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Chief Privacy Officer needed in new Administration

The Future of Privacy Forum issues recommendations for the new Presidential Administration.

The Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) today proposed seven privacy recommendations to the upcoming administration. FPF co-chairs Jules Polonetsky and Christopher Wolf applaud President-Elect Obama for recognizing that the use and development of technology is key to the future of our country. FPF urges the President-elect to also appoint a Chief Privacy Officer (CPO) in order to recognize that responsible use of data by businesses and government is critical to the economy, to protecting civil liberties and to ensuring public safety.

The Future of Privacy Forum recommends the following for the Obama Administration:

1. Appoint a Chief Privacy Officer to promote fair information practices in the public and private sectors,

2. Ensure that interactive tools used by government provide users with enhanced transparency and controls,

3. Establish a standard definition of personal information,

4. Increase technology and research support for the federal trade commission,

5. Enhance criminal law enforcement support for the Federal Trade Commission,

6. Provide national leadership to resolve the conflict between privacy and online safety for youth,

7. Encourage accountable business models.

"By appointing a CTO, President-Elect Obama will be taking an important and necessary step to ensure that the new Administration has the leadership in place to coordinate technology policies that will improve the quality of life for all Americans," said Wolf. "We are in an era where the personal use of data brings opportunities for advancements that can improve millions of lives, but the misuse of data can also negatively impact millions of citizens."

"As a former CPO I can attest that the partnership between the CTO and CPO is critical for ensuring that new technologies are deployed in a way that respects consumer rights. Traditionally, government privacy protections were intended to limit the collection of data by government about its citizens. In today's web 2.0 environment, citizens expect to interact electronically by exchanging information with government leaders and agencies," said Polonetsky. "Charting the appropriate user controls around this data is critical for both the civic success and the long-term privacy implications of this new relationship."