Posted by Peter Cullen
Chief Privacy Strategist

The Department of Commerce’s Internet Policy Task Force is seeking comments and holding meetings with Internet stakeholders about “the impact of current privacy laws in the United States and around the world on the pace of innovation in the information economy.” The Department intends to issue a report that will likely help shape the Administration’s policy engagement on Internet privacy.

Interest in privacy issues is more intense than ever because of the world’s growing reliance on online interactions, the pervasive use of mobile devices, the ubiquity of social networking and the rise of cloud computing. Privacy policymaking is complicated, however, by the global nature of the Internet as various jurisdictions come into play. Yet we must get this right. As the Department noted in its request for comments: “Proper use of personal information can play a critical, value-added role, so establishing consumer trust and assuring flexibility for innovators is vital.” We agree that it’s important to identify policies that will help ensure “public confidence necessary for full citizen participation with the Internet.”

In our comments and stakeholder meetings with the Task Force, we focused on the need to protect consumer privacy as a fundamental principle. Without respect for privacy, consumers’ trust will diminish and the online ecosystem will suffer. To prevent that, Microsoft has long supported comprehensive federal privacy legislation. We also recently called for updating existing privacy laws to include information that consumers may put in the cloud. As a company, we take privacy governance and accountability into consideration as we build our products and offer our services. More details are in our comments, which can be found here.

We look forward to continuing to work with the Internet Policy Task Force as it works to meet the policy challenges of privacy in Web 3.0.