At the White House today, President Obama unveiled his administration’s framework for new privacy regulations and the long-awaited white paper entitled “Consumer Data Privacy in a Networked World: A Framework for Protecting Privacy and Promoting Innovation in the Global Digital Economy.” This follows up on the Department of Commerce “green paper” issued well over a year ago. [We compared the Commerce Department proposal and Federal Trade Commission privacy proposals last year — here for your reference.]
In addition, the White House announced the first by-product of this framework: an industry agreement on “Do Not Track” technology for online behavioral advertising. This industry agreement was signed by a group of web advertising networks, including Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and AOL, and is intended to lead to the adoption of “Do Not Track” features integrated into web browsers. The intent is to allow consumers to opt out of behavior-based marketing, blocking ad “cookies” and preventing cross-site tracking of behavioral information. Companies signing onto this agreement are now subject to Federal Trade Commission oversight and enforcement of its terms.