Feeds

Tech giants demand US-wide privacy law

Universal clampdown

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

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.

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.