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Commerce Secretary Gary Locke Discusses Privacy and Innovation with Leading Internet Stakeholders

May 07, 2010
News Media Contact
Commerce Department

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke addressed leading privacy and consumer advocates, privacy scholars and Internet entrepreneurs at the Privacy and Innovation Symposium today at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center. At the public meeting sponsored by the Department of Commerce, Locke discussed the challenge of ensuring that the Internet continues to grow as a platform for innovation and commerce in the United States and around the world while at the same time protecting personal privacy.

“The Internet is not only a source of tremendous past and future job growth; it is also a driver of global commerce,” Locke said. “If we are going to harness the full power of the Internet, we need to establish norms and ground rules that promote innovative uses of information while still respecting consumers’ legitimate privacy interests and democratic values.”

On April 21, Locke announced the launch of an initiative designed to gather public input and review the nexus between privacy policy and innovation in the Internet economy as well as the creation of a Department-wide Internet Policy Task Force. During today’s symposium, the Department collected public comment from all Internet stakeholders—commercial, academic and civil society sectors and citizens—on the impact of current privacy laws in the United States and around the world on the pace of innovation in the information economy. This input, along with research conducted by the task force, will contribute to administration-wide policy positions and a global privacy strategy.

Locke’s opening remarks were followed by five panel discussions. Also participating in today’s symposium were Commerce General Counsel Cameron Kerry, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information Lawrence E. Strickling, Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Michelle O’Neill, and National Telecommunications and Information Administration Associate Administrator for Policy Analysis and Development Daniel J. Weitzner.