Rockefeller Statement on Commerce Department Privacy Report

December 16, 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 after the U.S. Department of Commerce released a report that addresses today’s online privacy challenges and offers recommendations to tackle these challenges.

“The Department of Commerce privacy green paper highlights the need for greater privacy protections for Americans,” Chairman Rockefeller said. “As pointed out in the report, the United States only has privacy laws in limited areas such as the healthcare and financial sectors. This means that there are no baseline privacy protections for most consumer online activity. Industry self-regulation has largely failed, and I hope that the Department of Commerce in its final report will reach the conclusion that legislation is necessary to protect consumers. Online companies must be more accountable, and our national privacy policy must better serve consumers. I look forward to working with the Administration as it gathers more information and formulates more definitive recommendations.”

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.