Big Three’ Weigh in on Online Privacy: FTC, FCC and NTIA Testify at Privacy Hearing

On July 14, 2011, a joint House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing focused on online privacy policy and perspectives of the big three’ federal agencies with potential jurisdiction over online privacy – the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). The hearing, Internet Privacy: The Views of the FTC, the FCC, and NTIA, offered a comprehensive review of the state of online consumer privacy and the appropriate industry and government response to developments in online behavioral advertising and tracking. The hearing comes on the heels of a flurry of online privacy and data security legislation introduced in recent weeks and months. Witnesses included FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, FTC Commissioner Edith Ramirez and NTIA Administrator Lawrence E. Strickling.

The hearing touched on issues including the economic impact of privacy regulation, defining the harms caused by data collection, agency jurisdiction and authority, protecting children, data security, and social networking. Click here for more detail regarding the major themes discussed at the hearing, which expanded the growing legislative record on online privacy and security.