The Obama Administration is expected to endorse comprehensive privacy legislation at tomorrow’s Senate Commerce Committee hearing on “The State of Online Consumer Privacy.” Our understanding is that the administration will call for a “privacy bill of rights” that would require, among other things, that consumers be given access to the data collected about them online and to have that data be stored securely. 

The first panel at tomorrow’s Senate hearing will feature Jon Leibowitz, FTC Chairman, and Lawrence Strickling, Assistant Secretary of Commerce, who is expected to testify that the administration supports privacy legislation.   As we have previously posted, the draft “Green Paper” on consumer privacy issued by Commerce in December initially was expected to endorse baseline privacy legislation.  Instead, the Green Paper placed greater emphasis on voluntary industry self-regulation and did not go so far as to support legislation.  (We have previously posted on reactions to the Green Paper here.) Tomorrow’s testimony will reflect a change in direction for the administration back towards its initial approach.  Strickling is expected to suggest that the Fair Information Practice Principles (or “FIPPs”) outlined in the Green Paper be codified as law.

Testifying at the second panel tomorrow will be Erich Andersen, Microsoft Corporation; John Montgomery, GroupM Interaction; Ashkan Soltani; Barbara Lawler, Intuit, Inc., and Chris Calabrese, American Civil Liberties Union.  Inside Privacy will continue to closely follow the hearing and reactions to the administration’s new approach