IAPP_Salary-Survey_300x250_FINAL
MetaCompliance_Webcon
DPI17_Web_300x250-COPY

 


Rick Boucher

By Angelique Carson, CIPP

Despite industry resistance to federal privacy legislation, its passage would benefit even those who resist it most.

That’s according to former Virginia State Rep. Rick Boucher, who recently joined the law firm Sidley Austin as a partner. Boucher says that legislative action on privacy is inevitable due to mounting public concern and the resulting corporate interest. When privacy rights are guaranteed online, the public is more trusting of the Internet, leading to a higher volume of electronic commerce, Boucher told the Daily Dashboard in an interview last week. However, when and how it will pass is anyone’s guess in a legislative environment dominated by budgets, he said.

Boucher served as a member of the House of Representatives for 28 years and as a member of its  Energy and Commerce Committee for 25 years. He chaired the House Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications and the Internet. At Sidley Austin, Boucher is heading the firm’s new government strategies practice group, which will turn a significant focus on privacy over the next two years, a topic that he says “will be addressed on Capitol Hill and for which there is a large expectation for legislative action and a constituency that would benefit from legislation being adopted.”

His interest in privacy isn’t newly founded. Eight years ago, Boucher and Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) introduced a measure to provide privacy rights to Internet users. At that time, though, privacy was further down on Washington’s legislative priority list, and the measure failed to gain widespread support. But Boucher says it did generate some conversation on the subject of privacy, which has now matured into one of this congress’s leading subjects.

The 2010 Boucher-Stearns privacy bill, which failed to pass, was an amended version of that original measure. Stearns has since introduced similar but modified bipartisan legislation with Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT). Boucher said he couldn’t speculate on that bill’s—or any other’s—chances of passing because budget issues are dominating the debate in both houses of congress, pushing privacy and other worthy causes down the priority list. But, he’s optimistic.

“Given the bipartisan nature of support that exists for it, and also given the fact that we have bipartisan bills in the house and the senate from leaders on the subject,” Boucher said, the Stearns bill might pass.

“And I think it’s noteworthy that the president has also lent his public support to adopting privacy legislation for a broad-range of purposes, including for Internet users,” he added.  

Boucher and Stearns’ bill received criticism from advocacy groups—which called for stronger consumer privacy measures—and industry, which wanted fewer restrictions on the collection and use of data.

The push and pull between advocacy and industry is a problem that Boucher says can be resolved. Though industry remains largely opposed to legislative measures, Boucher says he’s been meeting with companies—some whose support could be influential in getting a privacy bill passed—that have yet to publicly establish their opinion on user privacy rights.

“I think those companies share my view that the passage of such a bill would have a positive effect on the overall level of electronic commerce because of the assurance that would be provided to Internet users that their personal information is secure in the online environment,” he said.

In general, companies already employing sound data protection standards would appreciate that “all of the companies taking part in the businesses they are involved in are playing by a common set of rules and are offering the same level of privacy assurances,” he added.

When it comes to do-not-track legislation, Boucher says he prefers a different approach, one in which there is a clear set of rules on how companies manage customer data and includes full data collection disclosure, choice on data uses and opt-out provisions for sensitive data, while allowing for a thriving targeted advertising industry.

“I really don’t want to see that model, which is at the foundation of free availability of content, undermined, and I’m concerned ‘Do Not Track’ in and of itself might do that,” he said.

Comments

If you want to comment on this post, you need to login.

Related

Board of Directors

See the esteemed group of leaders shaping the future of the IAPP.

Contact Us

Need someone to talk to? We’re here for you.

IAPP Staff

Looking for someone specific? Visit the staff directory.

Learn more about the IAPP»

Daily Dashboard

The day’s top stories from around the world

Privacy Perspectives

Where the real conversations in privacy happen

The Privacy Advisor

Original reporting and feature articles on the latest privacy developments

Privacy Tracker

Alerts and legal analysis of legislative trends

Privacy Tech

Exploring the technology of privacy

Canada Dashboard Digest

A roundup of the top Canadian privacy news

Europe Data Protection Digest

A roundup of the top European data protection news

Asia-Pacific Dashboard Digest

A roundup of the top privacy news from the Asia-Pacific region

Latin America Dashboard Digest

A roundup of the top privacy news from Latin America

IAPP Westin Research Center

Original works. Groundbreaking research. Emerging scholars.

Get more News »

IAPP Communities

Meet locally with privacy pros, dive deep into specialized topics or connect over common interests. Find your Community in KnowledgeNet Chapters, Sections and Affinity Groups.

IAPP Job Board

Looking for a new challenge, or need to hire your next privacy pro? The IAPP Job Board is the answer.

Join the Privacy List

Have ideas? Need advice? Subscribe to the Privacy List. It’s crowdsourcing, with an exceptional crowd.

Find a KnowledgeNet Chapter Near You

Talk privacy and network with local members at IAPP KnowledgeNet Chapter meetings, taking place worldwide.

Find more ways to Connect »

Find a Privacy Training Class

Two-day privacy training classes are held around the world. See the complete schedule now.

The Privacy Core™ Library Has Evolved

Privacy Core™ e-learning essentials just expanded to include seven new units for marketers. Keep your data safe and your staff in the know!

Online Privacy Training

Build your knowledge. The privacy know-how you need is just a click away.

Upcoming Web Conferences

See our list of upcoming web conferences. Just log on, listen in and learn!

Train Your Team

Get your team up to speed on privacy by bringing IAPP training to your organization.

Let’s Get You DPO Ready

There’s no better time to train than right now! We have all the resources you need to meet the challenges of the GDPR.

Learn more »

CIPP Certification

The global standard for the go-to person for privacy laws, regulations and frameworks

CIPM Certification

The first and only privacy certification for professionals who manage day-to-day operations

CIPT Certification

The industry benchmark for IT professionals worldwide to validate their knowledge of privacy requirements

FIP Designation

Recognizing the advanced knowledge and issue-spotting skills a privacy pro must attain in today’s complex world of data privacy.

Certify Your Staff

Find out how you can bring the world’s only globally recognized privacy certification to a group in your organization.

CIPP/E + CIPM = DPO

The IAPP’S CIPP/E and CIPM are the ANSI/ISO-accredited, industry-recognized combination for DPO readiness. Learn more today.

Learn more about IAPP certification »

Are You Ready for the GDPR?

Check out the IAPP's EU Data Protection Reform page for all the tools and resources you need.

IAPP-OneTrust PIA Platform

New U.S. Government Agency privacy impact assessments - free to IAPP members!

IAPP Communities

Meet locally with privacy pros, dive deep into specialized topics or connect over common interests. Find your Community in KnowledgeNet Chapters, Sections and Affinity Groups.

Privacy Vendor List

Find a privacy vendor to meet your needs with our filterable list of global service providers.

More Resources »

Europe Data Protection Intensive 2017

The Intensive is sold out! But cancellations do happen—so hurry and get on the wait list in case more seats become available.

Global Privacy Summit 2017

The world’s premier privacy conference returns with the sharpest minds, unparalleled programs and preeminent networking opportunities. Early Bird ends TODAY.

Canada Privacy Symposium 2017

The Symposium returns to Toronto this spring and registration has opened! Take advantage of Early Bird rates and join your fellow privacy pros for another stellar program.

The Privacy Bar Section Forum 2017

The Privacy Bar Section Forum returns to Washington, DC April 21, delivering renowned keynote speakers and a distinguished panel of legal and privacy experts.

Asia Privacy Forum 2017

The Forum returns to Singapore for exclusive networking and intensive education on data protection trends and challenges in the Asia Pacific region. Call for Speakers open!

Privacy. Security. Risk. 2017

This year, we're bringing P.S.R. to San Diego. The Call for Speakers is now open. Submit today and be a part of something big! Submission deadline: February 26.

Europe Data Protection Congress 2017

European policy debate, multi-level strategic thinking and thought-provoking discussion. The Call for Speakers is open until March 19.

Sponsor an Event

Increase visibility for your organization—check out sponsorship opportunities today.

More Conferences »

Become a Member

Start taking advantage of the many IAPP member benefits today

Corporate Members

See our list of high-profile corporate members—and find out why you should become one, too

Renew Your Membership

Don’t miss out for a minute—continue accessing your benefits

Join the IAPP»