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[FYI] CNN: e-business and "none of your business"
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- Date: Tue, 20 Jun 2000 09:13:17 +0200
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E-business vs. 'none of your business'
The U.S. and E.U. have agreed on "safe harbor"
privacy protection. But is it really safe?
By Andy Walton
(CNN.com, June 9, 2000) -- Should it be illegal
to carry a pocket organizer across an international
border, because it contains names and numbers of
people who didn't give their permission? Or should
companies and governments be allowed to collect
all manner of information on people without their
knowledge or consent, to be sold, swapped and
used in any way whatsoever?
The debate over online privacy is prone to such
extreme hypothetical visions. As computer networks make
it easier to find, store, and process information,
it is becoming harder for individuals to keep their
data private. A push to bolster online privacy -- users'
ability to control who has access to their personal
information -- is growing.
"We certainly favor the growth of the Internet and
electronic commerce and new technologies," says Marc
Rotenberg of the Electronic Privacy Information Center.
"But I think it's becoming increasingly clear that
without some baseline privacy standards, the concerns
the consumers have and the genuine problems that
they're running into keeping track of how their
personal information is being used will only increase."
"Unlike the United States, in Europe, each of the
European countries has a very comprehensive set
of protections for the privacy of its citizens,"
says Fordham University law professor Joel Reidenberg.
"This company has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down.
If the problem persists, contact your vendor or appeal to a higher