New Privacy Law Introduced... But Government Is Exempted

from the and-let's-dump-the-4th-amendment-while-we're-at-it dept

A lot of attention is being paid this week to Senators John Kerry and John McCain introducing a Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights, which would require companies to tell consumers exactly what data is being collected about them while also keeping that information safe (as if companies get hacked on purpose?!?). The proposed law does not have, as some expected, a "do not track" provision. This is a good thing. Still, it does seem a bit odd that these Senators are acting all concerned about individuals' privacy rights... at the same time the federal government is working hard to get around individual privacy rights and demolish the 4th Amendment.

Along those lines, it's quite notable that the provisions in the bill do not apply to the government. As Jim Harper asks in that linked article: "What's a bill of rights if it doesn't provide rights against the government?" Seems like an important question -- not that it's likely to get answered.


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    iamtheky (profile), Apr 13th, 2011 @ 3:46pm

    The proposed law does not have, as some expected, a "do not track" provision. This is a good thing.

    We cant get wittily led to draw the correct conclusion its just handed out now?

     

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    James Carmichael, Apr 13th, 2011 @ 3:51pm

    The Constitution is just a suggestion, like speed limits; you don't HAVE to do everything it says.

     

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    Ash, Apr 13th, 2011 @ 3:59pm

    Reasoning

    "The proposed law does not have, as some expected, a "do not track" provision. This is a good thing"

    Can you elaborate on why this is a good thing?

     

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Apr 13th, 2011 @ 4:34pm

      Re: Reasoning

      Can you elaborate on why this is a good thing?


      "Do not track," was going to be a disaster. Browsers are implementing do not track technology themselves. We don't want the gov't mandating it.

       

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        Pips, Apr 14th, 2011 @ 7:04am

        Re: Re: Reasoning

        I would rather know when I click a link on Google to wipe all the data it has on me that Google itself has wiped it. A web browser "do not track" is not going to go onto Googles servers and wipe my data.

         

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    Jake, Apr 13th, 2011 @ 4:15pm

    In fairness to Senators Kerry and McCain, I can see how it might be unwise to attempt a one-size-fits-all approach to rules on collecting data. Law-enforcement agencies are going to need a different set of rights and responsibilities -not necessarily stricter or looser, but different- than a commercial organisation.

     

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    Fzzr (profile), Apr 13th, 2011 @ 5:29pm

    Minor nitpick

    The title should probably read "new privacy bill". I didn't watch all those schoolhouse rock videos for nothing!

     

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    BongoBern (profile), Apr 14th, 2011 @ 8:00am

    Government Internet Spooks

    Since I have nothing to hide from the government I shouldn't give an ass rats, but I do. We have to be very careful how that wagonload of lawyers on Capitol Hill words its terms

     

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    Ryan Diederich, Apr 14th, 2011 @ 8:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Reasoning

    That may be true, but the government wont go into Google's servers and delete it for you.

    You are a consumer, not a sheep. If you are displeased with the way a company you use (such as Google) is handling privacy, dont use them.

    The government doesnt need to fix our problems, we can fix them ourselves. If the common man gave a hoot about privacy, and Google really was a big infringer, then no one would use them.

    In addition, your logic is flawwed. The browser option would have no power over information already collected, rather it would prevent additional information from being sent.

    If you used the new browser from the beginning, you wouldnt have to worry about whether or not Google deleted the info, because it never would have gotten there.

    Companies will always collect info, and it is quite neccesary to do so on the internet. Without information collection, you would never get relevant ads, search results would skew, and you would get spam from foreign countries.

    The key is what type of information is collected. Is it private info? Is it your name and likeness? Or is it just a list of keywords you frequent to allow more relevant ad delivery.

    I for one, am perfectly fine with the latter.

    So many examples correlate with this one.
    Why should healthy food be mandated? Why not just teach people to eat healthy?
    Why should fuel efficient cars be mandated? Teach people to use less energy and care for the environment.
    And why the f would you force green light bulbs? Not only do they contain mercury (and really, are any of you going to dispose of them properly) They are cheaper to operate, the consumer would have chosen them eventually anyways.

    Forcing it down my throat will only make me want to disobey.

     

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