Print 18 comment(s) - last by Moishe.. on Dec 21 at 2:35 PM

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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By KeithP on 12/20/2010 11:26:31 AM , Rating: 0
What a joke. The administration is desperate to try and find something that it can champion to become politically relevant. Apparently this is the best they can do.

Without question, right now the biggest threat to users' online privacy and freedom is the government itself and there is no indication they have any plans to change their ways.

Pot calling the kettle black.

By SSDMaster on 12/20/2010 11:37:52 AM , Rating: 2
I'm actually kind of optimistic about this. Every president wants to be known for something; right now Obama is known for spending dollar's like it's Yen.

I'm sure that's not the note he wants to end on. I think this has a decent chance of happening.

By Ammohunt on 12/20/2010 2:58:27 PM , Rating: 1
Whatever the government gets its fingers into usually ends badly for us. my guess is that this will cripple legitimate internet business by adding unneeded bureaucracy. It’s the equivalent of government passing a law to prevent people from putting up a billboard in their front yard with all their personal information on it. Privacy can and should be enforced by the individual and any deficiency addressed by education.

By ICBM on 12/20/2010 2:08:31 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah I would highlight that the government needs to keep its nose out as well. Law enforcement agencies have been reaching, and this is a bigger problem with the riaa/mpaa pushing them to do their biddings. Hopefully this "bill of rights" will restrict government intrusion as well.

By gorehound on 12/20/2010 4:40:34 PM , Rating: 2
But will we get online pricacy where we never see the MAFIAA again

By Moishe on 12/21/2010 2:35:20 PM , Rating: 2
Absolutely.... we need the government to keep it's damn hands off of our internet. We don't need to make a "bill of rights" for every effing thing out there.

This is just a regulation and take-over move by the biggest and more dangerous monopoly in the country. This is just what they've been doing all along with the auto industry, banking, and healthcare.

"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA
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