White House Backing Online Bill of RightsThe idea of an online Bill of Rights just got some serious support, as President Barack Obama came out in favor of the idea. He, or at least his advisers, feel that there needs to be some way for citizens to protect themselves against companies that might otherwise take advantage of them without their knowledge.
He also wants companies to adopt “Do Not Track” rules, and to limit what companies can do with collected information.
This all comes after it was revealed that the iPhone made it incredibly simple for your private information, like your entire phone list, to be leaked. And as much as you might like to think that the online companies we know and love didn’t abuse this oversight, Facebook, Instagram, Yelp, and others all were collecting as much private information as they could get their hands on.
Right now, the US Department of Commerce is working on creating enforceable rules for how data is handled online. These rules are founded on the idea that consumers should be able to control how much of their information gets leaked to large corporations.
Many companies already support this, including Google, who has implemented an experimental browser extension aimed at implementing a “Do Not Track” system. Google alsocame out with a button for sites for people who don’t want to be tracked a while ago. At the moment, however, the button system is largely based on companies’ honor, meaning that the system hasn’t really taken off.
This Bill of Rights could pose problems for companies that profit from your private information, like Facebook. These new rules could force the company to, once and for all, stop tracking and selling information. It’s a good thing that they have found other ways to make money.