White House Unveils Commercial Online Privacy Framework

On February 23, 2012, the White House released its long-awaited consumer data privacy framework that establishes clear consumer privacy ground rules” intended to govern how commercial entities collect and use consumers’ personal information in an evolving technological landscape that includes the Internet and other networked technologies.

The framework, entitled Consumer Data Privacy In a Networked World: A Framework for Protecting Privacy and Promoting Innovation in the Global Digital Economy, includes a series of consumer privacy principles that would form the basis for voluntary but enforceable codes of conduct, positions the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) as the lead enforcer on consumer privacy issues, and encourages greater international cross-border collaboration. The framework builds on the consumer privacy recommendations issued in December 2010 by the Department of Commerce Internet Policy Task Force.

This Kelley Drye client advisory outlines the four primary elements of the framework and discusses how it aligns with other federal and state initiatives that will have significant implications for businesses that collect consumer personal information online.