Online Privacy Changes Imminent from Washington

November 22, 2010
117 Views

Online Privacy and personal data are issues that have affected online businesses for years.  Personal information is now easily accessible due to the popularity of social media and the connectedness of mobile devices.  Big changes may be coming to online regulations as the Obama Administration is forming a subcommittee on Internet and privacy policy, the Democrats have lost proponents of Net Neutrality

Online Privacy and personal data are issues that have affected online businesses for years.  Personal information is now easily accessible due to the popularity of social media and the connectedness of mobile devices.  Big changes may be coming to online regulations as the Obama Administration is forming a subcommittee on Internet and privacy policy, the Democrats have lost proponents of Net Neutrality due to Mid-Term Elections and the Federal Trade Commission and Commerce Department are planning to release new proposals on how strict any new rules should be.

Important questions may or may not get answered in the next couple months: What’s more important? Your Privacy or the Deliverability of your message?  Will the new regulations enhance and protect the user experience or will they promote business and economic expansion?  Online advertisers such as Amazon and Google have argued that the collection of user data helps deliver more relevant ads to the users.  Lawmakers have responded with two House bills that would require Web sites to collect user data only on a voluntary basis.  A balance needs to be met between expectations of privacy and industry needs.

In the next few weeks, both the Federal Trade Commission and the Commerce Department are planning to release reports about online privacy.  Top Commerce officials are in favor of letting the industry regulate itself while the FTC wants to require a “do not track” option on a Web site or browser similar to the “do not call” list.

Privacy regulations are under review in Europe as well.  The EU and US administrations are set to renegotiate rules governing cross-Atlantic data exchanges that would enable citizens of either continent to take legal action in Europe or the US against abuses.

It is an interesting time to be involved in E-mail marketing and online advertising.  Stay tuned to the LashBack Blog for developments on these privacy regulations.