Locke also announced the formation of an Internet Policy Task Force to identify public policy and operational issues impacting the private sector's ability to realize the potential for economic growth and job creation via the Internet.
"Because of the vital role the Internet plays in driving innovation throughout the economy, the Department has made it a top priority to ensure that the Internet remains open for innovation while promoting an environment respectful of individual privacy expectations," Locke said.
"In these difficult economic times, nothing is more important to American prosperity than jumpstarting our engine of innovation."
Through a Notice of Inquiry (NOI), the Commerce Department is asking for public comment from companies, academics and consumers to weigh in on whether current privacy laws serve consumers interests.
The Task Force is made up of staff members from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), the International Trade Administration (ITA), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), and will be coordinated through the Commerce Department's Office of Policy and Strategic Planning, which reports to the Secretary.
In addition to privacy and innovation, the Internet Policy Task Force will examine cyber security, online copyright protection and international barriers to moving data around the globe, and the ability of entrepreneurs, and small- and medium-sized businesses to expand their operations via the Internet.