Rockefeller Statement on FTC's Online Privacy Report

December 1, 2010

Chairman RockefellerWASHINGTON, D.C.—Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, issued the following statement on the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) report on consumers’ online privacy.

“The FTC’s report helps focus this important online privacy debate—a debate that will continue in the Commerce Committee next Congress,” said Chairman Rockefeller. “The FTC’s report makes it clear that self-regulation has largely failed, online companies must be more accountable, and our national privacy policy must better serve consumers. Americans need greater control over how their personal information is collected and used, and the FTC needs the authority to take action against companies who fail to provide consumers with basic privacy protections. I commend the FTC for their work on this report and for their ongoing enforcement efforts, and I look forward to working with my colleagues and the Administration to do everything we can to protect consumers’ online privacy.”

The FTC report:

  • Concludes that self-regulation has largely been ineffective and that industry privacy policies should be more robust; and 
  • Proposes a privacy framework with three main components: privacy by design, consumer choice, and transparency.

The report also serves to inform Congress as it continues to deliberate on privacy legislation. 

Chairman Rockefeller has led Senate efforts to safeguard and protect Americans’ online privacy. In July, he held a hearing on consumer online privacy, grilling Facebook, Apple and Google executives on what they’re doing to protect their users’ online information. He has also cosponsored legislation, the Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2010, to protect consumers’ personal information and prevent identity theft.