Feeds

Tech giants demand US-wide privacy law

Universal clampdown

Remote control for virtualized desktops

The world's biggest technology companies have kick-started a campaign for a US-wide privacy law. However, privacy advocates fear the proposal is too weak when compared to some of the state laws it would overrule.

Google, Microsoft, Intel, eBay, HP, Oracle and Sun are among the signatories to a statement calling for personal information to be protected across the US. Non-profit lobby group the Centre for Democracy and Technology organised the companies into the Consumer Privacy Legislative Forum.

"The time has come for a serious process to consider comprehensive harmonised federal privacy legislation to create a simplified, uniform but flexible legal framework," the CPL Forum's statement said. "The legislation should provide protection for consumers from inappropriate collection and misuse of their personal information and also enable legitimate businesses to use information to promote economic and social value."

Privacy laws are currently operated on a state-by-state basis in the US and some, such as California's, offer considerable protection. Central to the CPL Forum's proposal is that any law automatically overrules state laws on privacy.

Some privacy activists were reported as having concerns that the stricter state laws could be diluted by a bill that is likely to be weaker in order to gain national approval.

"In principle, such legislation would address businesses collecting personal information from consumers in a transparent manner," the statement said. "Because a national standard would pre-empt state laws, a robust framework is warranted."

Breaches of digital privacy are becoming increasingly common as more and more business and government processes are carried out on computers. Laptop loss has exposed data on customers and employees from a wide range of companies, including Sun, IBM, Cisco, BP, Nokia and several US government departments. The disclosure of some of these losses has in some cases only come about because of California's existing privacy law.

The forum first met last winter when it comprised the CDT, eBay, HP and Microsoft as well as an Ohio University academic.

See: OUT-LAW's legal info about data protection

Copyright © 2006, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.