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September 22, 1998

FTC AT END OF ITS TETHER OVER ONLINE PRIVACY

By CBR Staff Writer

The Federal Trade Commission is apparently at the point of giving up on the internet industry’s efforts at self-regulation in the area of user privacy. According to a report in the New York Times, the federal agency is distancing itself from the Clinton administration’s advocacy of self-regulation. We mentioned in the past that the FTC was growing impatient, especially since it issued a report in June that found a general lack of privacy policies on web sites and recommended legislation (06/05/98). The Times quotes David Medine, an associate director in the FTC’s bureau of consumer protection as saying It’s too bad, I think industry has lost the opportunity to show that they will do it on their own. If the industry doesn’t get its act together quickly, the FTC is likely to draft an online privacy bill and ask Congress to make it law.

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