Major Tech Companies To Drop Support For Comprehensive U.S. Privacy Law

In the summer of 2006, a who's who of technology and Internet companies garnered headlines when they formed the Consumer Privacy Legislative Initiative.  The group, which included Intel, Microsoft, eBay, Google, HP, Oracle, and Sun, was charged with promoting the adoption of a national privacy law in the U.S. (initial statement here).  According to BNA's Electronic Commerce & Law Report (sub required), next week those same companies will announce a shift in name and emphasis.  Microsoft Chief Privacy Strategist Peter Cullen tells BNA that "legislation is actually the wrong place to start. To provide effective privacy protection, it's going to potentially require good legislation. But more importantly, it will require good business processes and good accountability." The group is therefore morphing into the Business Forum for Consumer Privacy, which advisors say is working toward building a self-regulatory framework.  The article notes that enforcement of the self-regulatory framework has not yet been worked out.  More details are apparently coming next week at the IAPP Privacy Conference.


  1. Crusty Curmudgeon says:

    A “self-regulatory framework”?

    Hmmm. Maybe Bernie Madoff should be the Honorary Chairman.

    As for the new name “Business Forum for Consumer Privacy”? Sounds like the ultimate oxymoron.

  2. Consultant
    I agree. “Self Regulatory” simply spells trouble with a capital T. Not only that, but the computer “biggies” promoting privacy is a laugh, too.


  3. “Self Regulatory” = “Zero Transparency”
    Consider the last time you called a technology/information company’s customer service center – specifically one where commitments are made (often with regard to billing, and occasionally not honoured); Now, transpose that conversation onto one where you’re trying to determine what information has been collected, how it’s being used, and how you can purge that information from their records when you have no legislated ability to do any of the above, nor can the company be compelled to do so as there is no law to support you, the consumer.

    Collusive oligopolies are troublesome at best, corrupt and dangerous at their worst.