Submission Number: 00202
Received: 12/29/2010 9:09:56 AM
Commenter: Mike Tully
Organization: Aerial Services, Inc.
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Initiative: A Preliminary FTC Staff Report on "Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change: A Proposed Framework for Businesses and Policymakers"
Attachments: No Attachments
I respectfully urge the FTC NOT implement the proposed regulation. It will have a harmful affect on firms in the private geospatial community and impose unneeded, harmful, and over-reaching Federal regulations on citizens and businesses.
Specifically, the FTC report uses the term “precise geolocation information” or “precise geolocation data”. This term must not be used without “precise” definition. DROP the term. Using it will would adversely impact consumers, geospatial firms, and government programs. My firm is particularly concerned that this term was not defined in the FTC staff report and the proposed regulations will have broad and harmful unintended consequences.
The use of the term “geolocation” or other geospatial relevant terminology that appear in the FTC regulations will impose a significant new liability on my firm. It regulates areas of the economy and geospatial activities that have NOT been identified as a problem or pose any privacy concern to citizens.
The regulations could thwart common, legitimate, and emerging uses of geospatial data for emergency response/post disaster remediation, insurance, environmental protection, E-911 & ambulance services, fleet management, mapping, home security, navigation, mortgage foreclosure monitoring/early warning system, and others. Moreover, activities, technologies, and applications could be deemed illegal. For example, it would be impractical, if not impossible, for my firm to obtain prior approval or consent from individual citizens prior to acquiring or making products or providing services using data such as satellite imagery, aerial photography, or parcel, address, or transportation data. The FTC regulation would effectively ban my firm, or our clients, from important value-added, integration and application activities.
Finally, any such FTC regulation could put U.S. companies at a significant and insurmountable competitive disadvantage against foreign firms that may not be covered by that regulation, or for which enforcement would be impractical.
FTC should provide limited and reasonable privacy protections to individual citizens; however, it should not use the undefined term “precise geolocation” and limit the geospatial community’s ability to grow, prosper, and bring to the market those technologies and applications that meet the economic demands of consumers and citizens.