One of our staff writers called our attention to an information security and privacy related article recently posted on the HealthCareInfoSecurity website.   In this article, entitled “FTC Calls for Online Privacy Policies”, it states that a new Federal Trade Commission report on privacy endorses implementation of a “do not track” mechanism so that consumers can choose whether to allow the collection of data regarding their online searching and browsing activities. From the comments received on this website, and the perceived need to do a better job of protecting individual and organizational privacy, our staff believes that this FTC action to promote a better cybersecurity environment  has merit and should be supported as much as possible.

The 122-page preliminary FTC staff report, “Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change,” concludes that industry efforts to address the need to develop a privacy culture through self-regulation “…have been too slow and up to now have failed to provide adequate and meaningful protection“. The report calls for a framework that includes many protections.

“This proposal is intended to inform policymakers, including Congress, as they develop solutions, policies and potential laws governing privacy, and guide and motivate industry as it develops more robust and effective best practices and self-regulatory guidelines,” according to the report.

FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz says that in addition to making policy recommendations, the agency “will take action against companies that cross the line with consumer data and violate consumers’ privacy, especially when children and teens are involved.”

We encourage our readers to view this report to better understand the issues, the recommended actions and the long-term direction intended by the FTC regarding the protection and enforcement of rights of privacy for us all.

To help that process, your comments and reactions to this preliminary privacy report are requested and being accepted through Jan. 31, 2011.  Click here to link to the proper submittal form for your comments so that you can be properly represented as this preliminary report will become the basis for a better and more effective enforcement and protection of privacy rights for all.

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