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Leading Civil Society Groups Agree on Key Principles: the Commerce Privacy Process Must be Fair, Transparent, Credible

MultiStakeholder Privacy Principles — The World Privacy Forum has led an effort to craft a set of principles with the nation’s leading civil liberties, privacy, and consumer groups. Today, the groups are releasing a set of baseline Multi-Stakeholder Principles in response to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s plan for a multi-stakeholder process on privacy. (The U.S. Department of Commerce is undertaking a representative process for bringing together members of industry and civil society to form new privacy rules.) These leading groups believe that for the multi-stakeholder process to succeed, it must be representative of all stakeholders and must operate under procedures that are fair, transparent, and credible.

Public Comments: February 2012 – WPF asks that the full Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights be applied to MS Process (Principles for Multi-Stakeholder Process)

WPF filed two sets of comments with the US Department of Commerce regarding the MultiStakeholder Process and the privacy topics to be taken up. The first set of comments were WPF’s formal filing of the joint Civil Society MultiStakeholder Principles on behalf of WPF and the American Civil Liberties Union, Center for Digital Democracy, Consumer Action, Consumer Federation of America, Consumers’ Union, Consumer Watchdog, Electronic Frontier Foundation, National Consumers’ League, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, and US PIRG. The second set of comments were WPF’s own comments to the Department. WPF urged the Department to employ a fair process, choose focused topics, and to apply the full range of the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights to each topic.

WPF Urges Fair Privacy Stakeholder Process

NTIA Multistakeholder Process — The US Department of Commerce has announced that it is supporting privacy legislation and a “stakeholder process” to determine self regulatory rules for Internet privacy. WPF wrote about what a fair stakeholder process needs to include in our comments to the US Department of Commerce. We urge that at a minimum, the stakeholder process will include these items: 1) Consumer and business representation be equal in any multi-stakeholder process. 2) Approval of consumer representatives must be a necessary element in any formal decisions, just as the approval of business will be necessary. 3) Consumers must select their own representatives through a process yet to be determined, and consumer representatives may not be designated or limited by business or government. 4) Consumer organization that require financial assistance to participate in the multi- stakeholder process should receive support for travel and other expenses (but not for staff support). 5) Government agencies may participate in the process, but no agency may have a vote. 6) Participants in the process must chose their own rules and presiding officer. 7) Certifiers of accountability with codes of conduct should be not-for-profit organizations that are wholly independent of business, consumers, and government.