for Democracy and Technology Summary of Testimony of Deirdre Mulligan,
Staff Counsel, Center for Democracy and Technology

before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittee on Communications
September 23, 1998

The Center for Democracy and Technology is pleased to participate in this hearing, at the request of the Subcommittee, on the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (S. 2326) and the broader issue of protecting individual privacy in the online environment. CDT is a non-profit, public interest organization dedicated to developing and implementing public policies to protect and advance civil liberties and democratic values on the Internet. One of our core goals is to enhance privacy protections for individuals in the development and use of new communications technologies.

CDT believes that it is time for Congress and relevant stake-holders to develop a bi-partisan national privacy policy for the Internet. Protecting privacy will require a multi-faceted approach: it requires the establishment of legal baselines to protect privacy and their enforcement; an ongoing effort by industry to self-regulate; and, the availability of technologies that protect privacy and facilitate good business practices on the Internet.

We look forward to working with Senators Burns and Bryan and the rest of the Subcommittee to improve the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (S. 2326), and to develop privacy protections for all Americans regardless of their age.

We strongly believe that appropriate legislation can protect privacy and aid electronic commerce by creating a level policy and practice playing field and a viable benchmark for oversight, enforcement, and redress. Coupled with ongoing efforts at self-regulation and technologies that protect anonymity and ensure that when individuals choose to share personal information they do so with full information, enabling the FTC to craft rules that protect children’s and adults privacy will ensure that good privacy practices become the standard for entities operating online.

Other Privacy Issues.

The Center For Democracy And Technology
1634 Eye Street NW, Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20006
(v) +1.202.637.9800 (f) +1.202.637.0968

For more information, write [email protected]