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Privacy guidelines would introduce guidelines and audits to enforce privacy online

Online privacy is something on the minds of consumers and governments alike. Privacy advocates have long supported more stringent controls over the data that companies could collect and share with third-parties without the express consent of the consumer. The problem is that there are no clear cut guidelines in the U.S. that companies have to follow.

Last Thursday, new guidelines were released by the Obama administration that recommends ways to protect the privacy of consumer's online.

The new recommendations would create the "Privacy Bill of Rights" and would establish a privacy policy office within the Commerce Department. The recommendations would also establish clear guidelines for what types of data can be collected on a user and how that data can be used by companies according to a Commerce report. The Privacy Bill of Rights would give clear rules on data collection and would set up an audit trail to hold companies accountable for sticking to the rules.

Washington Post quotes commerce Secretary Gary Locke saying, "Self-regulation without stronger enforcement is not enough. Today's report is a road map for considering a new framework that is good for consumers and businesses."

The FTC proposed a more stringent Do Not Track list early this month and the Commerce department didn’t specifically endorse the call by the FTC for the Do Not Track List. The recommendation for the Commerce Department is to setup p privacy codes of conduct for businesses and step up enforcement measures by the FTC to ensure that the policies are followed.

Locke also stated that the U.S. needs to ensure that regulators here coordinate their privacy standards with the standards adopted in Europe and other countries so there is no confusion. Chris Calabrese from the ACLU said, "This is the first time that the administration has emphasized the need for comprehensive privacy protections, and that as of today it is a Wild Wild West out there for consumers and their privacy. We hope it will lead to strong administrative protections but Congress needs to act."

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RE: Obama wants a bigger government?
By McGixxer on 12/20/2010 11:26:09 AM , Rating: 1
If I walk into a retail store, they dont get to know anything about me unless I decide to share that info with them.

Online stores should be the same.

There are companies out there that are sniffing encrypted packets of information that arent even involved with what users are doing! The reality of it is we NEED the goverment to step in and start to lay down some basic rights for us internet users just like other countries have already done or are in the process of doing because it is a problem.

The part I can't figure out is why you as an internet user don't want rights and privacy policies put into place that help protect YOU, but then again, I'm guessing by the tone of your headline and sarcasim that no matter what Obama tries to do, your one of those guys that shuts his eyes, covers his ears and yells "no! it's an Obama idea, it MUST be bad"

President issues/hang-ups aside... we deserve rights on the internet

RE: Obama wants a bigger government?
By FITCamaro on 12/20/2010 11:54:31 AM , Rating: 1
Brick and mortar stores also track purchases even if they don't have your name. Not to mention they charge higher mark ups to help make profits vs. the lower cost of business model of internet only stores.

And what do these sites on the internet potentially know about you except for the ones you buy things with? Your IP. They don't have your name and address either unless you give it to them. And while some online stores sell information to advertising partners, again, typically personal information isn't sold as well.

I'm not against being protected online. Nor do I think that the government will be able to stop it. Your problem is you put too much faith in the government to protect you instead of doing it yourself. This makes you lazy.

RE: Obama wants a bigger government?
By McGixxer on 12/20/2010 12:49:22 PM , Rating: 1
I have very little faith if any at all in my government. But I already do pretty much everything that can be done to protect my information online: private browser, hard and soft firewall with stealth mode, Internet security software/anti virus etc...

But from what I've read all of this is circumvented by companies who have packet sniffing techs that can find out way more then they be allowed to know that aren't even supposed to be involved with what I'm doing.

But you assume I'm lazy based off of no information to draw any rational conclusion from and that makes you something else all together ;)

By FITCamaro on 12/20/2010 2:42:44 PM , Rating: 2
So if they're illegally breaking encryption (as it is illegal), prosecute them for that.

This also does absolutely nothing to help protect people against sites hosted on servers outside of the country. Which is exactly what companies that want to keep doing this would do with their sites. Effectively killing much of the US based hosting business.

"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer
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