Washington, D.C. - U.S. Secretary of Commerce William M. Daley, in introductory remarks today at the Federal Trade Commission's Workshop on Consumer Protection in the Global Marketplace, urged the private sector to take the lead in protecting consumers in the new electronic marketplace.
"If people do not feel safe and secure with e-commerce, they won't use the Internet and all of those rosy predictions on Internet use won't happen," Daley said. "Industry and consumer groups have to work together to set the floor on consumer protection so that consumers gain the same confidence in cyberspace as they have on main street. If this happens, it would be a win for the private sector and prevent unnecessary government action."
Secretary Daley lauded recent progress in addressing another potential road block to online buying: privacy protection. He cited the growing number of websites that now disclose their privacy policies or information practice statements - nearly two-thirds, and praised the work of groups like the Online Privacy Alliance, BBBOnline, TRUSTe and CPA WebTrust, which were formed to help companies develop and implement privacy policies.
Secretary Daley also stated that he and Vice President Gore will soon release an updated report on the Emerging Digital Economy, showing its size and growing importance. The first report, released last year indicated that about one-third of this nation's real economic growth came from information technologies. Due to the rapidly changing nature of electronic commerce and its impact on all business, the Emerging Digital Economy Report will be released on an annual basis, Daley said.
The FTC workshop features presentations from government, industry, academia and consumer groups. The full agenda is available at: http://www.ftc.gov
Secretary Daley's remarks can be accessed at http://www.doc.gov
- Morrie Goodman