The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade held the latest in its series of hearings on Internet privacy Wednesday morning. The hearing — titled “Protecting Children’s Privacy in an Electronic World” — focused on the Federal Trade Commission’s proposed updates to the regulations implementing the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which generally bars website operators from collecting or disclosing personal information from children under 13 without first obtaining parental consent. Lawmakers and witnesses also discussed whether Congress should enact additional legislation, particularly to protect teenagers. Click the jump to see a summary of some of the key issues addressed at the hearing and in witness’ prepared statements.Continue Reading House Subcommittee Discusses COPPA Updates, Teen Privacy

Politico and other news sources are reporting that the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade plans to hold a hearing on the FTC’s proposed revisions to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act rule.  We previously analyzed the FTC’s proposal here

The hearing has not yet been formally announced but

Jon Leibowitz, chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, and Cameron Kerry, general counsel of the Department of Commerce, spoke today about the need for industry codes of conduct to address emerging privacy issues.  They were the featured speakers at an event held by the Brookings Institution on strategies to protect consumer privacy while ensuring continued innovation on the Internet.

As we previously discussed, the Commerce Department has called for baseline consumer privacy protections that would serve as the basis for codes of conduct that specify how the baseline principles apply in particular contexts.  At today’s event, Kerry provided more detail about the Department’s proposal.Continue Reading FTC, Commerce Department Reiterate Support for Industry Codes of Conduct

The Commerce Department is calling for the creation of nationally recognized, voluntary codes of conduct to help strengthen cybersecurity protections for online businesses.  The Department issued its recommendations in a green paper on “Cybersecurity, Innovation and the Internet Economy,” which was released on June 8, 2011.  As noted in today’s Federal Register, the Department will be accepting comments on the green paper until August 1, 2011. 

As we discussed last month, one element of the White House’s recent legislative proposal for cybersecurity focuses on core critical infrastructure operators such as the electricity grid, the financial sector, the water system, and transportation networks.  The Commerce Department’s report complements the legislative proposal by concentrating on another sector of the economy – what the report calls the Internet and Information Innovation Sector (“I3S”).  The I3S encompasses businesses that create or utilize the Internet or networking services and have a large potential economic impact, including electronic retailers, social networking sites, cloud computing firms, and online transactional service providers.Continue Reading Commerce Department Requests Comments on Proposed Cybersecurity Codes of Conduct

Yesterday, the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade held its second hearing on data security in the past month.  The hearing featured the testimony of top executives from Sony and Epsilon, companies that recently have been the victims of large-scale cyber attacks.  The hearing focused mainly on the specifics of the recent attacks, the

On Friday, the Obama Administration unveiled the final draft of its ambitious National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC), which seeks to develop new and more secure systems for identity authentication online, creating  new “Identity Ecosystem.”  Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke as well as other officials unveiled the NSTIC (pronounced “en-stick”), which is signed by President Obama, at an event at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

As the NSTIC explains, on the Internet as it exists today, individuals must maintain numerous passwords for different websites which they use.  This imposes risks and burdens on consumers and businesses alike.  Moreover, the NSTIC describes how the absence of highly reliable authentication methods has hindered the ability of high-risk sectors like health and finance to migrate their services online.Continue Reading Obama Administration Unveils Identity Ecosystem Vision

Yesterday, Senator Jay Rockefeller announced that the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation, which he chairs, will hold a hearing on cybersecurity issues on March 29.  This is not a new issue for Senator Rockefeller or the Senate Commerce Committee, which approved cybersecurity legislation during the 111th Congress.  The Senate Homeland Security Committee had

The Department of Commerce has just issued its much-anticipated “green paper” on online privacy. The paper, “Commercial Data Privacy and Innovation in the Internet Economy: A Dynamic Policy Framework” [PDF], reflects Commerce’s stepped-up focus on privacy issues coming out the formation of its Internet Policy Task Force this past April.

In its