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WASHINGTON — Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) told a Telecommunications
Industry Association convention crowd in Dallas last Thursday
that they were going to have to come up with an online privacy
self-regulatory regime or government was going to do it for them.

Her words were not a threat, but a warning. She does not favor
regulation, and in fact said that self-regulation offers “the only
path to a palatable solution.”

She also said she wanted the FCC out of the privacy area, and
would introduce a fill to repeal some of its authority.

“[T]hough you dazzle consumers with your ends, you also frighten
us with your means,” she said. “The lifecycle of recent data breaches
and the lag time in appropriate consumer notifi cation is a trend that I
fear perpetuates industry’s ‘culture of damage control.’ ”

While Blackburn isn’t looking for an active Federal Trade Commission,
she does say that it, not the FCC, should be wielding the
authority in that space. “The FTC has the experience and expertise
in this area and, therefore, should have full jurisdiction,” she
said. “The FCC’s claim that it knows best how to identify ‘potential
harm’ to our competitive market is fatally misguided.”