Trump administration working on consumer data privacy policy

WASHINGTON July 28:    The Trump administration is working to develop consumer data privacy policies, and the Commerce Department is meeting with big companies like Facebook Inc, Comcast Corp and Alphabet Inc as it looks to eventually seeing the policies enshrined in legislation, two officials said on Friday.
Data privacy has become an increasingly important issue, fueled by massive breaches that have compromised personal information of millions of US internet and social media users, spurring Congressional hearings.
California, the most populous US state, and the European Union have both adopted data protection rules.
David Redl, a senior US Commerce Department official who oversees the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, said in a speech on Friday to the Internet Governance Forum USA in Washington that the administration recently “began holding stakeholder meetings to identify common ground and formulate core, high-level principles on data privacy.”
White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said the administration, through the White House National Economic Council, “aims to craft a consumer privacy protection policy that is the appropriate balance between privacy and prosperity. … We look forward to working with Congress on a legislative solution consistent with our overarching policy.” Facebook, the world’s largest social media network, said earlier this year that the personal information of about 70 million U.S. users was improperly shared with political consultancy Cambridge Analytica. U.S. lawmakers have also demanded answers from Facebook about the data it shared with four Chinese companies. Yahoo said in 2017 that all 3 billion of its accounts were hacked in a 2013 data theft, while other large data breaches have been reported in recent years by Equifax Inc, Target Corp and Home Depot Inc. Redl said a government survey showed that three-quarters of American households using the internet have “significant concerns” about privacy and security risks. (agencies)