PRESS GAGGLE BY PRESS SECRETARY JAY CARNEY REGARDING PRESIDENT KARZAI OBAMA’S APOLOGY TO IRAN’S PRESIDENT
PRESS GAGGLE BY
PRESS SECRETARY JAY CARNEY
EN ROUTE MIAMI, FLORIDA
Aboard Air Force One
Q What’s the precedent for apologizing when the military has already apologized?
MR. CARNEY: Well, in this case, again, the President was — had been — had a conversation with President Karzai the day before he was — in a follow-up to that conversation, wrote an extensive letter on a number of topics, including the Afghan-led reconciliation process and our bilateral relationship with Afghanistan, in which he included an expression of his regret and apologies for the inappropriate and inadvertent mishandling of religious materials.
I would note that one of my predecessors, Dana Perino, the Press Secretary for President George W. Bush, following an incident in which an American serviceman apparently shot or did damage to a Koran in 2008, she expressed apologies on behalf of the President. And that’s appropriate for the same reason, because our concern — this President’s concern, as was surely the case with President Bush, is the safety and security of our men and women in uniform, as well as our civilians in Afghanistan.
And one of the reasons that it’s appropriate to express our sincere apologies for this incident is that the kind of reaction that it can cause risks putting our men and women in harm’s way, or in further risk than they already are. So I think that precedent is a useful one to look at.
President Obama Announces New White House Director of Intergovernmental Affairs David Agnew
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the White House announced that current Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs David Agnew will now serve as the Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs. Mr. Agnew will oversee the Obama Administration’s relationship with state, county, local, and tribal officials across the country.
“I’m pleased to announce David Agnew as the new Director of Intergovernmental Affairs. A strong nation requires strong partnerships with our state, local, and tribal officials and I am confident that David will bring their voices and the voices of the people they represent into the White House,” said President Obama.
Since January 2009, Mr. Agnew served as Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, working to strengthen the partnership with our nation’s mayors, county leaders, and other local officials.
Prior to joining the White House, Agnew was a businessman and community leader in Charleston, South Carolina. He has served as a top deputy to Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr., a Special Assistant in the Office of U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, and a management consultant at Price Waterhouse. Mr. Agnew has been active in public affairs and urban policy throughout his career, and has served in leadership roles for numerous non-profit organizations, including the South Carolina Trust for Public Land, the Charleston Parks Conservancy, and the College of Charleston Riley Center. Mr. Agnew received his Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He is a Harry S. Truman Scholar, a European Union Visiting Fellow, and a Liberty Fellow.
Fact Sheet: The United States and Denmark – NATO Allies and Global Partners
President Obama hosted Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt for a meeting in the Oval Office on February 24. Denmark has the distinction of being the only Nordic country that is a member of both NATO and the European Union (EU), making it an especially valuable partner of the United States in a wide variety of endeavors in Europe and around the world. Denmark currently holds the rotating EU Presidency until the end of June.
Defense and Security Cooperation: As NATO allies, the United States and Denmark are committed to each other’s security and stand together in critical crisis areas worldwide.
- · Libya: Denmark was among the first and most active participants in the UN-authorized NATO military intervention to protect Libyan civilians. It deployed F-16s during the entire seven-month civilian protection mission.
- · Afghanistan: Denmark is a key contributor to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), currently providing 650 combat troops operating without national caveats in one of the most challenging areas of the country. Denmark will continue to play a strong role in Helmand Province providing military forces through 2014 and other training and development assets beyond that date. Since 2002, it has given approximately $530 million in bilateral development assistance to Afghanistan.
- · NATO Capabilities: Denmark is one of NATO’s most capable allies. The United States welcomes its interest in leading the Smart Defense initiative to purchase jointly and stockpile munitions, which will cut costs and improve efficiency.
- · Bilateral Defense Cooperation: The United States and Danish militaries enjoy a very high level of interoperability; many Danish officers, including all its pilots, have trained in the United States.
- · Missile Defense: The United States and Denmark cooperate actively in implementing the European Phased Adaptive Approach. The Kingdom of Denmark is home to U.S. early-warning radar at Thule Air Base in Greenland and hosted the 2011 multinational missile-defense conference, where NATO focused on strengthening cooperation to protect our populations and territory from ballistic missiles.
- · Counter-Piracy: Denmark is one of the world’s main seafaring nations (some 10 percent of global shipping moves in Danish-owned or –operated ships), and as such, is a leader in international efforts to counter piracy off the coast of Somalia, chairing an international working group on legal issues and twice commanding an international naval task force. Denmark has made significant contributions, including maritime patrol aircraft, to the NATO-led counter-piracy operation.
- · Security and Capacity-Building Cooperation Against Terrorism: Denmark is one of the United States’ strongest and most dynamic counterterrorism partners. Denmark is a member of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), a major multilateral initiative to strengthen the international architecture to deal with 21st century terrorism. Denmark is particularly active in the Forum’s work in the Sahel and the Horn of Africa.
- · Nuclear Security Summit: The United States and Denmark will participate in the March 26-27 Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul. Both countries support efforts to lock down vulnerable nuclear material and acknowledge the important actions of the IAEA and multilateral initiatives such as the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism to reduce the threat of nuclear terrorism.
- · Law Enforcement: U.S. and Danish authorities enjoy excellent cooperation encompassing a wide range of law-enforcement issues, including cyber, drug, fraud, fugitive, gang-violence, and online child-predator matters.
Diplomatic Cooperation and Global Development: Denmark is one of the world’s most active and generous providers of international development assistance and an active partner with the United States in addressing challenges around the globe.
- · Development Assistance: Denmark gave approximately $2.9 billion in development assistance in 2010, which was 0.9 percent of GDP; the new government has pledged to raise it to even greater levels.
- · Women’s Entrepreneurship: On December 14, the United States, Denmark and Goldman Sachs announced at the World Bank a public-private partnership to support women’s entrepreneurship, starting with a pilot phase in Tanzania. The partnership will build on Goldman Sachs’s “10,000 Women” initiative and the U.S. State Department’s program for female entrepreneurs.
- · Women in Global Security: The U.S. Embassy in Copenhagen and the Danish Foreign Ministry co-hosted a regional conference on the Role of Women in Global Security in October 2010, drawing high-level participation from the Nordic and Baltic states, the U.S., NATO, and three focus countries: Afghanistan, Uganda and Liberia.
- · Democratization: Both countries cooperate in supporting democratization efforts in the Middle East and North Africa. Denmark provided funding totaling about $46 million in 2011.
- · Bilateral Cooperation: Danish Minister for Development Cooperation Christian Friis Bach and USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah were signatories of a Joint Statement by Development Ministers leading up to the Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, South Korea. The Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has agreed to co-host a USAID conference focused on the Horn of Africa in March in Nairobi, Kenya.
Economic, Energy and Environmental Cooperation: The robust U.S.-Danish economic partnership creates jobs, is helping to build a sustainable energy economy, and advances scientific research in the Arctic.
- · Trade, Investment, and Jobs: The United States is Denmark’s largest trading partner outside the European Union. Total bilateral trade in goods and services was approximately $25 billion in 2010. Danish direct investment in the U.S. was $9.9 billion in 2010. More than 250 Danish companies have subsidiaries in the U.S. employing over 35,000 Americans.
- · Green Growth: Denmark is the only net exporter of energy in the EU and a global leader in energy efficiency and renewable energy technology. The United States and Denmark work closely in multiple fora, including the Clean Energy Ministerial, to build the foundation for a sustainable global energy economy.
Ø In October, Denmark hosted the first Global Green Growth Forum, a high-level gathering of international business, governmental and research leaders seeking to promote green economy issues.
Ø The U.S. Embassy in Copenhagen and the Danish employers’ federation jointly facilitated matchmaking between American and Danish clean-tech companies at two Green Partnership events (May 2010 in Copenhagen, September 2011 in Washington D.C.), to create opportunities to export clean energy technology to markets around the world.
- · Scientific Cooperation: The U.S. and Denmark entered into a bilateral Science and Technology agreement in 2009. The U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the Technical University of Denmark have jointly led research to design more efficient wind energy systems since 2007, and are expanding their efforts to other renewable-energy and energy-efficiency technologies. Danish and U.S. health authorities have a history of cooperation on such topics as health information technology, communicable and non-communicable diseases, antimicrobial resistance and improving health care quality in hospital and primary care settings. In 2006, Denmark opened its Innovation Center in Silicon Valley, accelerating the entry of Danish companies into Silicon Valley and promoting U.S. investments in Denmark.
- · Arctic Collaboration: The United States and Denmark are both members of the Arctic Council (AC). The Kingdom of Denmark released a comprehensive 2011-2020 Arctic Strategy late last year that calls for environmentally-sustainable development achieved through close cooperation with Arctic nations.
Ø Denmark and Greenland hosted the AC foreign ministers’ meeting in Nuuk, Greenland in May 2011, where the AC’s first legally-binding agreement was signed, dealing with Cooperation on Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue in the Arctic. Denmark, the United States and other AC countries agreed to develop plans for ecosystem-based management of the Arctic Ocean.
Ø The U.S.-Denmark-Greenland Joint Committee (JC) promotes action-based cooperation on a wide range of scientific, environmental, economic, commercial and educational matters. A wide range of U.S. government agencies are active in Greenland, in close collaboration with Danish and Greenlandic counterparts.
- · Climate Change: Denmark is a leader in addressing climate change. It pledged $207 million for fast-start climate finance for 2010-2012. The current government has announced a unilateral goal of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 40 percent by 2020. An impetus is green growth, particularly given increased global wind technology competition. Denmark’s global export of clean technologies peaked in 2008 at approximately $11.8 billion.
Ø As president of the UN’s 15th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP-15) in December 2009, Denmark hosted President Obama and some 120 heads of state and government along with 24,000 people, the largest-ever gathering associated with international climate negotiations. The resulting Copenhagen Accord has paved the way for agreement in Cancun and Durban on a new framework to address climate change that includes action from developed and developing countries.
Ø Denmark takes an active role in low-emissions development strategies (LEDS), encouraging developing countries’ transition to low-emission, climate-resilient economies. In December 2010, Denmark joined an initiative with the Alliance of Small Island States, the World Bank and the UN Development Program, and pledged $14.5 million to kick off the initiative.
Educational and Cultural Ties: Traditionally close relations between our two societies continue to grow stronger through regular educational and cultural exchange.
- · Educational Exchange:
Ø Since 2009, the U.S. Embassy in Copenhagen has seen a 46 percent increase in student visa applications and a 22 percent increase in exchange visitor applications.
Ø More than 3,400 visas were issued to Danish students traveling to the United States on academic exchanges and for long-term study in 2011.
Ø Last year marked the 60th anniversary of the Fulbright program in Denmark. Since 1951, more than 2,000 Danes have been educated in the United States and more than 1,000 Americans in Denmark on Fulbright scholarships, including Senior Advisor to the Prime Minister Noa Reddington, chairman of the parliamentary Foreign Policy Committee Jeppe Kofod, and former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Economy Niels Helveg Petersen.
Ø The State Department has a unique online partnership with the Danish educational system, which disseminates information about the United States to Danish schools.
- · Cultural Exchange:
Ø As one of the leading Jazz centers of Europe, Denmark has been home to many American Jazz icons such as Dexter Gordon and Ben Webster, and continues to attract leading American Jazz artists today.
Ø The Royal Danish Ballet maintains close ties to the American Ballet community and tours frequently in the United States, including last year during Queen Margrethe II’s visit.
Ø Since gaining a national profile for itself in the 1980s, Danish cinema continues to be celebrated in the United States. Last year, Susanne Bier became the third Danish director to win an Academy Award.
White House to Host The American Heart Association and WomenHeart as part of the Community Leaders Briefing Series
White House to Host The American Heart Association and WomenHeart as part of the Community Leaders Briefing Series
WASHINGTON, DC – Tomorrow, February 24th, in celebration of American Heart Month, the White House Office of Public Engagement will host the American Heart Association and WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease, as part of the White House Community Leaders Briefing Series. One hundred and fifty American Heart Association and WomenHeart volunteers, members, advocates, and staff from across the country will attend this briefing for individuals and organizations who work to raise awareness among women about their risk of cardiovascular disease.
The White House Community Leaders Briefing Series, a weekly program that began in the summer of 2011, is a unique opportunity for grassroots leaders to have a two-way dialogue with the White House about issues that are affecting their communities and to ensure that they are well-informed about government policies and programs and how they can use or maximize these resources.
“The American Heart Association and WomenHeart are key partners in our efforts to win the fight against heart disease and educate people about this critical public health challenge,” said Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement Jon Carson. “We’re looking forward to having them here at the White House to discuss ways to take action against a disease that takes the lives of over half a million Americans every year.”
To watch this event live, visit www.whitehouse.gov/live from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM ET on Friday, February 24th.
The following individuals will be participants at the Community Leaders Briefing tomorrow:
Emery Miller- Chandler, AZ
Emery, now 13 years old, was born with congenital heart defects. The morning after his birth, the doctors informed his parents he had several valve issues, aortic stenosis, ventricular septal defect and rhythm issues. Throughout his young life, Emery has had four open heart surgeries, and his fifth is scheduled for shortly after the White House Community Leaders Briefing. Emery has been in and out of hospitals across the nation. He has become an outspoken advocate for heart research and loves sharing his story throughout his community.
Celeste Maria Philip- Daytona Beach Shores, FL
Celeste is a family and preventive medicine physician who has seen the effects of cardiovascular disease first hand through her work with patients and her own experiences with family members. She has dedicated her career to prevention and public health, with a special focus on the elimination of health disparities. Through her position with the Florida Department of Health, she is working with communities to increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables, including starting a school garden and developing farmers markets that accept Florida’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, SNAP.
Jose’ Rafael Maldonado- Columbia, MD
José lives his motto:“There is Life after Stroke”. Since suffering from a stroke over 9 years ago at the age of 48, he has re-learned how to speak, read, and write. He has dedicated his time to counseling several stroke survivor groups throughout his state and is a founding member of the Maryland Stroke Association. José is also featured as part of the CDC’s Million Hearts initiative (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=poc1eTuJJfc) and he has volunteered for several stroke-related clinical studies at the NIH, VA, University of Maryland and the Kennedy Krieger Institute.
Michelle Tipton- Beulah, ND
In 1999 Michelle’s oldest son died of cardiac arrest at the age of 17. Autopsy and toxicology reports revealed no reason for cardiac arrest. Eleven months after his death, Michelle and her youngest son were diagnosed with Long QT Syndrome, which resulted in both of them having cardioverter defibrillators implanted. Michelle stepped forward during the healthcare reform discussion to share her story, and the difficult choice her young adult son was making between cost of college and having healthcare coverage. Michelle has also been a strong advocate for the placement of AEDs in public places, the passage of Good Samaritan laws, and research funding to learn more about genetic heart conditions like the one that has affected her family.
Jack Simono- Two Rivers, WI
Jack has been a marathon runner and a daily jogger for over 30 years, yet he has severe heart disease. Jack’s cholesterol level without medication, even with exercise, was over 400, and he now has 4 stents. Both his mother and father had heart disease and the majority of his siblings do as well. Jack is on a mission to get the word out that even when your genetics are stacked against you, heart disease does not have be the devastating and costly disease that it is for so many people. He is a strong advocate for a healthier diet and exercise starting at a young age and regularly shares his story in his community to encourage others to know their risk factors.
Statement by the Press Secretary on the Case of Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani
The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms reports that Iranian authorities’ reaffirmed a death sentence for Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani for the sole reason of his refusal to recant his Christian faith. This action is yet another shocking breach of Iran’s international obligations, its own constitution, and stated religious values. The United States stands in solidarity with Pastor Nadarkhani, his family, and all those who seek to practice their religion without fear of persecution—a fundamental and universal human right. The trial and sentencing process for Pastor Nadarkhani demonstrates the Iranian government’s total disregard for religious freedom, and further demonstrates Iran’s continuing violation of the universal rights of its citizens. The United States calls upon the Iranian authorities to immediately lift the sentence, release Pastor Nadarkhani, and demonstrate a commitment to basic, universal human rights, including freedom of religion. The United States renews its calls for people of conscience and governments around the world to reach out to Iranian authorities and demand Pastor Nadarkhani’s immediate release.
ADMINISTRATION RELEASES PRESIDENT’S FRAMEWORK FOR BUSINESS TAX REFORM TO ENHANCE AMERICA’S COMPETITIVENESS
ADMINISTRATION RELEASES PRESIDENT’S FRAMEWORK FOR BUSINESS TAX REFORM TO ENHANCE AMERICA’S COMPETITIVENESS
Framework Would Simplify the Tax Code, Eliminate Dozens of Tax Loopholes and Subsidies, and Incentivize Job Creation, Investment at Home
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury today released the President’s framework for reforming the U.S. business tax system, which would enhance American competitiveness by simplifying the tax code and eliminating dozens of tax loopholes and subsidies, incentivizing job creation and investment here at home and lowering the business rate while broadening the tax base.
“In order to make us more competitive and create jobs here at home, we must reform our corporate tax code,” said Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. “The President’s framework would boost growth and provide American companies with incentives to invest in the U.S. while simplifying and cutting taxes for our small businesses.”
Under the current tax system, the United States will soon have the highest statutory corporate tax rate among developed countries, within a system that features a large number of tax expenditures for special interests. This puts American businesses—especially those in areas like manufacturing that are subject to more intense international competition—at a disadvantage. And this system is also unnecessarily complicated for America’s small businesses.
For these reasons, the current business tax system is uncompetitive, unfair, and inefficient—distorting choices about where to produce, what to invest in, how to finance a business, and how to incorporate. As a result, the U.S. business tax system does too little to encourage job creation and investment in the United States and creates too many opportunities that encourage shifting production and profits overseas.
The President’s framework for reform seeks to address those deficiencies in a way that is fiscally responsible. The details put forward today also make clear that the Administration is committed to working with experts, stakeholders and lawmakers on a bipartisan basis to enact tax reform, including business tax reform that improves the tax treatment of a range of businesses from large corporations to small businesses and does so with fewer tax expenditures, less complexity and lower rates without adding to the deficit.
This report describes the current state of the U.S. business tax system and lays out a framework for reform that includes five major elements:
1. Eliminate dozens of tax loopholes and subsidies, broaden the base and cut the corporate tax rate to spur growth in America: The framework eliminates dozens of different tax expenditures and fundamentally reforms the business tax base to reduce distortions that hurt productivity and growth. It reinvests these savings to lower the corporate tax rate to 28 percent, putting the United States in line with major competitor countries and encouraging greater investment.
2. Strengthen American manufacturing and innovation: The framework would refocus the manufacturing deduction and use the savings to reduce the effective rate on manufacturing to no more than 25 percent, while encouraging greater research and development and the production of clean energy.
3. Strengthen the international tax system, including establishing a new minimum tax on foreign earnings, to encourage domestic investment: Our tax system should not give companies an incentive to locate production overseas or engage in accounting games to shift profits abroad, eroding the U.S. tax base. Introducing the principle of a minimum tax on foreign earnings would help address these problems and discourage a global race to the bottom in tax rates.
4. Simplify and cut taxes for America’s small businesses: Tax reform should make tax filing simpler for small businesses and entrepreneurs so that they can focus on growing their businesses rather than filling out tax returns.
5. Restore fiscal responsibility and not add a dime to the deficit: Business tax reform should be fully paid for and lead to greater fiscal responsibility than our current business tax system by either eliminating or making permanent and fully paying for temporary tax provisions now in the tax code.
To view the President’s framework for reforming business taxation, please visit this link.
The Obama Administration’s Plan to Protect Privacy in the Internet Age by Adopting a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights
Plan to Protect Privacy in the Internet Age by Adopting a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights
The Obama Administration unveiled a “Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights” as part of a comprehensive blueprint to protect individual privacy rights and give users more control over how their information is handled. This initiative seeks to protect all Americans from having their information misused by giving users new legal and technical tools to safeguard their privacy. The blueprint will guide efforts to protect privacy and assure continued innovation in the Internet economy by providing flexible implementation mechanisms to ensure privacy rules keep up with ever-changing technologies. As a world leader in the Internet marketplace, the Administration believes the United States has a special responsibility to develop privacy practices that meet global standards and establish effective online consumer protection.
- · Putting in place a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights: The Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) will soon convene Internet companies and consumer advocates to develop enforceable codes of conduct that comply with the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, building on strong enforcement by the Federal Trade Commission. The Administration will also work with Congress to enact comprehensive privacy legislation based on the rights outlined here.
- · Achieving privacy policies for a Global, Open Internet: U.S. companies doing business on the global Internet depend on the free flow of information across borders. The Administration’s plan lays the groundwork for increasing interoperability between the U.S. data privacy framework and those of our trading partners.
- · Industry Action – Down payment on Individual Control principle: In response to calls from the Administration and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), leading Internet companies and online advertising networks are committing to use Do Not Track technology from the World Wide Web Consortium in most major web browsers to make it easier for users to control online tracking. Companies that represent the delivery of nearly 90 percent of online behavioral advertisements, including Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft, and AOL have made this FTC-enforceable commitment.
President’s Commitment to Protecting Privacy on the Internet
The President will assure strong individual privacy protection in the Internet age with the following actions:
- · Putting in place a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights: American Internet users should have the right to control personal information about themselves. Based on globally accepted privacy principles originally developed in the United States, the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights is a comprehensive statement of the rights consumers should expect and the obligations to which companies handling personal data should commit. These rights include the right to control how personal data is used, the right to avoid having information collected in one context and then used for an unrelated purpose, the right to have information held securely, and the right to know who is accountable for the use or misuse of an individual’s personal data.
- · Convening commercial and public interest stakeholders to assure dynamic rules: The Commerce Department’s NTIA will convene stakeholders including industry and privacy advocates to develop enforceable codes of conduct that implement the principles in the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights for specific industry sectors. The President’s privacy framework assures that as new Internet services develop privacy rules will keep up with, and not hamper, the pace of innovation. This framework takes advantage of the flexibility of self-regulatory processes but assures that new codes of conduct are guided by a comprehensive, forward-looking set of privacy principles and that all interested parties such as consumer advocates have a voice in the process.
- · Strong Enforcement by the Federal Trade Commission: FTC enforcement is critical to ensuring that companies are accountable for adhering to their privacy commitments and that bad actors do not disadvantage responsible companies. The Administration expects that a company’s public commitment to adhere to a code of conduct will be enforceable under existing FTC authority, just as a company is bound today to follow its privacy commitments. In addition, the Administration will work with Congress to develop legislation that provides the FTC and State Attorneys General with specific authority to enforce the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights.
- · Flexible privacy principles to assure continued innovation: Relying on flexible implementation through enforceable codes of conduct, the Administration’s privacy blueprint will help assure continued growth in the Internet economy, both by building consumer trust and avoiding burden. Online retail sales in the United States total $145 billion annually. The Internet contributed 3.8 percent of U.S. GDP in 2009, and 15 percent of U.S. GDP growth between 2004 and 2009. The Internet contributes $175 billion in direct economic value to the rest of the U.S. economy, including $20 billion in advertising services, $85 billion in online retail transactions, and $70 billion in direct payments to Internet service providers.
- · Enacting comprehensive privacy legislation: The Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights outlines the basic principles the Administration believes should be reflected in a privacy law and will work with Congress to enact these rights. In addition to proposing these clear and actionable rights, the Administration’s privacy report outlines an a way for companies to be confident that they are respecting these rights through an FTC-approved enforcement safe harbor. This approach will protect consumers while providing the certainty and flexibility necessary for continuing innovation.
- · Achieving Global Open Internet privacy policies: U.S. companies doing business on the global Internet depend on the free flow of information across borders. The Administration’s plan lays the groundwork for increasing interoperability between the U.S. data privacy framework and those of our trading partners. The plan emphasizes mutual recognition of privacy frameworks, an international role for codes of conduct, and enforcement cooperation. These approaches will provide consistent protections for consumers, reduce compliance costs for companies, guide U.S. efforts to clarify data protections globally, and ensure the flexibility that is critical to innovation in the commercial world.
Building on Progress
The President’s initiatives for Internet privacy build on successful, transparent engagement with privacy stakeholders in the commercial and advocacy communities, coordinated by a privacy subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council with cross-Administration participation.
- · Demonstrating global leadership: In May 2011, the President released his International Strategy for Cyberspace, which has influenced new international agreements, such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Internet Policymaking Principles.
- · Nominating a Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board: The President has nominated a full slate of members of the independent privacy body that will provide guidance and oversight of government use of personal information in the counter-terrorism and law enforcement context.
CONSUMER PRIVACY BILL OF RIGHTS
The Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights applies to personal data, which means any data, including aggregations of data, that is linkable to a specific individual. Personal data may include data that is linked to a specific computer or other device. The Administration supports Federal legislation that adopts the principles of the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights. Even without legislation, the Administration will convene multistakeholder processes that use these rights as a template for codes of conduct that are enforceable by the Federal Trade Commission. These elements—the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, codes of conduct, and strong enforcement—will increase interoperability between the U.S. consumer data privacy framework and those of our international partners.
- Individual Control: Consumers have a right to exercise control over what personal data companies collect from them and how they use it. Companies should provide consumers appropriate control over the personal data that consumers share with others and over how companies collect, use, or disclose personal data. Companies should enable these choices by providing consumers with easily used and accessible mechanisms that reflect the scale, scope, and sensitivity of the personal data that they collect, use, or disclose, as well as the sensitivity of the uses they make of personal data. Companies should offer consumers clear and simple choices, presented at times and in ways that enable consumers to make meaningful decisions about personal data collection, use, and disclosure. Companies should offer consumers means to withdraw or limit consent that are as accessible and easily used as the methods for granting consent in the first place.
- Transparency: Consumers have a right to easily understandable and accessible information about privacy and security practices. At times and in places that are most useful to enabling consumers to gain a meaningful understanding of privacy risks and the ability to exercise Individual Control, companies should provide clear descriptions of what personal data they collect, why they need the data, how they will use it, when they will delete the data or de-identify it from consumers, and whether and for what purposes they may share personal data with third parties.
- Respect for Context: Consumers have a right to expect that companies will collect, use, and disclose personal data in ways that are consistent with the context in which consumers provide the data. Companies should limit their use and disclosure of personal data to those purposes that are consistent with both the relationship that they have with consumers and the context in which consumers originally disclosed the data, unless required by law to do otherwise. If companies will use or disclose personal data for other purposes, they should provide heightened Transparency and Individual Control by disclosing these other purposes in a manner that is prominent and easily actionable by consumers at the time of data collection. If, subsequent to collection, companies decide to use or disclose personal data for purposes that are inconsistent with the context in which the data was disclosed, they must provide heightened measures of Transparency and Individual Choice. Finally, the age and familiarity with technology of consumers who engage with a company are important elements of context. Companies should fulfill the obligations under this principle in ways that are appropriate for the age and sophistication of consumers. In particular, the principles in the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights may require greater protections for personal data obtained from children and teenagers than for adults.
- Security: Consumers have a right to secure and responsible handling of personal data. Companies should assess the privacy and security risks associated with their personal data practices and maintain reasonable safeguards to control risks such as loss; unauthorized access, use, destruction, or modification; and improper disclosure.
- Access and Accuracy: Consumers have a right to access and correct personal data in usable formats, in a manner that is appropriate to the sensitivity of the data and the risk of adverse consequences to consumers if the data is inaccurate. Companies should use reasonable measures to ensure they maintain accurate personal data. Companies also should provide consumers with reasonable access to personal data that they collect or maintain about them, as well as the appropriate means and opportunity to correct inaccurate data or request its deletion or use limitation. Companies that handle personal data should construe this principle in a manner consistent with freedom of expression and freedom of the press. In determining what measures they may use to maintain accuracy and to provide access, correction, deletion, or suppression capabilities to consumers, companies may also consider the scale, scope, and sensitivity of the personal data that they collect or maintain and the likelihood that its use may expose consumers to financial, physical, or other material harm.
- Focused Collection: Consumers have a right to reasonable limits on the personal data that companies collect and retain. Companies should collect only as much personal data as they need to accomplish purposes specified under the Respect for Context principle. Companies should securely dispose of or de-identify personal data once they no longer need it, unless they are under a legal obligation to do otherwise.
- Accountability: Consumers have a right to have personal data handled by companies with appropriate measures in place to assure they adhere to the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights. Companies should be accountable to enforcement authorities and consumers for adhering to these principles. Companies also should hold employees responsible for adhering to these principles. To achieve this end, companies should train their employees as appropriate to handle personal data consistently with these principles and regularly evaluate their performance in this regard. Where appropriate, companies should conduct full audits. Companies that disclose personal data to third parties should at a minimum ensure that the recipients are under enforceable contractual obligations to adhere to these principles, unless they are required by law to do otherwise.
We Can’t Wait: Obama Administration Unveils Blueprint for a “Privacy Bill of Rights” to Protect Consumers Online
We Can’t Wait: Obama Administration Unveils Blueprint for a “Privacy Bill of Rights” to Protect Consumers Online
Internet Advertising Networks Announces Commitment to “Do-Not-Track” Technology to Allow Consumers to Control Online Tracking
WASHINGTON, DC – The Obama Administration today unveiled a “Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights” as part of a comprehensive blueprint to improve consumers’ privacy protections and ensure that the Internet remains an engine for innovation and economic growth. The blueprint will guide efforts to give users more control over how their personal information is used on the Internet and to help businesses maintain consumer trust and grow in the rapidly changing digital environment. At the request of the White House, the Commerce Department will begin convening companies, privacy advocates and other stakeholders to develop and implement enforceable privacy policies based on the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights.
In addition, advertising networks announced that leading Internet companies and online advertising networks are committing to act on Do Not Track technology in most major web browsers to make it easier for users to control online tracking. Companies that represent the delivery of nearly 90 percent of online behavioral advertisements, including Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft, and AOL have agreed to comply when consumers choose to control online tracking. Companies that make this commitment will be subject to FTC enforcement.
“American consumers can’t wait any longer for clear rules of the road that ensure their personal information is safe online,” said President Obama. “As the Internet evolves, consumer trust is essential for the continued growth of the digital economy. That’s why an online privacy Bill of Rights is so important. For businesses to succeed online, consumers must feel secure. By following this blueprint, companies, consumer advocates and policymakers can help protect consumers and ensure the Internet remains a platform for innovation and economic growth.”
The advertising industry also committed not to release consumers’ browsing data to companies who might use it for purposes other than advertising, such as employers making hiring decisions or insurers determining coverage.
“It’s great to see that companies are stepping up to our challenge to protect privacy so consumers have greater choice and control over how they are tracked online. More needs to be done, but the work they have done so far is very encouraging,” said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz.
A Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights
The Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights is outlined in a report released today by the White House Consumer Data Privacy in a Networked World: A Framework for Protecting Privacy and Promoting Innovation in the Global Digital Economy.
“Every day, millions of Americans shop, sell, bank, learn, talk and work online. At the turn of the century, online retail sales were around $20 billion in the United States, now they’re nearing $200 billion,” said Secretary Bryson. “The Internet has become an engine of innovation, business growth, and job creation, so we need a strong foundation of clear protections for consumers, and a set of basic principles to help businesses guide their privacy and policy decisions. This privacy blueprint will do just that.”
The Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights provides a baseline of clear protections for consumers and greater certainty for businesses. The rights are:
- · Individual Control: Consumers have a right to exercise control over what personal data organizations collect from them and how they use it.
- · Transparency: Consumers have a right to easily understandable information about privacy and security practices.
- · Respect for Context: Consumers have a right to expect that organizations will collect, use, and disclose personal data in ways that are consistent with the context in which consumers provide the data.
- · Security: Consumers have a right to secure and responsible handling of personal data.
- · Access and Accuracy: Consumers have a right to access and correct personal data in usable formats, in a manner that is appropriate to the sensitivity of the data and the risk of adverse consequences to consumers if the data are inaccurate.
- · Focused Collection: Consumers have a right to reasonable limits on the personal data that companies collect and retain.
- · Accountability: Consumers have a right to have personal data handled by companies with appropriate measures in place to assure they adhere to the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights.
The Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights is one of four key elements of the report, which also includes a stakeholder-driven process to specify how these rights apply in particular business contexts; strong enforcement by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC); and greater interoperability between the United States’ privacy framework and those of our international partners.
In the coming weeks, the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration will convene stakeholders – including companies, privacy and consumer advocates, technical experts, international partners, and academics – to establish specific practices or codes of conduct that implement the general principles in the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights.
The Administration also will work with Congress to develop legislation based on these rights to promote trust in the digital economy and extend baseline privacy protections to commercial sectors that existing federal privacy laws do not cover.
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
University of Miami
2:26 P.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT: Hello, Miami! (Applause.) The U! (Applause.) It is good to see all of you here today. (Applause.)
I want to thank Erica for that outstanding introduction. She said her parents were tweeting. (Laughter.) We’re so proud of you, Erica.
I also want to thank your president, this country’s former Secretary of Health and Human Services, Donna Shalala. (Applause.) Senator Bill Nelson is here. Give him a big round of applause. (Applause.) Former astronaut — that’s too cool. (Laughter.) And my outstanding friend, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, is in the house. (Applause.)
It is good to be back in sunny Florida. (Applause.) I must say I don’t know how you guys go to class. (Laughter.) I’m assuming you do go to class. (Laughter.) It’s just too nice outside. But in another life, I would be staying for the Knicks-Heat game tonight — (applause) — then go up to Orlando for NBA All-Star Weekend. (Applause.) But these days, I’ve got a few other things on my plate. (Laughter.) Just a few.
I just got a fascinating demonstration of the work that some of you are doing at the College of Engineering. (Applause.) And let me say at the outset, we need more engineers. So I could not be prouder of those of you who are studying engineering.
It was fascinating stuff. I understood about 10 percent of what they told me. (Laughter.) But it was very impressive. (Laughter.) And the work couldn’t be more important, because what they were doing was figuring out how our buildings, our manufacturers, our businesses can waste less energy. And that’s one of the fastest, easiest ways to reduce our dependence on oil, and save a lot of money in the process and make our economy stronger.
So some cutting-edge stuff is being done right here at the U. (Applause.) Now, that’s what I’m here to talk about today. In the State of the Union, I laid out three areas where we need to focus if we want to build an economy that lasts and is good for the next generation, all of you. (Applause.) We need new American manufacturing. We’ve got to have new skills and education for America’s workers, and we need new sources of American-made energy.
Now, right now we are experiencing just another painful reminder of why developing new energy is so critical to our future. Just like last year, gas prices are climbing across the country. This time, it’s happening even earlier. And when gas prices go up, it hurts everybody — everybody who owns a car, everybody who owns a business. It means you’ve got to stretch a paycheck even further. It means you’ve got to find even more room in a budget that was already really tight. And some folks have no choice but to drive a long way to work, and high gas prices are like a tax straight out of your paycheck.
I got a letter last night — I get these letters, 10 letters every night that I read out of the 40,000 that are sent to me. And at least two of them said, I’m not sure I’m going to be able to keep my job if gas prices keep on going up so high, because it’s just hard to manage the budget and fill up the tank. A lot of folks are going through tough times as a consequence.
Now, some politicians they see this as a political opportunity. I know you’re shocked by that. (Laughter.) Last week, the lead story in one newspaper said, “Gasoline prices are on the rise and Republicans are licking their chops.” (Laughter.) That’s a quote. That was the lead. “Licking their chops.” Only in politics do people root for bad news, do they greet bad news so enthusiastically. You pay more; they’re licking their chops.
You can bet that since it’s an election year, they’re already dusting off their 3-point plan for $2 gas. And I’ll save you the suspense. Step one is to drill and step two is to drill. And then step three is to keep drilling. (Laughter.) We heard the same line in 2007 when I was running for President. We hear the same thing every year. We’ve heard the same thing for 30 years.
Well, the American people aren’t stupid. They know that’s not a plan, especially since we’re already drilling. That’s a bumper sticker. It’s not a strategy to solve our energy challenge. (Applause.) That’s a strategy to get politicians through an election.
You know there are no quick fixes to this problem. You know we can’t just drill our way to lower gas prices. If we’re going to take control of our energy future and can start avoiding these annual gas price spikes that happen every year — when the economy starts getting better, world demand starts increasing, turmoil in the Middle East or some other parts of the world — if we’re going to avoid being at the mercy of these world events, we’ve got to have a sustained, all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American energy. Yes, oil and gas, but also wind and solar and nuclear and biofuels, and more. (Applause.)
We need to keep developing the technology that allows us to use less oil in our cars and trucks, less energy for our buildings and our plants and our factories — that’s the strategy we’re pursuing. And that’s the only real solution to this challenge.
Now, it starts with the need for safe, responsible oil production here in America. We’re not going to transition out of oil anytime soon. And that’s why under my administration, America is producing more oil today than at any time in the last eight years. That’s why we have a record number of oilrigs operating right now — more working oil and gas rigs than the rest of the world combined.
Over the last three years my administration has approved dozens of new pipelines, including from Canada. And we’ve opened millions of acres for oil and gas exploration. All told we plan to make available more than 75 percent of our potential offshore oil and gas resources from Alaska to the Gulf of Mexico.
Last week, we announced the next steps towards further energy exploration in the Arctic. Earlier this week, we joined Mexico in an agreement that will make more than 1.5 million acres in the Gulf available for exploration and production, which contains an estimated 172 million barrels of oil and 304 billion cubic feet of natural gas.
So we’re focused on production. That’s not the issue. And we’ll keep on producing more homegrown energy. But here’s the thing — it’s not enough. The amount of oil that we drill at home doesn’t set the price of gas by itself. The oil market is global; oil is bought and sold in a world market. And just like last year, the single biggest thing that’s causing the price of oil to spike right now is instability in the Middle East -– this time around Iran. When uncertainty increases, speculative trading on Wall Street increases, and that drives prices up even more.
So those are the biggest short-term factors at work here.
Over the long term, the biggest reason oil prices will probably keep going up is growing demand in countries like China and India and Brazil. I want you to all think about this. In five years, the number of cars on the road in China more than tripled — just in the last five years. Nearly 10 million cars were added in China in 2010 alone — 10 million cars in one year in one country. Think about how much oil that requires. And as folks in China and India and Brazil, they aspire to buy a car just like Americans do, those numbers are only going to get bigger.
So what does this mean for us? It means that anybody who tells you that we can drill our way out of this problem doesn’t know what they’re talking about, or just isn’t telling you the truth. (Applause.)
And young people especially understand this, because I think — it’s interesting, when I talk to Malia and Sasha — you guys are so much more aware than I was of conserving our natural resources and thinking about the planet. The United States consumes more than a fifth of the world’s oil — more than 20 percent of the world’s oil — just us. We only have 2 percent of the world’s oil reserves. We consume 20; we’ve got 2.
And that means we can’t just rely on fossil fuels from the last century. We can’t just allow ourselves to be held hostage to the ups and downs of the world oil market. We’ve got to keep developing new sources of energy. We’ve got to develop new technology that helps us use less energy, and use energy smarter. We’ve got to rely on American know-how and young engineers right here at the U who are focused on energy. (Applause.) That is our future. And that’s exactly the path that my administration has been trying to take these past three years.
And we’re making progress. That’s the good news. In 2010, our dependence on foreign oil was under 50 percent for the first time in over a decade. We were less reliant on foreign oil than we had been. In 2011, the United States relied less on foreign oil than in any of the last 16 years. That’s the good news. And because of the investments we’ve made, the use of clean, renewable energy in this country has nearly doubled -– and thousands of American jobs have been created as a consequence.
We’re taking every possible action to develop, safely, a near hundred-year supply of natural gas in this country — something that experts believe will support more than 600,000 jobs by the end of the decade. We supported the first new nuclear power plant in three decades. Our cooperation with the private sector has positioned this country to be the world’s leading manufacturer of high-tech batteries that will power the next generation of American cars — that use less oil; maybe don’t use any oil at all.
And after three decades of inaction, we put in place the toughest fuel economy standards in history for our cars and pickup trucks -– and the first standards ever for heavy-duty trucks. And because we did this, our cars will average nearly 55 miles per gallon by the middle of the next decade. That’s nearly double what they get today. (Applause.)
Now, I remember what it was like being a student. You guys probably have one of those old beaters. Who knows what kind of mileage you guys get. (Laughter.) I can tell you some stories about the cars I had. I bought one for $500. (Applause.) But by the middle of the next decade, you guys are going to be buying some new cars — hopefully sooner than that. And that means you’ll be able to fill up your car every two weeks instead of every week -– something that, over time, will save the typical family more than $8,000 at the pump.
And it means this country will reduce our oil consumption by more than 2 million barrels a day. That’s not only good for your pocketbook, that’s good for the environment. (Applause.)
All right, but here’s the thing — we’ve got to do more. We’ve got to act even faster. We have to keep investing in the development of every available source of American-made energy. And this is a question of where our priorities are. This is a choice that we face.
First of all, while there are no silver bullets short term when it comes to gas prices — and anybody who says otherwise isn’t telling the truth — I have directed my administration to look for every single area where we can make an impact and help consumers in the months ahead, from permitting to delivery bottlenecks to what’s going on in the oil markets. We’re going to look at every single aspect of gas prices, because we know the burden that it’s putting on consumers. And we will keep taking as many steps as we can in the coming weeks.
That’s short term. But over the long term, an all-of-the-above energy strategy requires us having the right priorities. We’ve got to have the right incentives in place. I’ll give you an example. Right now, $4 billion of your tax dollars subsidize the oil industry every year — $4 billion. They don’t need a subsidy. They’re making near-record profits. These are the same oil companies that have been making record profits off the money you spend at the pump for several years now. How do they deserve another $4 billion from taxpayers and subsidies?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Preach it, Mr. President! (Applause.)
THE PRESIDENT: It’s outrageous. It’s inexcusable. (Applause.) And every politician who’s been fighting to keep those subsidies in place should explain to the American people why the oil industry needs more of their money — especially at a time like this. (Applause.)
I said this at the State of the Union — a century of subsidies to the oil companies is long enough. (Applause.) It’s time to end taxpayer giveaways to an industry that has never been more profitable; double down on clean energy industries that have never been more promising — that’s what we need to do. (Applause.) This Congress needs to renew the clean energy tax credits that will lead to more jobs and less dependence on foreign oil.
The potential of a sustained, all-of-the-above energy strategy is all around us. Here in Miami, 2008, Miami became the first major American city to power its city hall entirely with solar and renewable energy. Right here in Miami. (Applause.) The modernization of your power grid so that it wastes less energy is one of the largest projects of its kind in the country. On a typical day, the wind turbine at the Miami-Dade Museum can meet about 10 percent of the energy needs in a South Florida home, and the largest wind producer in the country is over at Juno Beach. Right here at this university, your work is helping manufacturers save millions of dollars in energy bills by making their facilities more energy efficient. (Applause.)
So a lot of work is already being done right here, just in this area. And the role of the federal government isn’t to supplant this work, take over this work, direct this research. It is to support these discoveries. Our job is to help outstanding work that’s being done in universities, in labs, and to help businesses get new energy ideas off the ground — because it was public dollars, public research dollars, that over the years helped develop the technologies that companies are right now using to extract all this natural gas out of shale rock.
The payoff on these public investments, they don’t always come right away, and some technologies don’t pan out, and some companies will fail. But as long as I’m President, I will not walk away from the promise of clean energy. Your future is too important. I will not — (applause) — I will not cede, I will not give up, I will not cede the wind or the solar or the battery industry to China or Germany because some politicians in Washington have refused to make the same commitment here in America.
With or without this Congress, I will continue to do whatever I can to develop every source of American energy so our future isn’t controlled by events on the other side of the world. (Applause.)
Today we’re taking a step that will make it easier for companies to save money by investing in energy solutions that have been proven here in the University of Miami — new lighting systems, advanced heating and cooling systems that can lower a company’s energy bills and make them more competitive.
We’re launching a program that will bring together the nation’s best scientists and engineers and entrepreneurs to figure out how more cars can be powered by natural gas, a fuel that’s cleaner and cheaper and more abundant than oil. We’ve got more of that. We don’t have to import it. We may be exporting it soon.
We’re making new investments in the development of gasoline and diesel and jet fuel that’s actually made from a plant-like substance — algae. You’ve got a bunch of algae out here, right? (Laughter.) If we can figure out how to make energy out of that, we’ll be doing all right.
Believe it or not, we could replace up to 17 percent of the oil we import for transportation with this fuel that we can grow right here in the United States. And that means greater energy security. That means lower costs. It means more jobs. It means a stronger economy.
Now, none of the steps that I’ve talked about today is going to be a silver bullet. It’s not going to bring down gas prices tomorrow. Remember, if anybody says they got a plan for that — what?
AUDIENCE: They’re lying.
THE PRESIDENT: I’m just saying. (Applause.) We’re not going to, overnight, solve the problem of world oil markets. There is no silver bullet. There never has been.
And part of the problem is, is when politicians pretend that there is, then we put off making the tough choices to develop new energy sources and become more energy efficient. We got to stop doing that. We don’t have the luxury of pretending. We got to look at the facts, look at the science, figure out what we need to do.
We may not have a silver bullet, but we do have in this country limitless sources of energy, a boundless supply of ingenuity, huge imagination, amazing young people like you — (applause) — all of which can put — all of which we can put to work to develop this new energy source.
Now, it’s the easiest thing in the world to make phony election-year promises about lower gas prices. What’s harder is to make a serious, sustained commitment to tackle a problem. (Applause.) And it won’t be solved in one year; it won’t be solved in one term; it may not be completely solved in one decade. But that’s the kind of commitment we need right now. That’s what this moment requires.
So I need all of you to keep at it. I need you guys to work hard. I need you guys to dream big. I need those of you who are a lot smarter than me to figure out how we’re going to be able to tap into new energy sources. We’ve got to summon the spirit of optimism and that willingness to tackle tough problems that led previous generations to meet the challenges of their times -– to power a nation from coast to coast, to send a man to the moon, to connect an entire world with our own science and our own imagination.
That’s what America is capable of. That’s what this country is about. And that history teaches us that whatever our challenges -– all of them -– whatever, whatever we face, we always have the power to solve them.
This is going to be one of the major challenges for your generation. Solving it is going to take time; it’s going to take effort. It’s going to require our brightest scientists, our most creative companies. But it’s going to also require all of us as citizens — Democrats, Republicans, everybody in between –- all of us are going to have to do our part.
If we do, the solution is within our reach. And I know we can do it. We have done it before. And when we do, we will remind the world once again just why it is that the United States of America is the greatest country on Earth. (Applause.)
Thank you, everybody. God bless you. God bless America. (Applause.)