Did You Know…Carly Fought to Protect Privacy Rights of American E-Commerce Consumers

By: Leslie Shedd, CARLY for America National Press Secretary
December 7, 2015

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, e-commerce was still in its infancy and there were no established rules for protecting American consumers. While most other tech CEO’s dithered on the issue, Carly Fiorina took the initiative to lead an effort to protect American consumers by:
1.    Establishing a minimum set of standards to protect American consumers’ privacy, predicating on…
2.    Providing transparency and information to American consumers so they can make the decision that is best for them and their needs, and…
3.    Providing consumers access to dispute resolution mechanisms so their legal rights could be protected.

Carly’s leadership on this issue not only shows her dedication to ensuring transparency and privacy protection, but also demonstrates her foresight into the impact e-commerce would have on our economy in the future and her commitment to ensure America remained in a leadership position in the global economy.

FACT: Carly Fiorina was a leader in fighting to enact protections for American e-commerce consumers in the early years of the digital age.

Carly Fiorina: “It cannot be every man, woman and child out for themselves in the wild, wild west. There is a role for legislation that sets a minimum set of requirements to create a foundation that is minimally acceptable.”

FACT: While other tech CEOs fought against creating a minimum set of requirements to protect the privacy rights of American consumers, Carly had the foresight to understand how important e-commerce would become in our economy and that it was absolutely necessary for technology companies to provide a minimum set of required protections so consumers would feel comfortable participating in e-commerce.

HP Technology Policy Manager Scott Cooper: “Carly understood very early on that New Economy companies like HP had an obligation to ensure the internet was a clean, well-lit venue for American consumers. Carly advocated that consumers had the right to know what companies were going to do with information that they collected from consumers. Unfortunately, Carly was one of the few top technology CEOs who did. But Carly Fiorina is a true leader in every sense of the word and, as good leaders do, Carly took action…This wasn’t an easy sell for Carly. Many other top tech CEOs were not in favor of the new regulations and were working against Carly’s attempt to bring transparency and provide protection for American consumers. But Carly has never been one to shy from a fight.”

FACT: Carly also led the charge to provide consumer protection because she understood that new economy companies like HP had an obligation to ensure that the internet was a safe place for consumer transactions.

Carly Fiorina: “HP believes that the high-tech industry has a stewardship responsibility to ensure that this new, online marketplace remains a clean, well-lighted venue for businesses and consumers.”

FACT: Carly testified before the Joint Economic Committee, where she advocated for enacting a minimum set of standards to protect and inform consumers but that did not overregulate American businesses.

Carly Fiorina: “Don’t enact legislation that would be premature and could impose standards that are difficult and costly to implement, especially for small businesses…It’s not that we are concerned about our own ability to comply. We are concerned that legislation that is too onerous or too restrictive could negatively impact smaller, emerging online businesses, and that U.S. regulations developed in isolation could conflict with international policies.”

FACT: Carly also led the charge to protect American consumers in other countries in her role as the Chairman of the Consumer Working Group on the Global Business Dialogue on Electronic Commerce (GBDe) because she understood the importance of America taking a leadership role in the global economy and the new e-commerce economy.

Carly Fiorina: “I am also working with more than 60 CEOs from around the world to develop worldwide industry consensus on global standards through the Global Business Dialogue on electronic commerce. Current concerns about consumer confidence should not turn into barriers to empowering consumers through global e-commerce.”

Read an op-ed by HP Technology Policy Manager Scott Cooper where he goes into more detail about Carly’s work to protect e-commerce consumers’ privacy and Carly’s push to provide consumers with more transparency.