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    Op-Ed at New York Times: A Second Front in the Privacy Wars

    In an editorial, the New York Times discusses privacy rights:

    More than a year before Edward Snowden exposed the vast reach of government surveillance, President Obama proposed a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights to protect Americans from the prying eyes of Internet companies, advertisers and other businesses. […]

    Last month, Mr. Obama tapped his special adviser, John Podesta, to take another look at privacy and big data (the millions of records that businesses are collecting and using to increase sales and improve operations) and produce a fresh report in 90 days.

    With the Internet evolving fast, few consumers can adequately guard against losing control of their personal data. A recent report by the majority staff of the Senate Commerce Committee, for example, found that companies known as data brokers have assembled extensive dossiers on millions of individuals and families. Those files include information like web browsing histories, what consumers bought in physical and online stores, and what medical conditions people have. […]

    The technology and advertising industries have argued that self-regulation is the best approach to dealing with such concerns. But industry efforts have failed to produce easy-to-use protections. That’s why it is important that the president’s latest initiative not produce another report that goes nowhere.

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