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  (Source: nenc.com)
Commercial privacy bill of rights aimed to protect people on the internet.

There are currently no rules set in place as it relates to the privacy of individuals and how their personal information is used and shared on the internet. 

A new privacy bill introduced on Tuesday would establish rules requiring accountability from internet companies that utilize the private information of individuals.  

The bill would establish a regulatory framework for gathering personal data about users on sites like Facebook and Google.   
 
Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) are spearheading a measure that would force companies to explain how they collect information and what they do with it.

"Consumers want to shop, browse and share information in an environment that is respectful of their personal information," McCain said at a news conference. "Our legislation sets forth a framework for companies to create such an environment and allows businesses to continue to market and advertise to all consumers, including potential customers."

The new bill, backed by the Obama administration, may also make it harder for sites to use personal information to target and create profiles on individual internet users.

The 
Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights [PDF] would provide consumers with more control over their personal information and how that data is collected and shared with third parties.

Companies would need an individual's consent to collect names, e-mail addresses, and credit card numbers if the bill becomes law.  They would also need consent to collect information about religion, sexual identity, medical conditions and other sensitive information.  An offer to opt out of data collection would be required for users as well.

"Our bill seeks to respect the ability of businesses to advertise, while also protecting consumers' personal information," said McCain.



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Wait wait wait...
By stm1185 on 4/13/2011 3:09:28 PM , Rating: 2
No one is taking the side of the evil information brokers and identity thieves. Bipartisanship, a good goal, wtf is going on here. Where is the bickering over nothing!




RE: Wait wait wait...
By OUits on 4/13/2011 3:34:01 PM , Rating: 3
The bickering needs to be done over the fact that this bill does not apply to the government too.


RE: Wait wait wait...
By tastyratz on 4/14/2011 12:01:17 AM , Rating: 5
Don't worry.
When the lobbyists are done with it this bill will pay for 10 new mcdonalds an ostrich farm and be revised to include the words "only if they really want to"


RE: Wait wait wait...
By Uncle on 4/14/2011 1:28:10 PM , Rating: 2
"When the lobbyists are done with it this bill."

Use the older term, it has more meaning and punch, Influence Peddler .


By EricMartello on 4/13/2011 4:43:23 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
The Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights [PDF] would provide consumers with more control over their personal information and how that data is collected and shared with third parties.


You already have FULL control over your personal information. People love to complain about "privacy violations" and "getting spam they never signed up for" but guess what, YOU did sign up at some point and YOU voluntarily provided your information.

Nobody is forcing people to sign up for sites like Facebook...they do so willingly because that's what a lot of other people they know are doing. Then they cry about someone "invading their privacy". It's a simple fact - once it's on the internet it's never going to die and pretty much anyone can view said information.

I think there are already enough laws in place on how companies can use information and most legitimate businesses are not going to be whoring out their customer lists. What I would like to see is a serious reduction in the amount of information that government is collecting and stockpiling on its citizens.




By KOOLTIME on 4/13/2011 5:22:34 PM , Rating: 3
""getting spam they never signed up for" but guess what, YOU did sign up at some point and YOU voluntarily provided your information.""

Completely 100% untrue, Sign up with a company, the law, actually their is no law; currently that prohibits them from sharing your info with "undisclosed business partners".

These 3rd parties are not regulated with your data, only the primary company you signed up with is. Those so called partner companies can have free reign as they want with your data.

This is the loop hole game your missing. Everyone data gets abused, which is why there is billions of spam in the world.


By EricMartello on 4/14/2011 12:46:13 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Completely 100% untrue, Sign up with a company, the law, actually their is no law; currently that prohibits them from sharing your info with "undisclosed business partners".


Companies that share your data usually disclose that in their privacy policy. If you're dealing with a company that does not have a suitable privacy policy then you have no business complaining that your data was whored out.

quote:
These 3rd parties are not regulated with your data, only the primary company you signed up with is. Those so called partner companies can have free reign as they want with your data.


Data was, is and always will be a very valuable commodity. It would be borderline unconstitutional for a law the interfere with commerce under the guise of privacy. The quality and type of companies you deal with will largely determine where your data ends up.

quote:
This is the loop hole game your missing. Everyone data gets abused, which is why there is billions of spam in the world.


No, the reason there is "billions of spam" is due to criminals using malware-infested computers to sucker in millions of people who think their penis is too small or too limp. THAT spam is being sent by criminals who will continue to do so regardless of what the law says.

Let's not confuse spam with legitimate email that you requested or agreed to receive (hey, it's not your fault for not reading the privacy disclosure before sharing your info).

The point is that personal responsibility is being ignored - and that is the main thing that would reduce identity theft and data whoring. People put far too much trust into "cloud apps" just because they think "free is better"...have you heard about Pandora's detailed tracking of its users? Yea, you think you're getting something for free but really, nothing is free and that's what people fail to realize.

This type of legislature really doesn't solve the problem it's claimed to solve, while only placing additional barriers for legitimate businesses to contend with. It's a lot like gun control - law abiding citizens are not going to murder anyone so the law only makes it more difficult for them to purchase a weapon, while criminals continue to get weapons illegally as they always have.


By OUits on 4/14/2011 12:46:52 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Companies that share your data usually disclose that in their privacy policy. If you're dealing with a company that does not have a suitable privacy policy then you have no business complaining that your data was whored out.


Privacy policies for each individual website you register for that may change at *any* time without notice. What about a new service from a website that opts registered users in automatically? Many privacy policies now include "By using or visiting the site you consent to... blah blah" So, you don't even have to register for a lot of websites before they start scraping information.

quote:
It would be borderline unconstitutional for a law the interfere with commerce under the guise of privacy.


You do know that the right to privacy is protected by the constitution, right?

Look, I agree that personal responsibility is largely overlooked, and users who empower themselves to protect personal information will be the most successful. I don't really think this bill is a good idea in practice (it does not apply to the government, for instance). But, instead of saying "read the privacy policy lol duh" we need to start talking about what's a reasonable exchange of service or product for personal information. I don't think it's reasonable to expect users to constantly be on the lookout for changes to the deluge of privacy policies they may not even be aware they've agreed to. I personally try to keep a quote in mind I heard not long ago, "If it's free, you aren't the customer. You're the product being sold."


By EricMartello on 4/14/2011 3:22:14 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Privacy policies for each individual website you register for that may change at *any* time without notice.


If the website has a solid privacy policy, they will also indicate that you will be notified of an updated policy by mail or email, and have a chance to revise your "opt in" preferences. Companies that do not do this are the ones that you should be leary about sharing info with in the first place.

quote:
What about a new service from a website that opts registered users in automatically? Many privacy policies now include "By using or visiting the site you consent to... blah blah" So, you don't even have to register for a lot of websites before they start scraping information.


The websites which do this are generally offering you a service or product of some sort at no cost. Please understand that if you do not wish to fork out some cash for the paid version of whatever it is, you should expect to compensate them via having your information distributed. It's not unreasonable, and it's really coming back to the simple fact that nothing is really free.

quote:
You do know that the right to privacy is protected by the constitution, right?


The constitutional privacy protection is more about "big brother" type of stuff, where the US government cannot monitor US citizens without a warrant or court order. This aspect of the constitution has been shot to shit with all the bullshit "homeland security" laws that went out after 9/11. Things like the full-body scanners in airports, warrant-less phone taps and interception of digital communications are all unconstitutional elements that are currently in play within our society.

The "internet privacy" between consumers and businesses is not regulated by this provision, and should not be, because the consumer willingly provides their information to said company. I think at most that a company should be required to disclose what they do with the information they collect, and provide a notification if that policy changes...I do not think the government has any right to further interfere with businesses - they already do that enough and our economy is suffering for it.

quote:
I personally try to keep a quote in mind I heard not long ago, "If it's free, you aren't the customer. You're the product being sold."


Yeah, that's the truth...and I don't see the need for the government to meddle with that, because it has been working fine for ages.


We Don't Need Any Internet Laws
By Arsynic on 4/13/2011 3:51:50 PM , Rating: 2
Users should protect themselves. One law often leads to another and then many more. Next thing you know, the Internet will be regulated by the FCC.

Give these politicians a little power and it's like chum in the water. Feeding frenzy time.




By Zaranthos on 4/13/2011 4:21:38 PM , Rating: 2
The CHUM is for the lawyers. ;-)

Seriously though, you're right. I want to see a bill introduced that repeals 1,000,000 previous bills. Might not be enough, but it would be a start.


RE: We Don't Need Any Internet Laws
By redbone75 on 4/14/2011 12:13:41 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Users should protect themselves


Ok, so the introduction of a bill that aims to actually protect consumers is a bad thing? I certainly have my own conspiracy theories, but I'm not sold on this one.

As for the internet being regulated by the FCC, I don't think they want to regulate the internet so much as prevent ISP's from abusing their own customers. I don't know about you, but words like "throttling" and "deep packet inspection" bother me. I, personally, can not fathom how anyone who is not an ISP, a partner of that ISP, or a politician who has received "contributions" from one or both can think of net neutrality as a bad thing. ISP's and paid politicians throw out scary buzz words like "more government interference" and "government regulation" to get knee-jerk reactions from a largely unaware populace. This is one situation, however, that one would want the government to interfere. Have we not learned our lesson already on letting businesses go largely unregulated?


Some interesting stories...
By quiksilvr on 4/13/2011 2:59:23 PM , Rating: 1
My friend on Facebook made a comment about the NHL to one of his friends. When he went back to his profile and saw advertisements on the sides for the NHL.

His girlfriend took a picture of two Lipton Ice Tea bottles on her page (one of them was a mixed alcoholic drink, one regular tea) and asked people to guess which was which (note, she never wrote Lipton nor did any of the comments say Lipton). A Lipton advertisement eventually popped up by the picture.




By ZachDontScare on 4/13/2011 3:34:40 PM , Rating: 3
Thats just contextual advertising, and is done everywhere online. You're just noticing that?

If you dont like it, ask facebook for a refund.


RE: Some interesting stories...
By Aloonatic on 4/13/2011 5:55:37 PM , Rating: 2
As far as I am aware, when you sign up for "free" services like facebook, yahoo mail, gmail, etc, you agree to all sorts of things, including allowing them to scan though your e-mails, messages (status, or instant) and photos for information that might be useful to them or advertisers.

It's something that has somehow manage to creep under the radar of the majority of the users of said services, who are completely unaware of this, and usually quite alarmed when they do find out.

There was a rather interesting program on BBC 4 last year called "the price of free" which explored many of the areas of the internet to find just how companies like facebook and google manage to make so much money when they don't appear to charge their end users (i.e. the public) a penny for the services provided.


Interesting it's these two.
By torpor on 4/13/2011 5:22:33 PM , Rating: 2
So let me see if I have this.

The last Democrat to run a Presidental campaign that largely ignored the internet, is teaming up with the last Republican to run a Presidental campaign that largely ignored the internet, in order to regulate the internet?

Fabulous.




RE: Interesting it's these two.
By KOOLTIME on 4/13/2011 5:29:22 PM , Rating: 2
Thats why they call it Politics, instead of actually fixing something thats broken. They debate whom can twist it to shreds for the biggest paycheck, while same problems still occur.

Doest everyone love politics ??


RE: Interesting it's these two.
By shabby on 4/14/2011 5:47:36 PM , Rating: 2
Not only that, mccain doesn't even know how to use the tubes!


Just what the internet needs!
By ZachDontScare on 4/13/2011 3:38:25 PM , Rating: 2
This is just what the internet needs! Lots of little new laws and red tape to increase costs and dampen growth. Soon the only companies that will be able to afford to comply with all the legal requirements will be larger companies, driving smaller, more diverse publishers out of business. Hurray for McCain and Kerry, friends of they corporate cronies!

Here's a thught, if you dont like advertisers targetting you, dont put any of your information online. Problem solved.




RE: Just what the internet needs!
By Jaybus on 4/14/2011 3:15:05 PM , Rating: 2
No. The Internet needs to be treated like the communications medium that it is. What if Verizon categorized their customers based on words they used in text messages, then sold the lists to advertisers? Would your solution to that then be "if you don't like advertisers targeting you, then don't use a cell phone?" Of course not.

Money talks. The current non-functional opt-out methodology should be replaced with an opt-in only method. In other words, companies should be legally bound to keep your info private unless you specifically opt-in to allowing it to be sold. That would make them liable for allowing your info to be leaked without your knowledge, thus exposing them to a civil law suit. If people could sue them for leaking their info, I guarantee far fewer companies would be willing to risk selling their customer lists. The cost of those lists still available would go way up. Spamming would be far less profitable, because the cost of their leads would sky rocket.


Just what are they going to do...
By redbone75 on 4/13/2011 10:51:30 PM , Rating: 2
...about things like Sprint's Carrier IQ? That program just boils down to one big, illegal wire tap. Sprint would say it's just for gathering metrics. Pft! Let's see: it can act as a key logger, can read the actual contents of ingoing/outgoing SMS's and MMS's, tracks web pages (the actual pages you visit and how often and at what times of the day you visit them), reads any down/uploaded data including email attachments, is pervasive throughout most all apps, impossible to remove by your average consumer, etc., etc. How is this not illegal to begin with?




By Fritzr on 4/14/2011 6:32:42 AM , Rating: 2
I don't deal with Sprint, but at a guess, it is legal because you "agreed" to their terms of service where it is spelled out in legal obfuscation 2/3rds of the way down the contract you signed without reading :P


OPT OUT = Stupidity
By KOOLTIME on 4/13/2011 5:06:59 PM , Rating: 3
Got to love the people whom think opt out even remotely is usefully in any way shape or form ?? The auto opt in means they also auto opt you in to all "business partners". Those other companies are not under legal regulations to keep your info private. Some may claim to do so, but currently no law exist for such actions to occur legally.

So someone clicks opt out from company A advertising right ??

Well company A happens to use company B to handle its OPT out data handles.

When opting out you dont get company A any more but now company B has your info blocks you from company A as stated.

But then company B are under no regulations what they do with your data, long as they dont notice you back to company A.

The big corporations with so called business partners data sharing is what needs to be enforced, this is the legal loop hole thats been broken for years, and how they get around it. While company A directly to you may opt out- the Marketing partners they share your info with are not regulated as such, so your personal info, is up for grabs.




Already have it
By FITCamaro on 4/14/2011 8:27:04 AM , Rating: 2
Sites already have your consent. When you sign up for an account with most sites, part of the terms of use is that they may/can collect data on things you buy or look at.




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