December 14, 2017

President Obama Proposes Legislation to Enhance Student and Consumer Privacy

UPDATE January 20 Google Does About Face and Decides to Sign Student Data Privacy Pledge (via WSJ)
90 companies have now signed the pledge. Most recent companies to sign are listed here.

UPDATE: January 13 Why Google Didn’t Sign Obama-Backed Student Privacy Pledge? (via WSJ)
75 other companies including Apple, Microsoft, Follett, and Houghton Mifflin, have signed the pledge.

President Obama outlined his plans in a speech at the Federal Trade Commission earlier today.

A “Fact Sheet” from the White House provides background.

Here are a few highlights of what’s being proposed. President will also mention these issues and plans in his State of the Union address next week.

  • New Commitments from the Private Sector to Help Enhance Privacy for Students:  Today 75 companies have committed to the cause, signing a pledge to provide parents, teachers, and kids themselves with important protections against misuse of their data.  This pledge was led by the Future of Privacy Forum and the Software & Information Industry Association, and today the President challenged other companies to follow their lead.
  • The Student Digital Privacy Act: The President is releasing a new legislative proposal designed to provide teachers and parents the confidence they need to enhance teaching and learning with the best technology — by ensuring that data collected in the educational context is used only for educational purposes.  This bill, modeled on a landmark California statute, builds on the recommendations of the White House Big Data and Privacy review released earlier this year, would prevent companies from selling student data to third parties for purposes unrelated to the educational mission and from engaging in targeted advertising to students based on data collected in school – while still permitting important research initiatives to improve student learning outcomes, and efforts by companies to continuously improve the effectiveness of their learning technology products.
  • The Personal Data Notification & Protection Act: The President is putting forward a new legislative proposal to help bring peace of mind to the tens of millions of Americans whose personal and financial information has been compromised in a data breach.  This proposal clarifies and strengthens the obligations companies have to notify customers when their personal information has been exposed, including establishing a 30-day notification requirement from the discovery of a breach, while providing companies with the certainty of a single, national standard.  The proposal also criminalizes illicit overseas trade in identities.
  • Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights Legislation: Online interactions should be governed by clear principles — principles that look at the context in which data is collected and ensure that users’ expectations are not abused.  Those were the key themes of the Administration’s 2012 Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, and today the Commerce Department announced it has completed its public consultation on revised draft legislation enshrining those principles into law.  Within 45 days, the Administration will release this revised legislative proposal and today we call on Congress to begin active consideration of this important issue.

Additional Info via Fact Sheet (via WhiteHouse.gov)

Press Coverage and Statements

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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