Jackie here from AllClear ID.  The internet has opened the door to a host of privacy concerns for both businesses and consumers. A new report issued by the FTC addresses these issues and provides recommendations for businesses and government for protecting the privacy of Americans and allowing them to control their personal data. This privacy report expands on an earlier December 2010 staff report and includes guidelines for businesses that handle private consumer data.

The report encourages companies to take the following three actions to protect privacy:

  • Privacy by Design- Privacy shouldn’t be an afterthought. Companies should take privacy into consideration during every stage of the development process. Consumer information should be protected with reasonable security and steps should be taken to promote data accuracy.
  • Simplified Choice- Consumers should be able to control what information they share and with whom. Do-Not-Track options should be available so that consumers can easily control tracking when online.
  • Greater Transparency- Consumers should be able to know what information is being collected about them. Companies should be more open about the information they collect.

The FTC report includes action points that will be used to improve consumer privacy control over the next year. The FTC will focus their efforts on creating a do-not-track system, promoting self-regulatory codes, and resolving privacy concerns with mobile devices, data brokers and large platform providers.

What Does This Mean For You? Privacy is a big concern for all internet users. The amount of personal information shared online is staggering. This FTC privacy report will help shape privacy regulation and policies in the coming years. The recommendations in this report will help businesses create sound privacy practices and should help consumers to have greater control over the information they share online.

Check out the FTC’s summary of the report here.