Children's online privacy and the problem of keeping kids away from pornographic Web sites are once again in focus on Capitol Hill and in the courts this week. Five members of Congress, including Senate Commerce Committee chairman and presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., have signed a legal brief urging a federal appeals court to uphold the Child Online Protection Act (COPA). The law, which would make it a crime for profit-oriented Web sites to post sexually explicit materials, was ruled unconstitutional in February, but the government has appealed that decision and the appeal is still pending. The lawmakers' amicus brief, filed Monday, maintains COPA would block "commercial porn sellers" from displaying free teaser images in banner ads, and says the law would not impact other types of Web sites featuring sexual content, such as those devoted to medical information. But opponents of the law, led by the American Civil Liberties Union, have said COPA is too vague and … [Read more...] about Kids’ online privacy issues debated
Online privacy issues
If you love sausages or web standards, you should never watch either one being made. That’s especially true when the web standard in question involves ad tracking, and the participants in the standards group consist of people whose views on online privacy are diametrically opposed. The online advertising industry, web developers, and privacy advocates are vigorously debating a standard called Do Not Track (DNT), which would put a burden on advertisers who agree to comply with requests from users who send a DNT signal with a page request. The goal of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is to publish a final standard by the end of 2012. In Internet Explorer 10, Microsoft has gone much further on online privacy issues than any other browser developer. In the Release Preview of Windows 8, IE 10 is set to enable Do Not Track by default. That decision sparked a heated debate this week at the W3C Tracking Protection Working Group, which is developing the DNT standard. Based on that … [Read more...] about Do Not Track debate reveals cracks in online privacy consensus
Maryland attorney general Douglas Gansler declared digital privacy as his calling card last week after being elected to lead the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG). Gansler, who is in his second term in Maryland, said he will spend his yearlong initiative examining the topic "Privacy in the Digital Age." He said technology has transformed everything people do from grocery shopping to treating illness to socializing. "These changes have raised some unique and significant challenges to privacy," said Gansler, the new president of NAAG, a nonpartisan association of chief legal officers from each state, territory and the District of Columbia. Over the past few weeks, a rash of new password and private data hacks have again sounded the privacy alarm for Internet users. And over the past year, issues around privacy policies with Facebook, Google and others have spurred debate among academics, policy groups and citizens. "With this initiative, we will bring the energy and … [Read more...] about State AGs affix target to online privacy issues
Two high-profile U.S. senators have introduced legislation designed to give consumers more control over what information about them is collected online, but privacy advocates said the bill will do little to curb wide-spread data-collection practices now in place.Senators John Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat, and John McCain, an Arizona Republican, introduced the Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights Act Tuesday. The bill would require Web-based businesses that collect consumer information to give clear notice about the data collection and allow consumers to opt out.The bill would require Web-based businesses to collect only as much information as necessary to complete a transaction or deliver a service, and it would require collectors to take security measures to protect the data."John and I start with a bedrock belief that protecting Americans' personal, private information is vital to making the Information Age everything it should be," Kerry said in a statement. "Americans have a right … [Read more...] about Kerry, McCain Introduced Online Privacy Bill
Major inflection points are sometimes hidden in the details. For instance, at first I thought it was coincidental, but there is an increase in unidentified caller IDs coming in on cell phones. This occurrence has finally escalated as one being worth talking about.So what's worth talking about? An emerging inflection point in big data, where consumers are becoming aware of what companies can do with big data, and how it potentially impacts their privacy. Two recent surveys support this with their findings.In January 2014, online privacy management services provider TRUSTe issued its U.S. Consumer Confidence Index. The Index revealed that: 92% of US internet users worry about their online privacy (up from 89% in January 2013 and 90% in January 2012); 55% of US internet users said they trust most businesses with their personal information online (down from 57% in January 2013 and 59% in January 2012); and 89% of consumers said they avoided doing business with companies they do not believe … [Read more...] about Big data wake-up call: Increased online privacy concerns require risk management
After years of controversy, the UK finally passed the Investigatory Powers Bill, giving the government a host of new surveillance powers relative to citizen internet use. The bill, which passed by both parliamentary houses on Wednesday, forces communications providers to store customer website history, calls, and texts for one year to be used in police investigations. Another major piece of the bill is that it grants the power to remove "electronic protection applied by or on behalf of that operator to any communications or data." Essentially, this allows the UK government to require providers to remove encryption, and could severely limit the effectiveness of end-to-end encryption. The Investigatory Powers Bill also gives the UK government the right to hack into user devices or businesses in an effort to find data relevant to an investigation, as well as the ability to leverage data on innocent citizens to build a case against potential criminals. ZDNet's Steve Ranger noted … [Read more...] about Privacy issues abound as UK passes controversial ‘snoopers’ charter’
Tuesday’s congressional vote to repeal U.S. restrictions on broadband providers doesn’t mean that online privacy is dead. Consumers will just have to pay for it.The coming repeal, which President Trump is expected to sign into law, paves a clearer path for broadband providers to sell customers’ internet browsing history and other online data, without their consent.Privacy advocates are worried. Imagine corporate giants snooping on your internet activities, and then bombarding your PC, phone and TV with targeted ads.However, the privacy rule rollback might have an opposite effect too. Expect broadband providers and other internet services to emerge offering online privacy protections -- but at a price.“The cost for consumers wanting a private internet experience is going to go up,” said Travis LeBlanc, a former enforcement bureau chief with the Federal Communications Commission. To some degree, that’s already happening. Consumers worried about … [Read more...] about Congress to US citizens: Want online privacy? Pay up!