Today, Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin joined 14 other states in submitting comments on the December 2010 staff report issued by the Federal Trade Commission entitled, “Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change: A Proposed Framework for Businesses and Policymakers.” The FTC’s report proposed a framework for protecting consumer privacy amidst the ever-changing technology of the twenty-first century.
“With the explosion of the Internet and rapidly changing technology, consumers are at great risk of personal and confidential information being shared with others and exploited for illegal purposes,” said Attorney General Kilmartin. “It is imperative that privacy standards keep pace with technology.”
The States encourage the FTC to adopt an approach to information security that takes into account the size, scope and resources of businesses, and they highlight state statutes and regulations that codify a set of reasonable safeguards that entities must implement to protect consumer data. The States also stress the importance of protecting consumers’ medical and health information, and encourage the implementation of strong mechanisms requiring consumer consent if location-based data, tracking people’s movements, is collected.
Protection of minors on-line continues to be a priority for the States. In their comments to the FTC, the States echo the FTC’s commitment to protecting children and teenagers on-line and highlight the protections obtained for underage users under previous State agreements with social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook.
In addition, the States advocate for the preservation of state enforcement authority in any consumer privacy framework to ensure the broadest protection of consumers under both state and federal privacy laws.
The full text of the FTC’s Privacy Report is located at: http://ftc.gov/os/2010/12/101201privacyreport.pdf
Joining Rhode Island in signing today’s letter are: Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.