Posted by Brad Smith
Senior Vice President and General Counsel

Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce released a “Green Paper” that outlines the department’s position on a number of timely privacy issues.

Microsoft supports the framework contained in the Green Paper and commends the agency for its focus on ways to ensure consumers’ private data is protected.

The Green Paper addresses important aspects of privacy protection. It expresses the need for baseline “fair information principles” that can be implemented through enforceable codes of conduct, calls for the establishment of a “Privacy Policy Office” and recognizes the importance of engaging in the global regulatory dialogue on privacy.

Each of these areas compliments other efforts, including the Federal Trade Commission’s recent Privacy Report and related work. Microsoft supports implementing “fair information principles.” We agree that a Privacy Office within the administration will further ensure that consumer privacy receives the attention it warrants.

In today’s digital environment, the Department of Commerce’s recommended focus on encouraging discussion among policymakers and other interested entities on a global basis will serve privacy interests well.

Microsoft welcomes the call for dialogue among all parties interested in protecting consumer privacy – including the business community, consumer and privacy advocates, academics, state and federal legislators and regulators around the world. Inclusive stakeholder discussions can help ensure all views are represented as policies are developed and refined.

We welcome the department’s leadership in this area, and applaud the Green Paper is an important step forward for consumer privacy.