The Privacy BlogThoughts on privacy, security, and other stuff.

Feb/12

23

Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights will be hard to enforce

While I am encouraged to see the recently announced Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, it is no reason to become complacent about your privacy.

First, the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights is a set of fairly general statements. It is unclear if or when we would see real enforcement.

Second, it will be very difficult to enforce this against non-US services, and it is almost impossible for a user to know if some or all of a website she is visiting is being provided by a non-US company.

Third, it is very difficult to tell if the policies are being violated. Unless the website uses the information directly and immediately it is very hard to tie the use of information back to the source of the information. If it is being silently collected, you really can’t tell.

While such policies and statements of principle are a good thing, and one hopes that most major websites will get on board with them, if you actually want to ensure your privacy, you need to take matters into your own hands.

Block cookies, clear out old cookies, and hide your IP address with tools like Anonymizer Universal.

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2 comments

  • Noah · February 23, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    Great post! We do need to take privacy into our own hands, as this bill is only scratching the surface of a much bigger privacy issue. Just wrote a post about this for Safe Shepherd. Check it out:

    http://blog.safeshepherd.com/

  • Samuel Smith · February 23, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Enforce it with sanctions and fines against US companies so severe they wouldn’t dare violate a user’s privacy. You can bet the major ad providers would play along.

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