Friday, January 28, 2011

FTC Extends Deadline to Submit Comments on “Privacy” Regulation

Various efforts are under way in the Federal government to create new "privacy" protections for citizens. These proposed rules apply to the collection, storage and use of certain data about individuals, including their address. The rules use the term "precise geolocation data" and prevent any private firm from collecting, storing or using such data without the citizen's advance approval. This is an impractical and impossible requirement for private geo spatial firms.

While there has been some abuse of personal information by some firms in some sectors, such as phishing, the process of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, online habits, e-purchases, credit card info, etc. in an electronic communication, e.g. Internet none has involved MAPPS members or the specific geospatial community.

The Federal proposals are poorly written, do not define precise geolocation data, and have serious unintended consequences for industries and professions beyond those these Federal authorities are attempting to regulate.

Both the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Department of Commerce currently have draft regulations open for public comment.

MAPPS has submitted comments to the FTC and Commerce Department opposing regulatory language that would limit the collection, sharing or use of "precise geolocation data".

This is a significant issue and one that we need to address with a unified voice. It is why MAPPS is urging all geospatial professionals to submit comments to the FTC and Commerce Department.

MAPPS respectfully urges members to submit comments to the Commerce Department by today (January 28) and FTC by February 18.

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