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Harbour: Consumer Privacy Cannot Be Run in Beta

ONLINE PRIVACY—U.S.

March 18, 2010

In her opening address for yesterday's Federal Trade Commission (FTC) roundtable on Internet privacy, FTC Commissioner Pamela Jones Harbour said technology companies are setting a dangerous precedent of publicly exposing consumer data during new product rollout, the Wall Street Journal reports. She said the throw-it-up-against-the-wall-and-see-if-it-sticks approach to product launches comes at the expense of consumers' privacy and that "Unlike a lot of tech products, consumer privacy cannot be run in beta." It was the third and final FTC roundtable dedicated to online privacy. Among other topics, participants discussed the privacy of health information, the notice-and-choice framework and privacy policies, which one panelist described as "an unmitigated disaster." In the months to come, the commission will synthesize its  findings and gather comments from the public. (Registration may be required to access this story.)
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