from the really-now? dept
These companies have represented that user data is only disclosed to law enforcement subject to a lawful process. But there is every reason now to believe that millions of consumer records were unlawfully obtained by the National Security Agency. Of course, once the records are in possession of these firms there is nothing that users can do to limit the subsequent improper release or avoid the misuse. And there is clearly no benefit to users in the improper and unlawful disclosure of their personal information.
[….] Finally, the Commission should pursue this investigation because it routinely holds itself out as the defender of consumer privacy in the United States. It is inconceivable that when faced with the most significant breach of consumer data in U.S. history, the Commission could ignore the consequences for consumer privacy.
Talk about taking a blame the victim approach. EPIC, CDD, Consumer Watchdog, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, Consumer Federation of America, Public Citizen (?!?) and the Privacy Times, who all signed onto this letter look ridiculous. They’re saying that the FTC needs to investigate Google and Yahoo for violations of their privacy policies, because the NSA hacked into their data centers. Go after the NSA and the rest of the US government for doing that. But blaming the companies who didn’t even know about this isn’t just ridiculous, it’s counterproductive.
Given that the FTC and the NSA are both a part of the administration, it’s not impossible to imagine a scenario where the only ones actually punished for hacking into these data centers are Google and Yahoo, while the NSA gets away with the whole thing. Is that really what these organizations want? EPIC, CDD and Consumer Watchdog in particular like to set themselves up as “defending consumers.” But they’re doing the opposite here. They’re inevitably making life worse for consumers. Hopefully, as it has in the past, the FTC sees through these ridiculous arguments.
Filed Under: datacenters, ftc, infiltration, nsa hacking, nsa surveillance, privacy, privacy policies
Companies: consumer federation of america, consumer watchdog, epic, google, privacy rights clearinghouse, privacy times, public citizen, yahoo