President Barack Obama continues to press policymakers to maintain an open internet which encourages trust and transparency for consumers. Just a few weeks into the new year, Obama will add to his calls to keep the net neutral by proposing a range of policies to protect consumers.
President Obama will call for new legislation this week protecting data belonging to consumers and students in the US. The Personal Data Notification and Protection Act would demand that hacked American companies inform customers within 30 days if their data has been stolen, while the Student Data Privacy Act would prohibit tech firms from selling student data for the purposes of targeted advertising. Obama will also propose more broad protection of all Internet consumers by resurfacing his “Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights” which was originally proposed in 2012.
While it remains to be seen whether the Republican-controlled Congress will move any of these bills, the President is highlighting the fact that consumer trust is woefully lacking. Industry can and should do more to give consumers greater transparency and additional choices over how their data is collected and used. At the time of the 2012 announcement of the President’s “Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights,” industry leaders also agreed to honor Do Not Track settings on internet devices. Self-regulatory groups should finally follow through on this commitment.