Thursday, May 06, 2010

European Union EU Privacy Law as a Model for the United States

New Congressional draft legislation outlining online and offline privacy rules has been released.

Stephanie Clifford at the New York Times writes in Privacy Bill Finally in Draft, as Both Sides Weigh In:
"A long-awaited draft of a Congressional bill would push American privacy legislation closer to the strict rules that the European Union uses, and would extend privacy protections both on the Internet and offline."
Need we say that EU privacy law is years ahead of the USA? Whatever legislation the USA adopts, it is bound to be too weak by European standards.

Andy Greenberg writes at in New Web Ad Privacy Bill Riles All Sides:
"Rick Boucher, D-Va., and Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., released a draft Tuesday of a privacy bill aimed at defining broad new regulations for the data collection practices of online advertising. The bill would require sites to offer easier methods of letting users prevent their behavior from being tracked online, warn users about data collection with a symbol on Web pages and require sites to render anonymous any data they collect after 18 months."
We do not understand why it is so difficult in the U.S. to comprehend that many people and companies in the United States are running roughshod in the Internet over the privacy rights of users and that stricter laws are inevitable, sooner -- or after much damage -- later. Stomping on privacy rights under the argument that it is essential for advertising is nonsense -- it is only essential so that the greedy among us can make even more money than they already do.

The recent push of Facebook to Share Your Info for Money has to be about the most egregious privacy invasion -- even by current law -- that we have seen in this millennium. If Congress does not have the courage to pass strict legislation, the country will have to pay the price down the road.