In April, President Obama announced new guidelines for Internet companies (such as Google, Apple and Facebook) that would limit what consumer data the company can capture from consumers and keep. Consumer privacy has been a hot issue, especially after high-profile companies like Apple and Google became embroiled in controversy surrounding online user data.
President Obama developed this initiative after it was learned that Apple had kept “app developers’” address books on their servers. App developer Path admitted that it had stored such data on its server. Path then apologized and deleted the information. An Apple spokesperson said that Path’s practices were in violation of company guidelines.
Another compelling reason for Obama’s new program? Google was accused of exploiting a breach in Safari’s web browser to track users browsing habits, using browser cookies. Facebook was also accused of similar practices. Just recently, Spokeo paid $800000 to the FTC for privacy violations.
The Obama administration (together with the FTC) urged companies to use “Do Not Track” technology, thus insuring a higher degree of consumer privacy online. This was not the result of legislation, but rather administration officials working with the industry. The gist of the new policy is to allow consumers to control what information they surrender, instead of having it taken from them surreptitiously. Under the new policy:
- Consumers have the right to be advised when such information is gathered from them.
- Companies must be transparent and honest about the gathered data.
- Consumers have the right to correct faulty information about the data gathered from them.
- Companies must develop policies to ensure their own employees do not abuse privacy rules.
- Companies must delete and destroy gathered from consumers after it is no longer needed.
Denver, Colorado, law firm Shaun Kaufman Law, P.C. has a core mission: To protect the individual from governmental and corporate intrusion. If your privacy is threatened by government or corporate action, call Shaun Kaufman Law, P.C., 24/7, at
Related Links and Articles:
Consumer Privacy Guide: Six Steps to Protect Your Privacy