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The Standard: FTC Publishes Internet Privacy Rule

May 13, 2000, 17:11 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Keith Perine)

"The Federal Trade Commission published a financial-services privacy rule on Friday, setting forth new regulatory guidelines that will for the first time regulate the information-sharing practices of some Internet sites. The new rule could provide a clue as to the testimony's tenor that the commissioners will give before Congress on the broader question of online privacy in coming weeks."

"As early as next week, the commissioners will release to Congress a broad new online-privacy report. Last summer, a majority of commissioners recommended that Congress let industry keep policing itself for the time being, but since then, the commission has launched several privacy probes into leading Internet sites such as Amazon.com and Yahoo.com."

"Furthermore, an internal survey of Web sites' privacy policies conducted in March is expected to provide grist for a change in the commission's stance. Only 20 percent of the Web sites surveyed comply with the FTC's standards for fair-information practices, and FTC staff members are reportedly now telling the commissioners that they should ask Congress for new legislation. While not rejecting continued industry self-regulation outright, the commissioners are expected to heed the advice of their staffs and tell Congress that it should enact new laws aimed at governing Internet privacy."

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