The White House Issues a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights – Part 1

In February 2012, the White House issued A Framework for Protecting Privacy and Promoting Innovation in the Global Digital Economy.  This document appears to represent an effort on the part of the United States to catch up to the rest of the world as it relates to privacy matters. As a comparison, Europe has a stricter set of privacy laws than the United States. The European Union passed what is known as the European Data Protection Directive This Directive defines the relationship between Data Subjects (those whose data is being collected) and Data Controllers, (the entity collecting and using the data).  It also outlines seven principles governing the protection of personal data.

Those are:

  1. Notice—data subjects should be given notice when their data is being collected;
  2. Purpose—data should only be used for the purpose stated and not for any other purposes;
  3. Consent—data should not be disclosed without the data subject’s consent;
  4. Security—collected data should be kept secure from any potential abuses;
  5. Disclosure—data subjects should be informed as to who is collecting their data;
  6. Access—data subjects should be allowed to access their data and make corrections to any inaccurate data; and
  7. Accountability—data subjects should have a method available to them to hold data collectors accountable for following the above principles

A major driver of this proclamation has been the Internet.  With the advent of the Internet, smart phones and social media exchanges such as Facebook, personal privacy has never been more important, nor more difficult to ensure.  With this proclamation, the White House has defined a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, a ‘blueprint for privacy in the information age’ and makes clear it intends to work with Congress to put the principles of this bill of rights in to law.

Without a doubt, this Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights will have an impact on contact center operations, from the perspective of how contact centers interact with their customers and how they manage their employees.  In a multi-part series, I will talk in more detail about these ‘Rights’ as defined in this proclamation and how inContact is positioned to support the privacy needs of its users and their customers.