Industry Group Representing Apple, Google, Amazon and Others Releases User Privacy Framework to Guide Policymakers

The Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), a technology lobbying group that represents companies like Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook, and more, today released a framework for regulations to protect user privacy.

The ITI's guidelines [PDF] are designed to provide information and guidance for policymakers both in the United States and abroad as they tackle the issue of data privacy online.

The purpose of this framework is to inform the development of legislation or the promulgation of rules that enhance personal data protection, further the trust relationship between companies and their customers, and enable innovation while also avoiding regulatory fragmentation that undermines all three goals.
Inspired by Europe's General Data Protection Regulation and privacy protections put in place in other countries, the document suggests individuals should have full rights to control the use of their personal data, and is built on the following principles:
Enhance Transparency. The framework ensures individuals are informed when their personal data is collected or used so they have a better understanding of what they are or are not consenting to.

Increase Consumer Control. The framework gives individuals the right to expressly and affirmatively consent to the use of their sensitive personal data, and further allows individuals to access, correct, port, delete, and object to the use of their personal data where it is appropriate to the context of the use of such personal data.

Establish Company Accountability and Expands Responsibility. The framework lays out clear mechanisms for regulators to hold companies responsible for their data practices, including recommending subjecting companies in violation of a national privacy law to a meaningful penalty on the first offense. It also requires companies to identify, monitor and document uses of known personal data, and ensure all uses are legitimate as defined by that law.

Promotes Security. The framework mandates companies put into place comprehensive security programs that support and protect their operations, activities and the sensitive information they control.
The text of the document was drafted after "dozens" of meetings with outside groups and policymakers, as well as experts from some of the ITI's member companies, ITI president Dean Garfield told Axios. He says that the framework goes "deeper" than other privacy proposals that have been developed.

The ITI is hoping the framework will serve as a model for governments worldwide and a "workable alternative" to a "patchwork of laws" that could ultimately lead to uncertainty over the protections that individual consumers are entitled to.

The ITI's full document with a complete list of suggested guidelines for government reference can be viewed on its website.

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