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FTC reconsiders privacy standards

According to a report in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has carried out a study of consumer privacy standards on-line which indicates that only one in five major e-commerce web sites meet FTC standards for protecting consumer privacy.12 May 2000

The FTC’s report, due to be released later this month, is expected to recommend some form of federal regulation. However, at least two of the five FTC commissioners are reported to be strongly opposed to legislating to enforce privacy on the internet. They argue in favour of self-regulation by companies which deal with consumers on-line, which has been the FTC approach for the past five years.

Although the UK has the Data Protection Act 1998 to govern the way businesses deal with information on individuals, there is presently no equivalent in the US, only FTC guidelines. See our guide for further information on Data Protection in the UK.