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Privacy and Security


Questions about privacy are central to the digital economy. We study how much people value privacy, the privacy paradox, and developments in state and federal privacy legislation. Our work has contributed to policy discussions of data portability, data regulation, and advertising models.

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Press Releases

Event – Online Privacy after the DOC and FTC Reports

The long-awaited Federal Trade Commission and Department of Commerce reports outlined recommendations for online privacy policy ranging from strengthening multi-stakeholder models to a “Do Not Track” mechanism for internet browsers. Congress is now poised to add its voice to the debate, with legislation already introduced and more to come. With the proposals representing a wide swath of options, how can policymakers choose the best course of action? How will each proposal affect online businesses and consumers? Alternately, is a federal privacy policy needed or advisable? Panelists at the March 4th event, “Online Privacy after the DOC and FTC Reports” will discuss the findings of the recent DOC and FTC reports and will give their suggestions on how policymakers in both the agencies and Congress can move forward on online privacy issues.

Testimony and Filings

Comments filed with the Federal Trade Commission on “Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change: A Proposed Framework for Businesses and Policymakers.”

The Federal Trade Commission has issued a preliminary staff report proposing a new privacy framework for businesses and policymakers.1 The new framework includes provisions intended to better inform consumers about how their information is being used, provide consumers with easier-to-understand choices including a �Do Not Track� option, and restrict how businesses collect, retain and use data.

Press Releases

Cost-Benefit Analysis of FTC Privacy Proposal Needed

The Federal Trade Commission should rigorously analyze the costs and benefits of its proposed privacy recommendations, including the “Do Not Track” mechanism, before moving forward with any policy proposals, states Thomas Lenard in comments submitted in response to the Commission’s Staff Report on privacy. Without such an analysis, the Commission cannot accurately predict if its recommendations will improve or reduce consumer welfare.

Press Releases

Cost-Benefit Analysis Needed for Commerce Department Privacy Framework

The U.S. Department of Commerce should rigorously analyze the costs and benefits of its proposed privacy framework and alternative policy proposals before moving forward with any recommendations, states Thomas Lenard in comments submitted today in response to the agency’s Green Paper on online privacy. Without such an analysis, the agency cannot accurately predict if its proposal will improve or reduce consumer welfare.

Press Releases

The Future of Privacy Online

From blogs to Facebook profiles to Twitter messages, individuals are increasingly choosing to share information about themselves online. More personal information online brings both risks and rewards. How are companies using this digital information and how do consumers benefits from increased data sharing? Do consumers have enough control over their personal information or is there a need for government regulators to step in? These issues will be discussed at “The Future of Privacy Online,” co-hosted by the Technology Policy Institute (TPI) and the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF).

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