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Legislators, Advocates Discuss Balancing Privacy, Innovation

PRIVACY LAW—U.S.

July 23, 2010

Thursday's congressional hearing on a pair of bills aimed at addressing the collection and disclosure of personal information revealed the challenges of balancing online privacy concerns with fears that regulation will limit innovation. ClickZ reports on such areas of contention as FTC rulemaking authority, the ability for private individuals to sue alleged violators, data sharing and safe harbor provisions. FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection Director David Vladeck joined industry and privacy advocates in offering testimony on both the Best Practices Act, proposed by Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL), and the draft Boucher-Stearns bill. Vladeck spoke in support of such provisions as simplifying consumer privacy choices, using the example of an online gaming site's privacy policy that "guaranteed the company...your immortal soul," noting it was unlikely all 7,500 users meant to accept those terms.
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