May 8, 2001

Testimony of Lee Rainie to the Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce

At the most fundamental level, Americans would like the presumption of privacy when they are online, and they would like to be in control of when pieces of their identity are given out. This is the Information Age corollary to the classic American formulation of privacy: the right to be left alone. In the 21 st Century, they want the right to control their identities. If they could craft a Golden Rule of the Internet it would be: “Nobody should know what I do on the Web or anything else about me unless I say so.”