Commerce.gov is getting a facelift soon. See the new design.

Commerce Secretary Locke Announces Public Review of Privacy Policy and Innovation in the Internet Economy, Launches Internet Policy Task Force

Printer-friendly version

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wednesday, April 21, 2009

CONTACT OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS

202-482-4883

Commerce Secretary Locke Announces Public Review of Privacy Policy and Innovation in the Internet Economy, Launches Internet Policy Task Force

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke today announced the launch of an initiative designed to gather public input and review the nexus between privacy policy and innovation in the Internet economy. In addition, Locke also announced the formation of a Department of Commerce-wide Internet Policy Task Force to identify leading public policy and operational issues impacting the U.S. private sector's ability to realize the potential for economic growth and job creation through the Internet.

“Because of the vital role the Internet plays in driving innovation throughout the economy, the Department has made it a top priority to ensure that the Internet remains open for innovation while promoting an environment respectful of individual privacy expectations,” Locke said. “In these difficult economic times, nothing is more important to American prosperity than jumpstarting our engine of innovation.”

Through a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) published in the Federal Register, the Commerce Department is seeking public comment from all Internet stakeholders—commercial, academic and civil society sectors and citizens—on 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 seeks to understand whether current privacy laws serve consumer interests and fundamental democratic values.

The Internet Policy Task Force is exploring current privacy frameworks, and ways to address the challenges of the new Internet economy and society in a manner that preserves and enhances personal privacy protection.

The Task Force is comprised of staff members from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), the International Trade Administration (ITA), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), and will be coordinated through the Commerce Department's Office of Policy and Strategic Planning, which reports to the Secretary.

In addition to privacy and innovation, the Internet Policy Task Force will examine cyber security, online copyright protection and international barriers to moving data around the globe, and the ability of entrepreneurs, and small- and medium-sized businesses to expand their operations via the Internet.

On May 7, 2010, the Department will hold a public meeting to discuss stakeholder views and to further facilitate public discussion on privacy policy in the United States. After analyzing public comments in response to this NOI, the Department will issue a report contributing to the administration’s domestic policy and international engagement on privacy.

A copy of the NOI is available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/