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Locke Discusses Forthcoming Report

PRIVACY LAW—U.S.

December 9, 2010

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said that in its soon-to-be-released report on Internet privacy, his department may propose voluntary standards or "a scheme that Congress may want to look at," Bloomberg reports. In an interview earlier this week, Locke said that while data protection is important for consumers, "It's also critical for U.S. businesses because people's lack of trust that their information will be safe, or that their personal habits will be kept private, is one of the major hurdles preventing the expansion" of electronic commerce. The Commerce Department's report will come on the heels of the just-released FTC report on Internet privacy. Robert Belair of Arnall Golden Gregory LLP told the Daily Dashboard that both reports "are important thought leadership contributions. For lots of reasons, the U.S. will continue to take a pluralistic, sectoral approach to privacy protection. The FTC will be at the forefront, but major roles will, undoubtedly, be played by the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Department of Commerce, the Federal Communications Commission, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Health and Human Services, and don't forget the states. Privacy professionals know this and know how to help their companies successfully navigate this complicated and sometimes treacherous terrain."
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