FTC Issues Preliminary Staff Report Regarding Consumer Privacy and Seeks Comments on Proposal by January 31, 2011: On December 1, 2010, the FTC proposed a framework for how companies that collect consumer data should protect consumers’ privacy. Entitled “Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change,” the proposed framework would apply broadly to online and offline commercial entities that collect, maintain, share, or otherwise use consumer data that can be linked to a specific consumer, computer, or device. The proposed framework contains three components: (1) “privacy by design” pursuant to which companies would build privacy protections into their everyday business practices; (2) notice and choice to consumers about a company’s data practices in a simpler, more streamlined manner than has been done in the past; and (3) improved transparency of all data practices, including those of non-consumer facing businesses. The FTC has proposed various protections to implement each of these three components. As one example, with regard to consumer choice, the FTC has proposed “Do Not Track,” which would require companies to include a setting, similar to a cookie, on a consumer’s browser that would signal the consumer’s choices about being tracked and receiving targeted ads. The FTC seeks comments on the proposed framework and the protections contained therein by January 31, 2011.