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Barack Obama

The White House Pushes for Privacy Bill

On Thursday, the White House proposed a "privacy bill of rights" that would give consumers more control over their data, but would only be supported by voluntary commitments by Internet companies like Google Inc. and Facebook. The plan comes on the back of government supported bills like the Stop Online Piracy Act, Protect IP Act, and growing consumer concern about their lack of control over the collection and trade in vast amounts of detailed information about their online activities and real-life identities.

Privacy advocates believe that urging for "Do Not Track" technology in web browsers was of "limited scope" and consumers should avoid thinking that their Internet activity would be totally shielded. "The hope would be that this is a measure that you get all the large advertisers to agree to," Christopher Calabrese, lobbyist for the American Civil Liberties Union said. "Then it gets to be in their interest to get it enforced on the others through legislation."

With tepid support for this action in place, could this privacy package have a chilling effect on our growing economy and potentially halt online innovation?

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