Ari Schwartz Op-Ed in The Hill
January 12, 2010
Ari Schwartz has an op-ed in The Hill today discussing the need for clear privacy definitions from state AGs and the FTC. The piece is a response to and Op-Ed by Randall Rothenberg, the President of the Interactive Advertising Bureau. Schwartz writes:
"Rothenberg misrepresents a joint report issued by the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) and Center for American Progress by suggesting that there was “only one case relating to privacy” out of the thousands of complaints filed in 2006 and 2007 with certain consumer protection bodies about online fraud. In reality, well over 25 percent of all fraud complaints from consumers (at least 511,775 individual consumer complaints as calculated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) from their consumer sentinel database) were “related to privacy.” Dozens of these complaints resulted in cases brought by state AGs and the FTC, but thousands more went unanswered. It is also clear that the consumer protection agencies did not have enough power to bring privacy cases where violations are occurring."
Another major concern is that consumer protection agencies don't even speak the same language when talking about various privacy violations. And if they can't share information, the prospect of protecting consumer privacy is made that much more difficult.
It is our hope that more Internet users will voice their displeasure with current privacy regulations and that is why we provide our Privacy Complaint Tool on our "Take Back Your Privacy" web site. This tool helps users not only file complaints with the FTC, but provides the opportunity to share with friends and family through social networks.