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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 room200 on 12/20/2010 1:00:32 PM , Rating: 2
Do you have a right to privacy in someone else's home? No. Same goes for their website. That's not to say they can break the law. But trying to find a way to effectively advertise is not breaking the law.

Really? Try inviting someone over then recording their conversation with you in most states? See how quickly they sue you.

By FITCamaro on 12/20/2010 2:47:35 PM , Rating: 2
For one.

That's not to say they can break the law.

Second, many states have absurd laws. That California would let them sue me doesn't really say anything to me.

It would probably depend on the reasons for recording them. If it was to expose criminal activity against you, you'd most likely win. If it was to get information you shouldn't have or record something to black mail them with, you'd lose.

I'm was thinking more of expecting privacy in your use of someone else's computer in their home. Now obviously they can't illegally use information collected to get into your bank account or buy things with your card if they collect the information. But merely collecting it would not be illegal if you have the software installed for tracking what your kids are doing.

"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain
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