Obama administration outlines online privacy guidelines

“The Obama administration on Wednesday outlined a set of online privacy principles that officials said would help consumers control the use of their personal data gleaned from Internet searches,” Edward Wyatt reports for The New York Times.

“The framework for a new privacy code moves electronic commerce closer to a one-click, one-touch process by which users can tell Internet companies whether they want their online activity tracked,” Wyatt reports. “Much remains to be done before consumers can click on a button in their Web browser to set their privacy standards. Congress will probably have to write legislation governing the collection and use of personal data, officials said, something that is unlikely to occur this year. And the companies that make browsers — Google, Microsoft, Apple and others — will have to agree to the new standards.”

“‘American consumers can’t wait any longer for clear rules of the road that ensure their personal information is safe online,’ President Obama said in a statement released Wednesday. ‘By following this blueprint, companies, consumer advocates and policy makers can help protect consumers and ensure the Internet remains a platform for innovation and economic growth,'” Wyatt reports. “Even before Congress approves privacy legislation, the Federal Trade Commission will have the ability to enforce compliance with a code of conduct to be developed by the Commerce Department or with advertising industry guidelines that companies would adopt voluntarily, Jon Leibowitz, the chairman of the F.T.C., said during a call with reporters on Wednesday.”

Wyatt reports, “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 M. Simpson, privacy project director for Consumer Watchdog, said in response to the administration’s plan. “A concern is that the administration’s privacy effort is being run out of the Commerce Department.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. Google funnels millions into Obama’s campaign coffers and nothing meaningful happens, as usual.

    Obama is for sale to the highest bidder. That much should be clear by now to even the Lib with the most rose-colored glasses.

    Gitmo is still open, suckers.

    1. So you find one item, F10T12, and use that to proclaim total failure. Every politician is a failure by that standard.

      Osama and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell are both gone, sucker!

      I, for one, am glad that a national dialogue has been initiated on standards for enabling an individual to easily control the dissemination of personal data online. Right now, Apple is the only company that I trust at all. Google is at the opposite end of the spectrum.

      1. Queen Smell,

        Yes the Navy Seals took care of Osama, while Maobama proclaimed all the credit. Sick! Who gives a flying crap about don’t ask don’t tell. How about the millions and millions that have stopped trying find jobs and are now conveniently not counted in the unemployment numbers. How about the fake social security number from CT. How about hiding college records. How about spending like drunken sailors and defunding social security. It just goes on and on and and on and on. You really don’t care about your country and freedom.

        You liberals are on an all out mission to destroy the US and world. November elections will set things right.

  2. While this sounds good on the surface, without knowing the details, I am extremely leery. I have yet to see Internet related legislation (outside of the FCC’s attempt at Net Neutrality guidelines) that doesn’t have some mindless repercussion, unintended consequence, or hidden corporate agenda. I also consider the source and that makes me even more suspicious. Why would a President who signed the horrendous legislation known as the National Defense Authorization Act, along with his Vice President who essentially authored the Patriot Act be concerned with a little thing like my privacy. How can you be so terribly anti-freedom, anti-Civil Liberties on the one hand, and act like you care about my individual rights on the other. It simply does not add up.

    This needs to be watched extremely closely.

  3. Obama signs into law a bill that allows the government to track you using pilotless drones flying overhead. Google designs a back door that permits them to bypass browser security settings to track your browsing habits so they can sell you more ads and the government is worried that there’s not enough privacy?

    1. The drones are necessary to track criminals who carry on in public as if there is no law for them. They must face justice sometime and live in fear of being caught. It creates safety for us all when criminals know that they are not going to get away with it.

      On the other hand, if these same criminals expect that they can use the internet as a safe communication means to hide their criminal plans, I would like Obama to come down on them like the wrath of God.

      1. It’s not the use of technology to go after real criminals. I’m happy to nab legitimately dangerous people. It’s:

        (1) Their using technology to look over the rest of us, sometimes even fishing for things that should be of not concern to them.
        (2) There are far too many laws that snare innocent people or punish people for crimes that, frankly, should not have been crimes in the first place.
        (3) Looking for “criminal” activity can give the government a database of all our activities. Although they could say that is is “confidential,” databases of all kinds tend to be hacked or even legally released by courts to media or others. As long as they have the data, it may as well be considered public info some day. And that is not just wrong. It is dangerous to the rest of us.

        Therefore, monitoring of all of us goes against the founding principles of this country (US).

        We are guaranteed Freedom in our Constitution, not Safety.

        We increasingly have neither.

  4. In addition, politicians in Federal, State, and municipal government, constantly demonstrate a complete and utter lack of understanding when it comes to the Internet. Protecting the Internet from nanny state liberals and opportunistic sell-out conservatives is like a full time occupation these days.

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