeholders. We will provide additional coverage as this story develops.