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The Federal Role in Privacy: Getting It Right

The Internet has substantially expanded demand for privacy. In addition to long-standing privacy interests for financial records, medical records, educational records, and other information, the internet has created a new range of privacy concerns from stalking to identity theft. To meet these and other new concerns, Congress considers many new privacy bills, and practically every federal agency has new rules on privacy.

Amidst the many urgent efforts to do “something” to address privacy concerns, few people have asked, much less answered, some central questions: What should be the federal role in privacy? How much should the federal government rely on regulation—and how much on market forces—to ensure privacy?

To answer these and related questions, Hudson Institute’s Center for the Economics of the Internet welcomed Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen of the Federal Trade Commission.

Prior to joining the Commission, Ohlhausen was a partner at Wilkinson Barker Knauer, LLP, where she focused on FTC issues, including privacy, data protection, and cybersecurity. Ohlhausen previously served at the Commission for 11 years, most recently as Director of the Office of Policy Planning from 2004 to 2008, where she led the FTC’s Internet Access Task Force. Ohlhausen was on the adjunct faculty at George Mason University School of Law, where she taught privacy law and unfair trade practices. She has authored a variety of articles on competition law, privacy, and technology matters.

Harold Furchtgott-Roth, Moderator

Hudson Senior Fellow and Director, Center for Economics of the Internet

Maureen Olhausen, Panelist

Commissioner, Federal Trade Commission

Hudson Experts

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