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White House pushes for stronger online consumer protections

(Tech News) The White House has announced a handful of bills aimed directly at protecting consumers as they navigate the web.

president obama

president obama

Improving online privacy and protections

The White House has outlined how the Obama administration plans to improve online privacy and protections for American consumers and companies from cyber threats such as identity theft and unethical data sharing.

Last year the BuySecure initiative was launched laying out a blueprint for consumer privacy. The initiative is based on recommendations by a working group of senior officials focusing on the issues of big data and online privacy. Included in the initiative is an Executive Order from the president to apply CHIP and PIN technology to all government credit cards, helping make payments to and from the federal government more secure.

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And recently, the Federal Trade Commission expanded information sharing so that investigators can detect identity theft more readily. The commission also developed IdentityTheft.gov, an important one-stop resource for consumers who suspect that their information has been stolen. New legislation may also help but a cap on unfettered data sharing.

A handful of bills proposed to accomplish this

The Personal Data Notification and Protection Act, if passed, will create a universal protocol for companies who have a data breach. Companies will be required to notify customers within 30 days that their personal information has been exposed. The Act would also make it illegal to trade stolen identities overseas.

The Student Digital Privacy Act would prevent companies from selling data collected about students in educational contexts for the purposes of targeted marketing and indicates that such data should only be used for educational research.

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Within 45 days, Obama intends to release the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, which would lay out principles for how online data can be used.

The government can’t act alone in protecting consumer privacy

Companies must play along, and many are making commitments to help better ensure that personal data stays private and to prevent identity theft. Because it is easy to see the warning signs of identity theft in your credit score, JPMorganChase, Bank of America, and several other companies are making free credit scores available to the public.

Companies are also agreeing to lay off the data collected about students at school – 75 companies have signed a pledge created by the Future of Privacy Forum and the Software & Information Industry Association. Utility companies are cooperating with the Department of Energy to protect energy usage data collected from electrical customers.

It appears that the federal government is committed to continually regulating businesses in the interest of protecting consumer privacy. Businesses will surely increase their customer’s confidence by anticipating these regulations and making a voluntary commitment to protecting consumer privacy.

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Ellen Vessels, a Staff Writer at The American Genius, is respected for their wide range of work, with a focus on generational marketing and business trends. Ellen is also a performance artist when not writing, and has a passion for sustainability, social justice, and the arts.

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  1. Pingback: Business Judgment Rule, Privilege, Child Support, Animal Rights - SmiLoans

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