White House holds privacy meeting

The White House announced an "online privacy bill of rights" last year and urged Congress to enact comprehensive privacy protection legislation. But the administration has yet to put forward legislation on the issue, and there has been little movement in Congress.

Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, said it was a "good, productive meeting" and the "beginning of an important dialogue about the challenge of protecting privacy in the 21st century."

But Sascha Meinrath of the New America Foundation said "many questions remain unanswered."

"America shouldn’t be on par with China in spying on its own people, all without court approval. The government should publicly acknowledge the full scope of all of their surveillance activities," Meinrath said.

Dean Garfield, CEO of the Information Technology Industry Counsel, said the discussion focused on the reality of a "digital world in which the economy is driven by data and information crossing borders and oceans almost instantly." 

"That reality carries with it challenges that, working collaboratively, we can address," Garfield said.