Proposed online privacy bill of rights

The U.S. Commerce Department is proposing that the U.S. government introduce and enforce an online privacy bill of rights. This would primarily regulate the data that is currently being collected by companies online. The data tells companies how each of us behaves online and sells this data to advertisers and companies looking to sell their goods and services to their target markets.

Although the government must be very careful to not make the restrictions so tough that it stifles business, this is an important step in the evolution of the internet. The internet is still in its infancy and is evolving every day. In some ways, especially when you look at user data that is being collected now, the internet is almost like the Wild West from centuries past. There is a real need for a government framework to protect users so that they do not have to worry about their privacy when they go online. It is something that is bound to happen and was really only a matter of time. Now seems to be a good time to do this as the amounts and types of data being collected are becoming very large and detailed.

Although this is a U.S. government agency proposal, if it becomes U.S. law then it is very likely that other countries will follow suit. Surely Europe will jump on the chance to make government bigger and more controlling (although in this case, that’s a positive thing). The key will be if countries like China and other developing nations will implement similar regulations. I would think that they would lag in this and this will create a bonanza for companies since they will be addicted to user data by then and will miss it greatly. It will likely be many years before developing countries take up this type of regulation, but for us in the advanced world, this is a welcome idea as long as it is done correctly.