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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

ACLU Launches Internet Privacy Campaign

Posted By on Wed, Nov 18, 2009 at 2:30 PM

Do you know your dotRights?


Dot what?

click to enlarge A portal to the soul
  • A portal to the soul
The American Civil Liberties Union's San Francisco-based Northern California office is launching a campaign to beef up Internet privacy. In a statement released today, the ACLU seeks to "spotlight the need to upgrade laws protecting consumer data" and unveils its nifty new Web site, dotrights.org (try saying that URL aloud five times), which features a two-minute video primer on the issue.

The statement notes that the federal law which ostensibly safeguards Internet privacy, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, was drafted in 1986, back when the only folks with Internet access were Army scientists and aliens. Today, companies and even government agencies take advantage of this lax legal landscape to collect, subpoena, and sell personal information gleaned from our Web-browsing habits -- such as what books we've recently bought.

"Once our personal information is collected, we don't know how it will be used or abused," Nicole Ozer, technology and civil liberties policy director at the ACLU's regional office, said in the statement.

The group is advocating an update to Internet privacy laws -- such as new legislation forcing Web sites to disclose what information they gather about users and permitting those visitors to have their information deleted free of charge. We'll see if this effort gathers steam. In the meantime, can you guess what we already know about YOU?

Photo   |   MrsGooding

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Peter Jamison

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