Today, the Federal Trade Commission released its final report titled "Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change: Recommendations For Businesses and Policymakers." http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2012/03/privacyframework.shtm
The report details best practices for businesses to protect the privacy of consumers. Recognizing the burden on small businesses, the FTC says that the framework should not apply to companies that collect and do not transfer only non-sensitive data from fewer than 5,000 consumers a year.
In the report, the FTC addressed the following:
Do-Not-Track – the FTC will work with various groups to complete implementation of an easy-to-use, persistent, and effective Do Not Track system.
Mobile - the FTC continues to urge companies offering mobile services to work toward improved privacy protections, including disclosures. It will host a workshop on May 30, 2012 to address how mobile privacy disclosures can be short, effective, and accessible to consumers on small screens.
Data Brokers – the FTC called on data brokers to make their operations more transparent by creating a centralized website to identify themselves, and to disclose how they collect and use consumer data. In addition, the website should detail the choices that data brokers provide consumers about their own information.
Large Platform Providers - The FTC cited heightened privacy concerns about the extent to which platforms, such as ISPs, operating systems, browsers and social media companies, comprehensively track consumers' online activities. It will host a public workshop in the second half of 2012 to explore issues related to comprehensive tracking.
Promoting Enforceable Self-Regulatory Codes - the FTC is working to develop industry-specific codes of conduct.