Privacy developments have been in the spotlight recently. On December 1, 2010, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued its long-awaited draft staff privacy report, “Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change: A Proposed Framework for Businesses and Policymakers.” While only a “preliminary staff report,” this 122-page report evidences the FTC staff’s current views on best practices in the privacy area, especially as they relate to online privacy and the use of consumer data. The draft report is available online.
The FTC staff seeks comments on core issues raised by the draft report, including the feasibility of a “Do Not Track” mechanism for online consumer behavior (such as searching, purchases and browsing behavior), how to balance the needs of businesses and the privacy interests of consumers. Comments may be submitted through January 31, 2011; a final report is expected late in 2011.