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KEY QUOTES FROM TODAY'S HEARING ON THE STATE OF ONLINE CONSUMER PRIVACY
[March 16, 2011]

KEY QUOTES FROM TODAY'S HEARING ON THE STATE OF ONLINE CONSUMER PRIVACY


Mar 16, 2011 (Congressional Documents and Publications/ContentWorks via COMTEX) -- March 16, 2011 Contact: Jena Longo 202-224-8374 KEY QUOTES FROM TODAY'S HEARING ON THE STATE OF ONLINE CONSUMER PRIVACY WASHINGTON, D.C.--The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation held a full committee hearing today on the state of online consumer privacy.



Witness List: Panel I The Honorable Jon D. Leibowitz, Chairman, Federal Trade Commission The Honorable Lawrence E. Strickling, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce Panel II Mr. Erich D. Andersen, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Microsoft Corporation Mr. John Montgomery, Chief Operating Officer, GroupM Interaction Mr. Ashkan Soltani, Researcher and Consultant Ms. Barbara Lawler, Chief Privacy Officer, Intuit, Inc.

Mr. Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, American Civil Liberties Union Key Quotations from Today's Hearing: "Now, I appreciate that we live in a world in which online technology is rapidly evolving. I know some online companies have taken steps to address consumer privacy. And, I appreciate the need to proceed carefully when providing consumer protections that may disrupt the functionality of the Internet. But Congress can no longer sit on the sidelines. There is an online privacy war going on, and without help, consumers will lose. We must act to give Americans the basic online privacy protections they deserve." Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV "In light of the concerns expressed about online tracking, the [Preliminary FTC] Staff Report recommended a Do Not Track mechanism. A robust, effective Do Not Track system would ensure that consumers can opt out once, rather than having to exercise choices on a company-by-company or transaction-by-transaction basis. Such a universal mechanism could be accomplished through legislation or potentially through robust, enforceable self-regulation." The Honorable Jon D. Leibowitz, Chairman, Federal Trade Commission "Having carefully reviewed all stakeholder comments to the Green Paper, the Department has concluded that the U.S. consumer data privacy framework will benefit from legislation to establish a clearer set of rules for the road for businesses and consumers, while preserving the innovation and free flow of information that are hallmarks of the Internet." The Honorable Lawrence E. Strickling, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce "In the digital era, privacy is no longer about being 'let alone.' Privacy is about knowing what data is being collected and what is happening to it, having choices about how it is collected and used, and being confident that it is secure." Mr. Erich D. Andersen, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Microsoft Corporation "We want to build consumer trust in the online experience, and therefore we believe that consumers should be able to choose whether and how their data is collected or used for online behavioral advertising. Our clients also want to provide these choices to maintain the confidence of their customers. Global companies work hard every day to protect their brands, and they recognize that their customers may have different preferences about online advertising." Mr. John Montgomery, Chief Operating Officer, GroupM Interaction "Consumers need more transparency into who is tracking them online, what data is being collected, and how this data is being used, shared or sold. Today's technical defenses to online tracking are not able to stop the leading tracking technologies, and consumers often do not have meaningful ways to control them. To be effective, privacy protections for consumers online will likely require both a technical and policy component, working in tandem, and I believe these discussions here today are a great step in making that union a reality." Mr. Ashkan Soltani, Researcher and Consultant "As we enter this important discussion, it is necessary to further emphasize the importance of both respect for the consumer participation and control of information and the value and benefit of continued innovation, in particular where the future of economic growth is going--data driven innovation. The key to our success and to ensuring balance among these interests is earning the customers trust." Ms. Barbara Lawler, Chief Privacy Officer, Intuit, Inc.


"If this collection of data is allowed to continue unchecked, then capitalism will build what the government never could--a complete surveillance state online. Without government intervention, we may soon find the internet has been transformed from a library and playground to a fishbowl, and that we have unwittingly ceded core values of privacy and autonomy." Mr. Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, American Civil Liberties Union

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