On September 26, 2018, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (“NTIA”) announced that it is seeking public comments on a proposed approach to advancing consumer privacy. The approach is divided into two parts: (1) a set of desired user-centric privacy outcomes of organizational practices, including transparency, control, reasonable minimization (of data collection, storage length, use and sharing), security, access and correction, risk management and accountability; and (2) a set of high-level goals that describe the outlines of the ecosystem that should be created to provide those protections, including harmonizing the regulatory landscape, balancing legal clarity and the flexibility to innovate, ensuring comprehensive application, employing a risk and outcome-based approach, creating mechanisms for interoperability with international norms and frameworks, incentivizing privacy research, ensuring that the Federal Trade Commission has the resources and authority to enforce, and ensuring scalability.
The NTIA is specifically looking to the public to respond with comments on the following questions:
- Are there other outcomes or goals that should be included, or outcomes or goals that should be expanded upon as separate items?
- Are the descriptions for the outcomes and goals clear, or are there are any issues raised by how any of them are described?
- Are there any risks that accompany the list of outcomes, the list of goals or the general approach taken?
- Are there any aspects of the approach that could be implemented or enhanced through Executive action or non-regulatory actions, and if so, what actions?
- Should further explorations be made regarding additional commercial data privacy-related issues, including any recommended focus and desired outcomes?
- Are there any aspects of the approach that may be achieved by other means, such as through statutory changes?
- Do any terms used in the approach require more precise definitions, including suggestions for better definitions and additional terms?
- Do changes need to be made with regard to the FTC’s resources, processes and/or statutory authority?
- If all or some of the outcomes or goals described in this approach were replicated by other countries, do you believe it would be easier for U.S. companies to provide goods and services in those countries?
- Are there other ways to achieve U.S. leadership that are not included in the approach?
- Are there any high-level goals in this approach that would be detrimental to achieving U.S. leadership?