A Preliminary FTC Staff Report on "Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change: A Proposed Framework for Businesses and Policymakers"
I have been a mapping professional for nearly 15 years now working on everything from public litigation to classified defense department mapping, and I believe that the FTC's new proposal to protect certain consumer information is good and necessary, and I do not think it should be diluted with exclusions in response to industry lobbying groups like MAPPS who bring up the threat of its having a chilling effect on business and trade. HIPAA mandates all health information be protected already, troops in combat areas need their personal details (including GPS-enabled cell phone coordinates) protected for obvious reasons, computer illiterate people on social networking sites need better a clearer way to opt-out of having their physical locations and personal details given out to anyone who wants to purchase them. The list goes on. Perhaps it will make it more difficult to take advantage of people who don't realize their information is out there, but clever businesses will still find legitimate ways to make money with new GPS-enabled technologies and remaining consumer information while the new FTC rules would protect all consumers.