The Standard: FTC Publishes Internet Privacy Rule

“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

“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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