Data Broker opt out — WPF, in 2011 comments to the FTC, urged the FTC to create a centralized place for consumers to opt-out of data broker tracking. This is a long-standing issue WPF has worked on. Previously, WPF filed a petition in 2009 to the FTC regarding mail-in data broker opt outs, which resulted in an FTC action and improvements for consumers. In its new report published today, the FTC has picked up WPF’s centralized opt out recommendation, specifically citing WPF’s comments. From its report: “The Commission recommends that the data broker industry explore the idea of creating a centralized website where data brokers that compile and sell data for marketing could identify themselves to consumers and describe how they collect consumer data and disclose the types of companies to which they sell the information.” The WPF strongly supports this idea and views assistance to consumers in this area as vital.
The FTC’s new privacy report — a long -awaited planbook for privacy in the digital age – has picked up several key recommendations the WPF has made. First, the report picks up WPF’s direct recommendation in its 2011 comments that the FTC set up a centralized web site to allow consumers to opt out of data brokers. The FTC has directly called for this as a primary part of its report. The WPF strongly supports this. Pam Dixon of the WPF originated the Do Not Track idea in 2007, and with a group of privacy experts, submitted the original idea to the FTC that year. Now, DNT has also made it into the final FTC report.
Facial recognition | Digital signage — The World Privacy Forum filed extensive comments to the FTC today following up on Pam Dixon’s testimony at a December 2011 FTC facial recognition privacy workshop. The WPF comments noted that “A walk-out opt-out is not a viable way of managing consumer consent in the area of facial recognition or detection technologies.” The comments discussed the importance of recognizing the Face Print as a unique biometric, and also discussed the need for finding ways of consumer consent that are reasonable. Given the ubiquity of cameras in some retail and public spaces, just walking away will become less and less of an option for consumers going forward, the comments argued. The comments also included the WPF’s ground breaking report, The One-Way Mirror Society, and the joint Consumer Privacy Principles for Digital Signage.These principles were signed by the nation’s leading privacy and consumer groups.
The World Privacy Forum appreciates the opportunity to comment on the issue of facial recognition pursuant to the FTC Face Facts Workshop held on December 8, 2011.  The World Privacy Forum spoke on Panel 4 of the workshop, and those comments are already on the record. In these written comments, we would like to submit several key documents for the record and reaffirm several ideas from the workshop. The documents we are including as part of these comments include the World Privacy Forum’s groundbreaking report on digital signage, The One Way Mirror Society. Also included as part of these comments are the consensus privacy principles for digital signage installations that were signed by the leading US consumer and privacy groups.