TechFreedom President Berin Szoka filed comments on the NTIA’s Multistakeholder Process to Develop Consumer Data Privacy Codes of Conduct . The following statement can be attributed to Szoka:

The White House Report wisely recognizes that the “flexibility, speed, and decentralization necessary to address Internet policy challenges”  can come only from self-regulation.

But avoiding “failure by design” in the multistakeholder process envisioned by NTIA depends on the following questions: (1) What role will government play?; (2) Just how “open” and “transparent” must the process be?; (3) How may civil society groups participate in the process?; (4) By whom will self-regulatory codes of conduct be subject to approval?; (5) Regardless of who votes, what will be the mechanism for voting?; (6) Will there be a shot clock for the process?; (7) How will the initial selection of issues work? and (8) How exactly will self-regulatory codes of conduct be updated?

In particular, if industry is to reach consensus on improving privacy practices, they must be able to negotiate in private. Moreover, if self-regulation is to deliver the “flexibility, speed, and decentralization” necessary to forge workable privacy protections that also promote innovation, as the White House hopes, it must be up to industry to vote on codes of conduct. Privacy advocates can certainly inform and shape the outcome of the self-regulatory process even without voting on its outcome.

Read Szoka’s full comments here.

Szoka is available for comment at .