Giving due importance to the right to privacy of the users, the White House has called various internet firms to come up with stronger provisions for protecting the privacy of the consumers.
This moves in response to the growing insecurities amongst the users, where their browsing history is being tracked and provided to the online marketers and advertisers to exploit the same.
The state attorneys from 36 different stats have send out letters, voicing their concerns over the plans of Google to track down the researches on its products and share the personal information with others. However the ad network of Google has already announced that they would support the “Do Not Track” browser option. The “Do Not Track” option have been significantly advocated by the US which prevents the browsers to keep a track of the search history, just with a single click.
‘Bill of rights’
In his statement, President Barack Obama briefed upon the “consumer privacy bill of rights”.
The White House maintained that the users must have the ultimate power when it comes to revealing the search history. They must be able to limit the information which is being collected, allowed to edit and correct the information and must have the right to transparency in the various privacy policies.
Giant internet companies like Google and Facebook have sent their consent to develop the guidelines depending on the “bill of rights.” The same shall be enforceable by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
“American consumers can’t wait any longer for clear rules of the road that ensure their personal information is safe online,” Mr Obama said.
“As the internet evolves, consumer trust is essential for the continued growth of the digital economy.”
Their are experts advocating better privacy, and who will be involved in developing the guidelines but some are concerned about the potential of the company to regulate on its own.
“The real question is how much influence companies like Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and Facebook will have in their inevitable attempt to water down the rules that are implemented and render them essentially meaningless,” John Simpson, who works on privacy issues for Consumer Watchdog, told the New York Times.
Condemning the same, Marc Rotenburg, the executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, referred to the announcement as “the clearest articulation of the right to privacy by a US president in history”.
However he also maintained that there exist “real concerns about implementation and enforcement” while in conversation with the Reuters.
The FTC has in the past taken action against Google and Facebook, all under the light of privacy complaints, and the same was settled in the year 2011.
Even though US legislators have advocated that the online tracking must be checked, sadly a little has been done in the same regard.
Even if the US officials develop the guidelines and various internet firms agrees to give their consent, they will be enforceable once FTC agree upon it. However, the same may not be enforceable on the companies who refuse to sign the guidelines.