Is a Privacy "Kill Switch" in the Works?

Submitted by Kate Meersschaert on Tue, 02/28/2012 - 5:17pm.
Kate Meersschaert's picture

The White House recently released a ground-breaking consumer privacy bill of rights. The bill would allow individuals to opt-out of the tracking of their behavior online. In President Obama's introduction to this bill he provides the following explanation as to why it is so timely and important:

One thing should be clear, even though we live in a world in which we share personal information more freely than in the past, we must reject the conclusion that privacy is an outmoded value. It has been at the heart of our democracy from its inception, and we need it now more than ever.

Despite this major step towards protecting individual's privacy online, Congress must still write legislation to make this digital dream a reality. However, in-light of the recent Path privacy scandal, many companies like Apple and Google are already moving in this direction, by more clearly defining their privacy policies and tightening restrictions on private data collection for third-party developers. Read more about the role of the California Attorney General in these mandates here. Perhaps one day soon, individuals will be able to click a button and targeted ads will disappear... or become a bit less "creepy."



Josh Lopez's picture
Josh Lopez Says:
Wed, 02/29/2012 - 1:14pm

I think it's about time we had this. I've read so many articles about companies unethically collecting user's private data. Most of these are the big players, not small third party users. To be fair, most have reversed their policies once they got caught, but there needs to be more accountability. This shouldn't be a get-away-with-it-for-as-long-as-you-can industry.


Kate Meersschaert's picture
Kate Meersschaert Says:
Wed, 02/29/2012 - 2:50pm

Josh, this sounds an awful lot like how big finance got us into so much trouble... lack of preventative oversight, and a glut of "it's only wrong if you get caught!"