Proposed Privacy Initiatives in the US

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John Ball, friend and colleague, kindly keeps me aware of privacy initiatives in the US where the attitude towards individuals personal information often clashes with the European perspective.
This 'opinion piece' from Allison Mason of Rogin Nassau LLC The End of 2010 Marks Significant Developments in Online Privacy Initiatives, he bought to my attention describes some of the initiatives that are under consideration.

"If new regulations based on the FTC and Department of Commerce guidelines are adopted, it will change the way consumers and companies experience the web. Consumers will have access to clear notices about their data and will have the ability to proactively decide how it’s used, but these developments may frustrate them if it slows their online transactions. Companies will have to make investments in infrastructure to comply with new training, encryption and storage requirements, and to comply with an entirely new regulatory scheme in an area that has been largely un-regulated in the past."

Compare this with a recent paper issued by the European Union, A comprehensive approach on personal data protection in the European Union, describing the ongoing debate this side of the pond.

The problem is that 'law' is a blunt instrument that, by definition, assumes a 'one size fits all' policy. I prefer 'choice' by which individuals, in their multiple roles as citizen, consumer, patient, student, employee, friend, etc., can choose to set and manage policies regarding their personal information that suit them subject to the context of the communication or transaction and the level of trust in the relationship with the other party – be it an individual, business or government.

Trusted Relationship Management provides those individuals who care about their privacy to manage and take responsibility for their relationships providing them with increased security and peace of mind whilst reducing the costs and risks of their suppliers.

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