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Home > Past Releases and Reports > Privacilla Applauds FTC Privacy Agenda

For Immediate Release
October 4, 2001
Contact: Jim Harper
(202) 546-3701

Privacilla Applauds FTC Privacy Agenda

Agency Needs to Demonstrate Thought Leadership, Will Struggle with Existing Privacy Laws

Washington, D.C. Jim Harper, Editor of Privacy Web site, commented today on the Federal Trade Commission's new privacy agenda. The FTC's agenda was unveiled today in a speech by Chairman Tim Muris during a speech at the Privacy 2001 Conference in Cleveland, Ohio. Harper remarked:

The FTC's privacy agenda is truer to the concerns of American consumers than what we have seen before.

By helping consumers discover and recover from identity fraud, the FTC will allay a primary concern with the modern marketplace. Enforcing privacy promises without dictating them will put consumers in a position to protect privacy on terms they choose.

One can quarrel with the FTC's privacy agenda. Spam and fair credit reporting have much more to do with convenience and fairness. Identity fraud is a serious and growing crime problem. The FTC is not demonstrating "thought leadership" by folding these things into a 'privacy' agenda.

In the past, pro-regulation activists and FTC staff took advantage of the muddled privacy debate to advance an anti-marketing agenda. The old agenda would have harmed consumers if it had not failed.

The FTC will struggle to enforce the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. These laws represent the guesses of politicians and bureaucrats about the privacy interests of consumers. I doubt that the FTC will relish the role of enforcing 21st Century paperwork violations. ( is an innovative Web site that captures "privacy" as a public policy issue. Privacilla has been described as a "privacy policy portal" and an "online think-tank."


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