Task Force Weighs Privacy and Innovation

Posted by Peter Cullen
Chief Privacy Strategist

The
Department of Commerce’s Internet Policy Task Force is seeking comments and holding meetings with Internet
stakeholders about “the impact of current privacy laws in the United
States and around the world on the pace of innovation in the information
economy.” The Department intends to issue a report that will likely
help shape the Administration’s policy engagement on Internet privacy.

Interest in privacy issues is more intense than ever because of the
world’s growing reliance on online interactions, the pervasive use of
mobile devices, the ubiquity of social networking and the rise of cloud
computing. Privacy policymaking is complicated, however, by the global
nature of the Internet as various jurisdictions come into play. Yet we
must get this right. As the Department noted in its request for
comments: “Proper use of personal information can play a critical,
value-added role, so establishing consumer trust and assuring
flexibility for innovators is vital.” We agree that it’s important to
identify policies that will help ensure “public confidence necessary for
full citizen participation with the Internet.”

In our comments and stakeholder meetings with the Task Force, we
focused on the need to protect consumer privacy as a fundamental
principle. Without respect for privacy, consumers’ trust will diminish
and the online ecosystem will suffer. To prevent that, Microsoft has
long supported comprehensive federal privacy legislation. We also
recently called for updating existing privacy laws to include
information that consumers may put in the cloud. As a company, we take
privacy governance and accountability into consideration as we build our
products and offer our services. More details are in our comments,
which can be found here.

We look forward to continuing to work
with the Internet Policy Task Force as it works to meet the policy
challenges of privacy in Web 3.0.

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Microsoft News Center Staff