Consumer Privacy Standard-Setting

This idea is simple.

Even with all of the good work to simplify privacy rules when interacting with companies, these rules still always change and remain confusing. Privacy is broken and is slipping away.

There is a better way.

In industries across the world, companies have engaged in standard-setting when having industry rules serves the industry and/or the public interest. We need companies that work with consumer data to start a process of standard-setting for shared rules on how they deal with consumer data.

Standard-setting does not, however, need to limit options for privacy choices. Rather, standard-setting can create both order and a market for consumer choice and industry competition.

Standard-setting can serve the public interest.

We could pattern it after Creative Commons. Small companies could use this as a competitive advantange. They would need legal support to ensure that there are no antitrust concerns. But we could build this for the public good. We should build consumer privacy standards, before privacy dies an all-too-quite death.

Critical mass of internet companies creating a menu of simple, opt-in privacy labels or tags, can shift the market for tech and privacy, create value, and engage in corporate social responsibility.