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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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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.


"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg














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