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Privacy

The Internet is the essential tool for communications, work, education, civic engagement, and maintaining connections with friends and family. More Americans than ever before are engaging with the digital world. With this increased online presence, however, comes greater exposure to data collection and usage practices that are potentially harmful to one’s data privacy, such as location data monetization, facial image scraping, and online profiling and tracking.

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is the President’s Principal advisor on telecommunications and information policy issues. In this role, NTIA studies and develops policy on the impact of the Internet on privacy. Recognizing these challenges, NTIA is committed to:

  • Ensuring everyone in America benefits from strong privacy protections and safeguards against misuse and exploitation of their data.
  • Protecting the privacy of the most vulnerable among us, ensuring that those who are at the greatest risk are shielded from predatory practices.
  • Establishing the United States as a global leader in online privacy, setting a standard for the protection of individual rights.

NTIA will advance policies that not only respond to current issues but anticipate and mitigate future privacy challenges. Through active collaboration with stakeholders across government, industry, and civil society, NTIA aims to develop robust privacy frameworks that foster innovation while ensuring that digital technologies uphold and strengthen democratic values for a safer, more secure digital future for all Americans.

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Privacy, Equity, and Civil Rights Discussion Roundtables

May 20, 2024
On May 16, 2024, and May 17, 2024, NTIA hosted two discussion sessions in support of the agency’s ongoing work exploring the intersection of privacy, equity, and civil rights. These discussion sessions followed on a Request for Comment issued by NTIA in January, 2023 on how companies’ data practices may impose outsized harm on marginalized or underserved communities, and the ways in which firms collect, share, and use data can exacerbate existing structural inequities. As NTIA prepares a report with findings and recommendations, the sessions provided an opportunity to hear from stakeholders about any potential new developments or concerns on the topic.
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Privacy, Equity, and Civil Rights Request for Comment

January 18, 2023
Docket Number
230103-0001

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) requests comments addressing issues at the intersection of privacy, equity, and civil rights. The comments, along with information gathered through the three listening sessions that NTIA held on this topic, will inform a report on whether and how commercial data practices can lead to disparate impacts and outcomes for marginalized or disadvantaged communities.

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NTIA Launches Inquiry on how Data Practices Affect Civil Rights

January 18, 2023

WASHINGTON – The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) today announced a Request for Comment on how companies’ data practices may impose outsized harm on marginalized or underserved communities.

The ways in which firms collect, share, and use data can exacerbate existing structural inequities. As NTIA notes in its Privacy, Equity, and Civil Rights Request for Comment:

Online job ads may be targeted based on real or perceived demographic characteristics such as age, sex, or race – reaching certain groups while ignoring others.

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