Guest blog post by Cameron F. Kerry, Department of Commerce General Counsel
As co-chair of the National Science and Technology Council Subcommittee on Privacy and Internet Policy, I am proud to have worked on the Obama administration’s comprehensive blueprint to improve consumer privacy protections, the “Consumer Data Privacy in a Networked World: A Framework for Protecting Privacy and Promoting Innovation in the Global Digital Economy” (PDF). As the president stated in the report, “we must reject the conclusion that privacy is an outmoded value. It has been at the heart of our democracy from its inception, and we need it now more than ever.”
In today’s Internet age, our world is no longer easily defined by national borders. Information flows around the world as companies seek to meet the demands of international customers and individuals share their lives and experiences globally. Finding ways to protect personal information while facilitating cross-border data flows is a central aim of the administration’s privacy blueprint.
Over the course of my meetings in Europe, I talked about the president’s Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights and our commitment to promote the free flow of information by fostering the interoperability of international privacy frameworks. I discussed the importance of building on tools such as the EU-US Safe Harbor Framework that have helped to protect consumer information while facilitating international trade.
I look forward to continuing our work at the Department of Commerce to implement the administration’s privacy blueprint. Last week, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration released a request for comments as it prepares to begin convening stakeholders to develop codes of conduct based on the Consumer Bill of Rights, and on March 19 the EU's Justice Directorate General will come to Washington, D.C. to discuss the Safe Harbor Framework and other tools for the global flow of information.