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Privacy Businesses United States

Four Missed Opportunities for Privacy 67

The NY Times has a blog posting on the occasion of the Internet advertising industry's release (PDF) of what it describes as tough new standards governing the collection and use of data about users' behavior. The Times' Saul Hansell describes these "new" standards as more of the same old status quo, and outlines four privacy-enhancing ideas, being discussed by Google, Yahoo, the FTC, and Congress, that the IAB has completely ignored. These principles are: every ad should explain itself; users should be able to see data collected about them; browsers should help enforce user choices about tracking; and some information (medical and financial) is simply too sensitive to track.
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Four Missed Opportunities for Privacy

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  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @02:47PM (#28611927) Journal
    You mean that "self regulation" fails when it is opposed to self interest? Who could have guessed?
  • Solution (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sarcasmooo! ( 267601 ) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @03:23PM (#28612461)

    Install adblock extension, disable 3rd party cookie files, use software that ads advertising domains to your hosts file.

    As far as I can tell the internet doesn't even have banner ads anymore.

  • by funkatron ( 912521 ) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @03:26PM (#28612499)
    In Britain the data protection act means that you can write to any company and request all of the data that they hold on you. However, the company is allowed to charge up to £10 to cover the costs of finding this data. I'm not sure what level of security is required tho.
  • Meh (Score:5, Informative)

    by SirGarlon ( 845873 ) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @03:42PM (#28612761)
    When it comes to privacy, there are much bigger issues than the pervasive use of tracking cookies. (For example: indefinite data retention after a customer has stopped doing business with a vendor, sale of customer data without explicit opt-in, and let's not forget the pervasive failure of government agencies to encrypt sensitive data like Social Security numbers.) Tracking cookies seem quaint and harmless by comparison... this article reminds me of the privacy issues we used to worry about back in 1999.

Someone is unenthusiastic about your work.