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(Fwd) FC: EPIC privacy report faults DMA policies

Ein paar Gedanken von Declan McCullagh zum Thema "Self-Regulation". 
Man kann die darin geaeusserte Kritik durchaus etwas verallgemeinern.

------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
Date:          Mon, 22 Jun 1998 15:29:45 -0700 (PDT)
From:          Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>
To:            politech@vorlon.mit.edu
Subject:       FC: EPIC privacy report faults DMA policies
Reply-to:      declan@well.com

[I admire my friends at EPIC for their principled work on many issues,
but I can't help thinking that their demands for more federal
government regulations in the name of protecting privacy are a little
like antiporn activists pushing for new obscenity or "indecency" laws
in the name of protecting children. Like the morality crusaders who
complain that a bookstore's clumsy plans to wrap magazines in brown
paper wrappers aren't sufficient and new laws need to be passed
anyway, EPIC is bashing the DMA's brown-paper-privacy-wrapper scheme
as insufficient. But the broader point is that censoring magazines is
a bad idea to begin with; so is censoring even commercial speech. Yes,
standing up for the rights of the DMA is not exactly a fun task, but
then again neither is defending Hustler. 

For more on this view, check out:

For EPIC's own views and proposals, visit http://www.epic.org or
http://www.privacy.org/ --Declan]

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 22 Jun 1998 14:03:01 -0400
From: Electronic Privacy Info Center <info@epic.org>
Subject: Release - EPIC Privacy Report Faults DMA Policies

Tuesday, June 23, 1998
Contact: EPIC, 202/544-9240
Surfer Beware II Report -

        Report Finds Little Privacy Among Marketing Group Members:
                 Effectiveness of Self-Regulation in Doubt

WASHINGTON - A report released today by the Electronic Privacy
Information Center (EPIC) finds that only a handful of new members of
the Direct Marketing Association are observing the trade group's own
privacy guidelines.  The new study -- "Surfer Beware II: Notice is Not
Enough" -- follows last year's report on Internet privacy by the
Washington-based research organization.

For this report, EPIC looked at the privacy practices of recent
members of the Direct Marketing Association.  The DMA has been a
leading proponent of industry "self-regulation" and has said that its
privacy guidelines will be adequate to protect consumer privacy on the
Internet.  But the report found that of the 40 surveyed Web sites of
new DMA members, only eight sites posted privacy notices and only
three offered any degree of privacy protection to consumers.

Marc Rotenberg, executive director of EPIC, said the report raises
serious questions concerning the DMA's privacy program.  "Almost a
year after the DMA pledged a comprehensive privacy policy, we find
that new members to the association don't even bother with privacy
notices. It's pretty pathetic."

An earlier University of Massachusetts study, commissioned by the DMA,
found that only 38 percent of surveyed DMA members inform consumers
that they are collecting information about them, only 33 percent seek
permission to use this information, and only 26 percent tell consumers
how this information is going to be used.

"Based on our survey of the DMA's new members, we have real doubts
that self-regulation is the right way to go for privacy protection,"
said  Mr. Rotenberg.

A March 1998 Businessweek/Harris poll found that 53 percent of
respondents favor legislation to protect privacy on the Internet. The
result is consistent with other polls that show support for privacy

EPIC's new report is available at:


The Electronic Privacy Information Center is a public interest
organization in Washington, D.C.  Its web site is located at
http://www.epic.org. The 1997 EPIC report "Surfer Beware:
Personal Privacy and the Internet" is available at

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