United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary
Privacy, Identity Theft, and the Protection of Your Personal
Information in the 21st Century?
February 14, 2002
Director of Legal Affairs and Technology Policy , Intel Corporation
I thank the Chair for the opportunity to testify this afternoon. My name
is Doug Comer and I am Director of Legal Affairs and technology policy
for Intel Corporation. For over three decades, Intel Corporation has been
at the forefront of the technology revolution. Intel introduced the world's
first microprocessor in 1971. Today, Intel supplies chips, boards, systems,
software, networking and communications equipment that comprise the "ingredients" of
computer architecture and the Internet. The health of the Internet is a
core issue for our company and for the entire Information Technology industry.
Intel believes that consumer concerns surrounding the safety
of online transactions are impeding the growth of e-commerce. For
example, a Gartner survey of 7,000 consumers found that 60% say
that security and privacy concerns keep them from doing business
online. In order to ensure that the Internet continues to grow
as a tool of commerce and a driver for productivity in our economy,
businesses large and small need to recognize these concerns and
respond to them.
Our company has come to the view that federal privacy legislation
is needed to address these concerns, and provide a stable legal
playing field for business. We believe that such legislation should
embrace the following principles, which have been subscribed to
by all of our major industry associations:
˙Mandate notice- Websites that collect personally identifiable
information should provide clear and conspicuous notice of their
practices at the time of information collection. ˙Ensure consumer
choice- Internet users should have the ability to opt-out of the
use or disclosure of their personally identifiable information
for purposes unrelated to the transaction for which it is provided. ˙Focus
on market solutions- Legislation should build upon existing self-regulatory
mechanisms, and back those mechanisms with the enforcement clout
of the Federal Trade Commission. ˙Provide a national, uniform standard
be national in scope, and preempt state laws in order to avoid
the confusion that would result for users and for website operators
by widely disparate local laws. It should, as well, ensure that
the national standards are not undercut by private litigation case
decisions. The enforcement should be in federal court, subject
to FTC supervision. ˙Apply the same principles to Offline data
collection - The same privacy principles should apply regardless
of whether the transaction was conducted online or offline. In
Intel's view, this can be done efficiently if data collection materials
--- such as warranty cards, etc. - are designed properly.
We at Intel commend you, Senator Feinstein, for your focus on
the need for a comprehensive, systematic, and national approach
to protecting privacy. We strongly support the provisions of Title
I of your bill, which addresses consumer privacy on the Internet,
because it reflects these principles.
Because we share your objective of comprehensive protection for
the Internet user, we believe that the rules set forth in S. 1055
should apply to public sector websites as well. We have seen cases
where data collected from the public by government agencies has
been transferred, without the consent of the parties supplying
the data, to private sector entities for commercial purposes.
I would take this opportunity to submit for the Subcommittee's
consideration a letter signed by Mr. Bill Archey, President and
CEO of the American Electronics Association, that expresses the
positive views of that very important organization on the provisions
of Title I of your bill. I also ask for inclusion in the record
of the testimony of Mr. Jeff Nicol, Customer Privacy Manager at
Intel, which was previously provided to the Committee and which
I have appended to my statement.
That concludes my remarks. I will be glad to answer any questions
the members of the Subcommittee may have.