Commerce Eyes Privacy-Innovation Nexus

Locke: Net Needs to be Open for Innovation, Respectful of Privacy
Commerce Eyes Privacy-Innovation Nexus
Is the protection of individual privacy in conflict with innovation on the Internet? It's a question Commerce Department Secretary Gary Locke wants the public to answer.

The Commerce Department has formed a department-wide Internet Policy Task Force to identifying leading public policy and operational issues that influence the private sector's ability to realize the potential for economic growth and job creation through the Internet.

"Because of the vital role the Internet plays in driving innovation throughout the economy, the department has made it a top priority to ensure that the Internet remains open for innovation while promoting an environment respectful of individual privacy expectations," Locke said in a statement. "In these difficult economic times, nothing is more important to American prosperity than jumpstarting our engine of innovation."

The Commerce Department said it seeks public comment from business, academia, civil groups and citizens on the influence of privacy laws in the United States and elsewhere on the pace of innovation in the information economy so it can gain an understanding if current privacy laws serve consumer interests and fundamental democratic values.

The task force, which is exploring current privacy frameworks - is comprised of staff members from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the International Trade Administration, the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Patent and Trademark Office. The task force also will examine cybersecurity, online copyright protection and international barriers to moving data worldwide.

On May 7, the department will hold a public meeting to discuss stakeholder views. After analyzing public comments, the department said it will issue a report contributing to the administration's domestic policy and international engagement on privacy.

About the Author

Eric Chabrow

Eric Chabrow

Retired Executive Editor, GovInfoSecurity

Chabrow, who retired at the end of 2017, hosted and produced the semi-weekly podcast ISMG Security Report and oversaw ISMG's GovInfoSecurity and InfoRiskToday. He's a veteran multimedia journalist who has covered information technology, government and business.

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