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Obama Calls For New Privacy Bill of Rights

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the l33t-amendment dept.

Privacy 217

CWmike writes "The Obama Administration is backing a new data privacy bill of rights aimed at protecting consumers against indiscriminate online tracking and data collection by advertisers. In recent times, high-profile examples of a need for improving privacy laws include Facebook's personal data collection practices and Google's problems over its Street View Wi-Fi snooping issue. In testimony prepared for the Senate Committee on Commerce Science and Transportation, the Commerce Department's assistant secretary, Lawrence Strickling, said that the White House wants Congress to enact legislation offering 'baseline consumer data privacy protections.' Strickling said the administration's call for new online privacy protections stems from recommendations made by the Commerce Department in a paper released in December. The administration's support for privacy protections is very significant, said Joel Reidenberg, a professor at Fordham Law School who specializes in privacy issues. 'This is the first time since 1974 that the U.S. government has supported mandatory general privacy rules,' Reidenberg said."

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First (-1, Offtopic)

taktoa (1995544) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508954)

Yeah!

Which one does the President really believe in? (4, Insightful)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508964)

This or White House Wants New Copyright Law Crackdown?

Re:Which one does the President really believe in? (2)

Byzantine (85549) | more than 3 years ago | (#35508986)

I'm pretty sure it's both. Are you seriously expecting consistency from an elected official at the head of a vast bureaucracy?

Re:Which one does the President really believe in? (4, Insightful)

Infonaut (96956) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509022)

OMG! It's like these people in government are human beings with nuanced opinions and conflicting constituencies!

Re:Which one does the President really believe in? (5, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509098)

OMG! It's like these people in government are human beings with nuanced opinions and conflicting constituencies!

... and no principles that consistently direct their decision-making since that would require a spine and would likely interfere with retaining power.

You really want to make excuses for that?

Re:Which one does the President really believe in? (2)

Reason58 (775044) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509354)

... and no principles that consistently direct their decision-making since that would require a spine and would likely interfere with retaining power.

You really want to make excuses for that?

You said it yourself; politicians in the upper levels of government must set aside principles to stay in office. If you want to blame someone, blame the voters who force them to behave that way. We get the government we deserve.

Re:Which one does the President really believe in? (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509408)

If you want to blame someone, blame the voters who force them to behave that way. We get the government we deserve.

I would suggest we blame the campaign finance laws that require them to behave that way.

Re:Which one does the President really believe in? (2)

Reason58 (775044) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509494)

I would suggest we blame the campaign finance laws that require them to behave that way.

I fail to see the connection between campaign finance laws and politicians pandering to whatever the voters currently want. Election campaigns could magically be free and they would still behave in this manner. They want votes, and consistency (currently) does not win you elections.

Re:Which one does the President really believe in? (3, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509608)

I fail to see the connection between campaign finance laws and politicians pandering to whatever the voters currently want.

Your incorrect assumption is that there are any politicians "pandering to whatever the voters currently want". That hasn't been the case in quite a while. As far as I can tell, there are a bunch of governors for example doing things that are very unpopular with the voters. Look at the polls in Ohio, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan for example.

Re:Which one does the President really believe in? (1)

Reason58 (775044) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509804)

If their actions are truly "very unpopular" with the voters then those governors won't be there after the next election. If they are still around then their actions obviously weren't as unpopular as they are being portrayed.

Re:Which one does the President really believe in? (0)

mind.the.oranges (1988090) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509946)

Ah yes, the last defense of tyrants: Only history shall rightly judge!

Re:Which one does the President really believe in? (1)

Reason58 (775044) | more than 3 years ago | (#35510050)

In what way are United States governors tyrants? Are they not placed in power by the voters? Or is your assertion that you know better than all of the respective states' voters?

Re:Which one does the President really believe in? (3, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509394)

... and no principles that consistently direct their decision-making

I disagree. Clearly, the principle of "keep the big donors happy and give lip-service to voters" is the guiding principle for every politician except a very few. Bernie Sanders comes to mind, but he's a Socialist!1! so that doesn't count because clearly he's trying to undermine God and the Founding Fathers by trying to look out for his constituents.

Re:Which one does the President really believe in? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35509718)

OMG! It's like these people in government are human beings with nuanced opinions and conflicting constituencies!

... and no principles that consistently direct their decision-making since that would require a spine and would likely interfere with retaining power.

You really want to make excuses for that?

It's delusional to think that a set of principles can generate good decisions. By saying so, you're asserting that the Kolmogorov complexity of the world's problems is no greater than the length of a platform statement for your ideal political party. This is plainly absurd. Making judgements on a case-by-case basis using all relevant data is far more difficult and requires far more character than choosing a side once and forever abstaining from any further decision-making.

Re:Which one does the President really believe in? (2)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509076)

So online privacy but also invasive searches "just in case" you are doing something bad?

I'd hope he believes in privacy but is being pushed for the new copyright law by his (and other Democrat) donors.

Re:Which one does the President really believe in? (1)

Intron (870560) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509290)

Online privacy means you can't snoop on other people. You can bet that Law Enforcement is exempt.

Copyright law means you can't copy things. The Fed is already exempt from that. You can't sue the government for copyright violation.

Re:Which one does the President really believe in? (2)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509280)

Well, let's see: There's absolutely no way the privacy legislation will make it through the current Congress. Plus, Obama only came up with this after the Democrats had already lost control of Congress. And, there's a very good chance that the copyright stuff will make it through Congress.

So, I think it's fairly safe to say that he does intend to implement the copyright stuff, and that he has no intention of allowing the privacy legislation to succeed.

It's politics, pure and simple. He's hoping to convince people who care about online privacy to vote for him next year without having to worry about actually living up to any promises he makes. He can just blame the Republican Congress.

Re:Which one does the President really believe in? (0, Troll)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509470)

Well, let's see: There's absolutely no way the privacy legislation will make it through the current Congress. Plus, Obama only came up with this after the Democrats had already lost control of Congress. And, there's a very good chance that the copyright stuff will make it through Congress.

Seriously? Even with all the "populist" tea party members in control of Congress? Don't you think they're going to look out for us Americans? Surely they believe in privacy. Well, not privacy for pregnant women and their doctors, but pregnant women are merely vessels for the Holy Spark of Life and don't deserve privacy because we all know they were created second and are more prone to the influence of Satan, with their short skirts and lipstick and all. But privacy for the real Americans, I mean.

Re:Which one does the President really believe in? (0)

kalirion (728907) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509106)

It's quite simple - Obama wants the monopoly on spying on US Citizens. If an advertising firm wants private information on you, they should pay the Feds premium $$ for it.

Re:Which one does the President really believe in? (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509508)

It's quite simple - Obama wants the monopoly on spying on US Citizens. If an advertising firm wants private information on you, they should pay the Feds premium $$ for it.

Is that where advertising firms are getting our private information? From the federal government?

Re:Which one does the President really believe in? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35509116)

Also remember corporations are people too.

So whatever they come up with applies to them as well.

Re:Which one does the President really believe in? (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509220)

US Supreme Court started taking that away from the Corps just a few weeks ago.

http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/10pdf/09-1279.pdf [supremecourt.gov]

http://www.slate.com/id/2281715/ [slate.com]

"The protection in FOIA against disclosure of law enforcement information on the ground that it would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy does not extend to corporations. We trust that AT&T will not take it personally."- Chief Justice Roberts

LOL WUT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35508980)

But what about warrantless wiretapping?

Re:LOL WUT? (1)

hldn (1085833) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509402)

it says right in the title he wants a new bill of rights. one can only assume this means the old one will be discarded (as if parts of it haven't been already)

how about (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35508988)

How about not having to be seen naked in order to be able to fly? Or that there should be a court order before my electronic communications can be intercepted by law enforcement / intelligence agencies?

Bush, Obama, same thing...

Re:how about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35509160)

Bush, Obama, same thing...

I agree. Remember when Bush ended Don't Ask, Don't Tell? That was fuckin cool!

Re:how about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35509274)

Yeah, just like Obama promised. Is Gitmo closed yet?

Re:how about (2)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509298)

Obama hasn't ended Don't Ask, Don't Tell. In fact, assuming I understand the law that was passed, it won't be over until Congress gives their final approval based on "proof that it will not adversely effect combat readiness" or something along those lines.

Gee, I wonder what the chances are that the current Congress will do that?

Re:how about (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509346)

...until Congress...

I'm curious, what ~exactly~ do you expect Obama to do? What exactly would you do differently?

Re:how about (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509526)

He can threaten to veto pretty much every law passed by Congress if they do not pass Don't Ask, Don't Tell. The Republicans do not control enough seats to override a veto.

Re:how about (2)

vux984 (928602) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509750)

He can threaten to veto pretty much every law passed by Congress if they do not pass Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

The president is constitutionally required to state his objections to the legislation in writing. What is his objection to the legislation? That congress isn't doing what he wants on some other bill?

Classy.

It might work, but its a clear abuse of procedure at best if he doesn't genuinely veto the bill on its own merit (or lack thereof), and I think there are too many procedural games being played as it is.

Re:how about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35509268)

Bush never went this far.

Re:how about (4, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509308)

I was thinking the same thing. It's not about privacy. Can I smoke what I want in my own home? Nope. Can I grow what I want in my back yard? Nope. Can I get a state-sponsored marriage with whomever I want? Nope. There are piles of things that don't affect anyone outside the room they happen in that are illegal. Where's the privacy for those? Where is my right to keep the contents of my car private from the government officials who pull me over? Where did my privacy go, and why bother to call this a "privacy" related bill when it's about data retention and correlation of public information more than anything privacy related?

Instead, this bill should be the "no sharing" bill where it is made illegal to share information with 3rd parties without express permission and it's illegal to require that permission to offer a service. That's an easy fix, but the real solution will be much much worse for us. And it won't address our real privacy at all.

Re:how about (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509540)

Where did my privacy go

The same people who took our jobs!

They took our jobs!

Re:how about (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509870)

They took our jobs!

They took our jerbs!

There, FTFY

Re:how about (1)

Wahakalaka (1323747) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509400)

One step at a time maybe?

Re:how about (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35510174)

the largest intrusion into a US citizen's private life happens every April 15 when you are required by law to disclose every aspect of your private financial life to the Federal/State/Local authorities under fear of incarceration

Draconian? (2)

symes (835608) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509002)

I wonder how far this will go - would it stop Facebook from having some sort of User License Agreement whereby users can only get on Facebook if they allow all their info to be sold on?

Re:Draconian? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35509036)

Bon voyage Facebook! It was nice having you hosted in the USA.

Re:Draconian? (1)

BlueStrat (756137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509690)

I wonder how far this will go - would it stop Facebook from having some sort of User License Agreement whereby users can only get on Facebook if they allow all their info to be sold on?

I wonder how they will square this with the recent DoE threats to sue public school teachers/administrators that fail to monitor student's non-school-related Facebook pages and other online communications for any hints of non-specific "harassment or bullying" and punish and/or suspend "offenders"?

I remember a time when any teachers or school administrators who "monitored" a student outside of school in such an intrusive way would get a starring role in a criminal investigation.

So, when (not "if") some sick, twisted teacher/administrator uses their access to student's online postings and personal information to victimize students, will those at the DoE who are pushing this policy be held criminally liable?

Strat

Google's Troubles (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35509014)

Can we PLEASE stop talking about Google as if they did something wrong? I don't exactly blame my neighbors for hearing me when I stand on the top of my house screaming my personal information in all directions.

Re:Google's Troubles (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35509108)

What Google did amounts to wiretapping. Period. They eavesdropped and recorded "conversations" carried out over FCC regulated airwaves. There is no difference between what they did and placing a tap on your phone line and recording bits of your conversation.

Wiretapping laws don't require your "conversations" to be encrypted, so don't bother wasting your energy ranting about Wi-Fi encryption.

You government shills... easy to spot a mile a way...

Re:Google's Troubles (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509226)

Exactly which wire did Google tap?

Re:Google's Troubles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35509316)

Are you trying to imply that cell-phone communications are not also covered by current wiretapping laws? Dur?

Re:Google's Troubles (3, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509480)

Are you trying to suggest that FM Radio would be covered by current wiretapping law? I mean, it's a "conversation" carried out over FCC regulated airwaves, right? No, clearly wired telephones, cellular telephones, Wifi communications, and radio are all significantly different, and are treated such by law.

Let's look at USC CHAPTER 119 "Wire and Electronic Communications Interception and Interception of Oral Communications". Section 2155 2(g) reads in part:

(g) It shall not be unlawful under this chapter or chapter 121 of this title for any personâ"
(i) to intercept or access an electronic communication made through an electronic communication system that is configured so that such electronic communication is readily accessible to the general public;

So, have you encrypted your router? No? Then your electronic communication system is configured so that your electronic communications are readily accessible to the general public. Therefore, you get no protection under federal wiretap law. QED

P.S. Dur.

Re:Google's Troubles (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35509592)

cell-phone communications are encrypted

Re:Google's Troubles (4, Insightful)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509242)

What those people did amounts to criminal stupidity. Period.

Fixed the typo for you, no need to thank me.

First off, I'm from Hungary, so I don't need you flinging the "government shills" crap towards me, the US government can go rot in Hades for all I care.

I don't know much about US wiretapping laws either, not being even a paralegal, but consider this: it's called wiretapping for a reason. Wired conversations go between two discrete parties, so to eavesdrop, you need to break in at one point onto private property. Wi-Fi is a point-to-multipoint protocol, it's the equivalent of standing on your rooftop and screaming out your info for the world to hear, like grandparent said. I can walk by your house, and get it without breaking any laws, unless you suddenly want to control what I'm allowed to hear. If I went ahead, and installed a secret microphone to listen in on what you whisper to your friend in your living room, not that is wiretapping!

Learn to encrypt the network, otherwise people will just surf on it, "since it's there". You know, like why Hillary climbed Mount Everest.

Re:Google's Troubles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35509798)

HahahahahahahahhaHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Yeah right you're not a shill... You typo "fixed" Google to "those people" and wiretapping to "criminal stupidity". You also brought up what I specifically told you not as a defense. Good job Timmy.

Just to educate you, Wi-Fi is not a protocol. TCP/IP is point to point, as in your IP is your point of origin, and the destination IP is fucking end-point. There are multicast protocols, but holy fuck are you expressing some serious ignorance of the The Way Things Work[TM].

Granted all cellular traffic passes through some physical wires at some point, you can still eavesdrop on wireless connections. The laws take this into consideration...

These laws don't require me to speak gibberish on my cell phone to be protected from wiretapping. These laws don't require my celluar phone to be connected to a physical wire (see that, I can use strong tags too!) to be protected from wiretapping.

Now that you used the defense I forewarned you doesn't work, and argued semantics... what else do you have up your sleeves?

Re:Google's Troubles (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35509370)

Yeah, they "wiretapped" me the same way I "wiretap" the truckers going by on the highway yacking it up with 1000W on CB channel 19.

Try again.

Re:Google's Troubles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35509376)

Do you understand what the word shill means?

Are you seriously alleging that the GP works for the government and has been paid to post about Google online? If you honestly thing that is the most likely scenario, then I suggest that you re-consider your world view since it is on the wrong side of tin foil hat wearing.

Re:Google's Troubles (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509994)

What Google did amounts to wiretapping. Period.

As someone else wrote, exactly which wire did Google tap?

They eavesdropped and recorded "conversations"

Really? Eavesdropping involves targeted listening aimed at a specific person over a period of time... Google just drove down the street recording whatever was sent their way.

carried out over FCC regulated airwaves.

I think you'll find that WiFi operates on the UNregulated bands. If Google had been doing this on cellular wavelengths, or microwave transition bands, or even UHF or VHF or AM or FM, you might have a point.

There is no difference between what they did and placing a tap on your phone line and recording bits of your conversation.

...except for everything stated above. They didn't target an individual, they didn't trespass on private property, they didn't interfere with a federal mandate. They just listened and indiscriminately recorded the data (kind of like what they do with web pages).

Wiretapping laws don't require your "conversations" to be encrypted, so don't bother wasting your energy ranting about Wi-Fi encryption.

Hate speech laws don't require your "conversations" to be encrypted either, and Google didn't break these laws either. What's your point here exactly?

You government shills... easy to spot a mile a way...

Yup. Despite the fact that in my country, I vote for my local representative based on his platform for what he's going to do for his local constituents. The only interest I have in US politics is in how it affects the rest of the world -- and how its politicians often jump to false conclusions (based on public/corporate support and lobbying) and then act in ways that go on to impact the rest of the world.

Here's a hint: most government shills would not be attempting to sway public opinion in this way; they'd be busy trying to sway corporate opinion.

Re:Google's Troubles (3, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509150)

Can we PLEASE stop talking about Google as if they did something wrong? I don't exactly blame my neighbors for hearing me when I stand on the top of my house screaming my personal information in all directions.

I don't blame the people at the next table when they overhear my conversation either. But they aren't deliberately listening in, recording it, transcribing it, and publishing it on the web.

And they aren't following me from restaurant to restaurant recording my conversations at each, and adding them to the web, all linked together.

They aren't writing down what I'm wearing at each meal, and then analyzing it to determine colour preferences, brand preferences, income level, social standing, peer group, etc. And then selling this information...

Likewise you don't really care that your neighbors can see and hear you outside. But you'd probably object if your neighbor started keeping "files" on you, recording your comings and goings, writing down what you are wearing, producing transcripts of everything they see and hear...while watching your home with binoculars and cameras... and then publishing and selling it all on the web.

Re:Google's Troubles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35509276)

But they aren't deliberately listening in, recording it, transcribing it, and publishing it on the web.

And they aren't following me from restaurant to restaurant recording my conversations at each, and adding them to the web, all linked together.

They aren't writing down what I'm wearing at each meal, and then analyzing it to determine colour preferences, brand preferences, income level, social standing, peer group, etc. And then selling this information...

Likewise you don't really care that your neighbors can see and hear you outside. But you'd probably object if your neighbor started keeping "files" on you, recording your comings and goings, writing down what you are wearing, producing transcripts of everything they see and hear...while watching your home with binoculars and cameras... and then publishing and selling it all on the web.

... how do you know?

I mean, when's the last time you checked?

Re:Google's Troubles (2)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509292)

Unless you're suggesting that Google is selling their accidentally-collected WiFI data, you're conflating two *completely* different issues.

Re:Google's Troubles (2)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509310)

Can we PLEASE stop talking about Google as if they did something wrong? I don't exactly blame my neighbors for hearing me when I stand on the top of my house screaming my personal information in all directions.

I don't blame the people at the next table when they overhear my conversation either. But they aren't deliberately listening in, recording it, transcribing it, and publishing it on the web.

And they aren't following me from restaurant to restaurant recording my conversations at each, and adding them to the web, all linked together.

They aren't writing down what I'm wearing at each meal, and then analyzing it to determine colour preferences, brand preferences, income level, social standing, peer group, etc. And then selling this information...

Likewise you don't really care that your neighbors can see and hear you outside. But you'd probably object if your neighbor started keeping "files" on you, recording your comings and goings, writing down what you are wearing, producing transcripts of everything they see and hear...while watching your home with binoculars and cameras... and then publishing and selling it all on the web.

I admire your grasp of the facts and your (quite accurate) assessment of the situation.

The problem is bigger than a matter of information. This is a religious cause for the Google apologists, unfortunately. They decide ahead of time that what Google did is acceptable. They then reject any information that would contradict this conclusion.

You are quite right that GP would almost certainly object to a neighbor who collects this level of information about him. He'd find that disturbing, violating, and downright creepy, the kind of behavior in which a stalker would engage. But he thinks it's perfectly acceptable when Google collects that much information. And doesn't see the contradiction.

I suppose it's because a neighbor wouldn't do it for purposes of advertising revenue and would likely have a harmful, evil intention while Google does it solely to enhance its services and increase its revenues. The problem that religious apologists have is simple. They think the purpose for which the information is collected somehow changes the fact that the act of collecting the information, in and of itself, is a violation. That's the hinge of this issue, the important part that the apologists are eager to gloss over and perform mental gymnastics in order to dismiss.

That's what yields the following results: "Corporation doing X == good, individual doing X == bad".

Re:Google's Troubles (1)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509520)

You are quite right that GP would almost certainly object to a neighbor who collects this level of information about him. He'd find that disturbing, violating, and downright creepy, the kind of behavior in which a stalker would engage. But he thinks it's perfectly acceptable when Google collects that much information. And doesn't see the contradiction.

Well, one of the reasons I'm okay with Google collecting all that info about my online activity is that unlike my creepy stalker neighbor, Google won't be coming at me with sharp implements any time soon.

The other is that I really don't see how knowing what I look at one the web can harm me. I mean, it's irrelevant to my career that I read and post on Slashdot, that I read Hackaday, along with diplomacia.hu (university major's homepage), and the EU news site, or that I like to go on wiki walks to expand my knowledge. If anything, this is a plus to future employers, since it shows I'm a man of varied interests, who may be called upon to fulfill several roles (say, as the technician of an embassy and the ambassador himself, as it's one less person to pay and get the consent of the hosting state, while the secret service may employ me as a plausibly deniable source of information if I hack together a listening scope for them, since they honestly had nothing to do with that. "Electronics is simply a hobby for me, that can be turned to useful ends".).

Re:Google's Troubles (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509630)

When has Google followed anyone anywhere? Google drove down the street recording everything it could hear. This is perfectly legal for an individual to do, and it should be equally legal for a corporation to do.

If we're still talking about the wifi interception, it is absolutely not an accurate assessment to compare it to stalking/harassment.

Re:Google's Troubles (1)

Elbereth (58257) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509644)

Google is like the socially retarded neighbor who hires a private investigator to fully investigate you, to find out what the best housewarming gift would be. You might be a slight bit conflicted as to how to feel, given the circumstances. It's definitely creepy, but one could conceivably argue that it's done to give you a better experience. I'm not sure I buy that, but I'm trying to be open-minded.

Re:Google's Troubles (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 3 years ago | (#35510086)

I'd say it's more like the university professor who walks around through his entire day wearing microphones and video cameras, and stores all data he gets in a central database he and his acquaintances can search and review whenever they want to.

The problem here is that some people are looking at this as if it is centered around some mythical "individual" -- instead, Google is just storing a bunch of public information in one big database. Not only that, but when they discover they've stored some data that might make some people uncomfortable, they remove it from said database. That's more like me taking video of my kids at a public park, only to later realise that in some of the footage I also caught some neighbour on video walking around naked in their house with the blinds open. Like Google, I'd probably toss that as soon as I discovered it and keep the stuff I was actually interested in.

Re:Google's Troubles (1)

Intron (870560) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509326)

unless you are famous. Then paparazzi do all of those things. I imagine that's why celebrities occasionally gog berserk and punch somebody.

Re:Google's Troubles (5, Insightful)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509330)

None of which is relevant to what the OP is talking about, which is the data received from insecure Wi-Fi APs, not Google's cookies online. They weren't deliberately listening in, as much as they were listening to everything. You can argue they recorded it, but that's because computer's cannot listen without recording it in some fashion.

They definitely didn't follow people around, they didn't upload them to the web, they didn't analyze the data, and they didn't sell it. They deleted it. Hell, they would have preferred deleting it, instead of handing it over to the government, when they found the data they had and told people about it off their own bat.

Re:Google's Troubles (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509638)

Exactly, plus it was due to the drive-by method just a snapshot, not a trail of your communication habits.

And whether you like it or not this is data transmitted on public waves, similar to an audible conversation in the middle of the mall.

Re:Google's Troubles (4, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509390)

If my neighbors gave me have the shit Google does for free, they could write down all they want.

The government on the other hand, takes 30% of my pay, charges be an extra 6% on everything I buy, is recording FAR FAR more personal data about me than Google could ever dream, and most importantly has a long and storied history of arresting, imprisoning, torture and lets not forget executing people it deems criminals or enemy combatants.

The result of Google collecting data on me? Free email and long distance calls with the downside of targeted adds.
The result of the Government collecting data on me? Nothing good, but the possibility of discrimination, arrest, imprisonment and death.

If I need a "bill of rights" to protect me from something, lets start with the thing that could possibly KILL me before we worry about target advertising.

Re:Google's Troubles (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509538)

If my neighbors gave me have the shit Google does for free, they could write down all they want.

The difference being that you are assuming you actually have a choice. I don't think they should have the right to record you by default, but if you want them do... that's entirely up to you.

The result of Google collecting data on me? Free email and long distance calls with the downside of targeted adds.

What about these downsides... ... the possibility of discrimination, arrest, imprisonment and death.

I mean, why exactly do you think the government won't be allowed to snoop through google's notes on you when they feel like trumping up some "discrimination, arrest, imprisonment, and death"?

It doesn't really matter who collects the data. Once its collected; people you don't want looking at it are going to be looking at it.

Better that it not be collected in the first place.

The 2012 campaign has begun (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35509020)

Woop. If Obama spent less time sucking up to activists instead of balancing the budget, fixing the economy, he might have a chance in hell of getting a second term.

Monopoly (1, Flamebait)

Ezel (249772) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509042)

What he really means is that he is tired of the competition and wants monopoly on the snooping business.

Nobody else should have to much knowledge except Big Brother himself.

why not voluntarily disarm US & our allies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35509044)

then we could work on living? privacy for ALL might work? fewer 'secrets'? whatever. even more fauxking 'legislation'.

ALL MOMMYS....

isn't privacy about consideration, good manners (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35509328)

yes, provided one is 'living' indoors. even outdoors, we've been told that unwarranted staring, or being nosy in general, is impolite, at best. when we are confronted with eol issues, privacy becomes....us

Wait, what? (1)

pyalot (1197273) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509050)

So first they back ideas to introduce total internet data retention, surveillance, tracking and killswitch control in order to fight pirates. Then they back ideas about better privacy? What sort of morons make decisions in the white house?

Re:Wait, what? (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509258)

What sort of morons make decisions in the white house?

Sneaky ones. The proposed new "Privacy Act" will dictate how private industry will keep information gathered on individuals. Just like the Data Privacy Act of 1974 does for the government. I do not believe this prevents the government from requiring ISPs from keeping data logs on its users, since they can create exceptions for ISPs by classifying them as similar to traditional common carrier status and not commerce. Better yet, they can make all the exceptions necessary in this new law to make their copyright enforcement law legal.

This way the populace will read headlines like "Privacy Bill of Rights", and think happy thoughts while the devil remains in the details within the bill. Isn't this how it normally works anyway? Compare some of the title of bills introduced in congress with its contents.

Flash Cookies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35509104)

Can they do something about Flash Cookies? That are deliberately hidden? That most people don't even know exist? That are used to reload regular cookies (that people deleted)?

(Yes, as a slashdot reader, I personally know how to deal with them. But I'm talking about the large scale problem.)

Re:Flash Cookies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35509180)

ln -s /dev/null ~/.adobe/Flash_Player
ln -s /dev/null ~/.macromedia/Flash_Player

Re:Flash Cookies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35509300)

And for those that aren't using a unix based OS?

Re:Flash Cookies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35509612)

Install a Unix based OS and then follow the given instructions.

Re:Flash Cookies (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509712)

They got what they paid for?

Not much need for change... (1)

binaryseraph (955557) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509110)

Quite frankly, if you don't want the information shared- you shouldn't put it out there to begin with. Facebook should be able to sell of any data it wishes provided users know they are giving up that information freely. If they don't read the TOS the fault should be on them.

Re:Not much need for change... (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509364)

And what if the TOS is buried in a filing cabinet in the basement behind the door of an unused lavatory with "beware of the leopard" on it? I'd agree with you if the TOS were required to use plain language but instead they are nearly always written in such legalese bullshit you'd need to hire a contract lawyer just to translate the stupid thing.

Now if you want to pass a law that the TOS only counts if it falls under the "reasonable person" rule, that is that a reasonable person with an average HS education can read it and make heads or tails of it then I agree it is buyer beware, but most of the things have so much legalese bullshit you'd need a paddle-boat to cut through the muck.

Somebody forgot... (0)

tm2b (42473) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509120)

Somebody forgot to check in with his corporate masters...

SSN national identifier or password to finances (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35509148)

Right now our Social Security Numbers act as an identifier and a unchangeable password. I wish that somebody would address this data issue.

sure! it will fix it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35509158)

just like CAN-SPAM act fixed the email spam problem, this law is going to fix data privacy problem, sure :) Govt. can fix everything!!
This is just an attempt to legalize data collection over online users so businesses and govt.agencies can mine data and pretend to be in a prescribed legal limits and accept no ethical blame.

Paging Mr. Zuckerberg (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35509170)

Mr. Zukerberg, please pick up the white courtesy phone. Your campaign contributions are needed urgently. Oh, thank-you Mr. Zuckerberg. We'll see to it that this dies in committee.

Dang (1)

overshoot (39700) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509176)

For a moment there I thought someone had gotten to him and we were going to have the Fourth Amendment back again.

What is missing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35509222)

With what the teachers have not been teaching (real history, real thinking, real math and real citizenship), I find it very understandable, that, considering how many voted for Obama, having NO IDEA WHAT HE STANDS FOR AND BELIEVES...

There would be a lot of people out there, that feel privacy has no meaning to our lives...

The best description for them 'Eloi' for lack of a better name... .With the one's they 'feel good about' being Morlock...

(Look up "The Time Machine" by H.G.Wells, if you fail to know of which I write)

There is no 'Utopia' (if you do not understand basically why... Look Up What "Utopia" means...)

This country is losing its future to Morlocks that teach, lead our government, and are being influenced by money not from this land.

If we stand for losing what little 'privacy' we have left... Remember, The Eloi were food for the ones in charge..

Obamanos!! (2)

Cajun Hell (725246) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509232)

the White House wants Congress to enact legislation offering 'baseline consumer data privacy protections.'

Wait a minute .. isn't this the same guy who, when he was a Senator, voted for the bill to give AT&T retroactive immunity to their illegal wiretaps?

I guess it just goes to show, in 2008 Obama was just another politician, as corrupt and ineffective as anyone else, but now in 2011 he's become an idealist, finally offering the hope and change that just three years ago, nobody could credibly believe in.

Response to Wikileaks (1)

Puzzles (874941) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509240)

I'm no lawyer or politician, but could this perhaps be legislation made in response to the recent Wikileaks fiasco?

why they're mad (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35509264)

They're not mad because Google collected a bunch of wi-fi data. They're mad because Google didn't share it with them. They want to pass new regulation, new "oversight," ie... the next time this happens the government will get their grubby little hands all over the data.

Ditto with facebook.

"We need to see your data so, uh... we know what you're collecting. We're protecting privacy! Yeah, that's it. Privacy."

laws (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35509314)

wow they are going to write a law showing you just how much privacy you don't have... anymore

thanks obama! Go play some more golf we got this anyway

Too narrow a target (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35509320)

aimed at protecting consumers against indiscriminate online tracking and data collection by advertisers

This does not protect you against the government or against its contractors (Aaron Barr et al.)

Fuck that, how about privacy from the IRS (1)

argoff (142580) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509428)

The number one violator of privacy is the federal government. On the internet, on the phone, with out passports, with TSA, even on our drivers licenses they're just non stop. How about not having to tell the IRS my bank account, my income, or every transaction over 10000, since when was anything like that any of their freaking business.

Bill of Rights which applies to whom? (1)

ScooterComputer (10306) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509566)

Anybody else bothered by the fact that a Constitutional Scholar who has ascended to President seems to have a fairly layman's concept of what the Bill of Rights does? I mean, the Bill of Rights applies to the GOVERNMENT, enumerated specific rights that the GOVERNMENT cannot infringe upon. However, TFA seems to insinuate that Obama is expecting this new "Bill of Rights" to be applicable to corporations, even other individuals.

Isn't the concept of what rights are and what the Government can/can't do a distinction that a Constitutional Scholar would not be so haphazard in conflating? It seems to me that a programmer wouldn't go around talking about "refactoring" in regards to bringing manufacturing back to town.

Re:Bill of Rights which applies to whom? (1)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509618)

Repeat after me: colloquialism. I'm sure they already have a proper, legal name for it, it's just much easier to call it this.

Protect us for YOU (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35509570)

It's not companies we need protection from. If Target tracks my buying habits the worst that can happen to me is they screw it up and offer me coupons for feminine hygiene products (I'm male, though when my daughters were still living with me, that might have come in handy).

I'm not afraid of Target violating my privacy Mr. President. I'm afraid of YOU and your ilk listening in on my phone calls, reading my emails, tracking my web surfing, peering into my bank account and groping me and irradiating me every time I want to visit my sister or brother.

So do us all a favor and can the consumer protection, read the 1st and 4th amendments again and see what you can do about giving me back the REAL rights I've lost instead falsely bolstering my imaginary right to "Privacy".

Re:Protect us for YOU (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509640)

I disagree STRONGLY. Part of what the government has started to do to get around federal laws against data aggregation is to license access databases run by private entities. It's effectively the same thing, but legally not.

The worst thing that a private company can do to you? Surrender ALL of your records, communications, and travel history to the federal government the instant you are merely accused of a crime.

Facebook lobbyists begin to scramble... (1)

clapsaddle (2018708) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509582)

By god, Zuckerberg ain't gonna like this. Your privacy is his billions!

Now we don't have to tell THEM anything?! :-) (1)

DavidinAla (639952) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509682)

So if the federal government is now in favor of us having the right to control our privacy, I guess this means they'll stop threatening to throw us into jail when we don't tell them our business, huh? ;-)

privacy rights coming from a government that (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 3 years ago | (#35509748)

spies on more people and collects more personal information than any other organization in the world.

yeah ... right, like i am supposed to believe that...

seriously? (1)

grapeape (137008) | more than 3 years ago | (#35510100)

He's joking right? The day after expanding copyright "reform" and weeks after renewing the patriot act...fuck you obama change my ass

Ready... Race! (1)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 3 years ago | (#35510114)

OK, so today the White House announced its support for two new laws. One protects citizens from predatory trade practices, the other extends the fiat monopoly powers of a corporate lobbying group. Seems like a fine opportunity for a free market and representative democracy shootout.

1. Which one will get gutted before passage?
2. Which one will be broadened before passage?
3. Which one will pass first?
4. Which one will be decried by the opposition party as unconscionable government interference in the free market?
5. Which one will be lauded as necessary government protection of the free market?

Ready... Race!

for some reason, seems like another power grab (1)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 3 years ago | (#35510138)

like when they named the act that takes away your right to not be spied on and illegally searched the patriot act. I would be interested in what obama is really up to cause he has abandoned helping regular people.
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