Giving web users more control of their personal information online became a key priority for members of Congress in the past year, as well as for federal regulators and the technology industry, which sought to head off new rules by suggesting guidelines of its own.
The momentum for stronger federal regulations on how data can be used and shared began to grow after Facebook faced criticism late last year for creating complex changes to its privacy polices that made some data more publicly available. Apple and AT&T, meanwhile, were criticized in 2010 for a data breach that revealed the network identities of iPad users, while Google said it accidentally snooped on residential Wi-Fi networks as it collected information for location-based applications.
Earlier this month, the Federal Trade Commission proposed to create a “Do Not Track” tool for enhancing online privacy, so that people could prevent marketers from tracking their web browsing habits and other online behavior in order to deliver targeted advertising. And, aiming to set ground rules for companies that collect personal data online and use that information for marketing purposes, the Commerce Department called for the creation of an online privacy “bill of rights” for internet users.…Read More