Tags: white house | obama | data breach | hacker security

Obama to Seek New Laws Protecting Consumers From Data Abuse

Thursday, 01 May 2014 02:15 PM

U.S. agencies and Congress should work to develop a consumer bill of rights and a federal standard for companies to report data breaches, according to a White House report of government and industry data practices.

New and updated laws are needed to ensure that the privacy of consumers is protected and that companies don’t use data collected to discriminate in hiring or to artificially inflate prices on goods and services, according to the report released by John Podesta, an adviser to President Barack Obama who was asked in January to review privacy risks of “big data.”

The report outlined six policy recommendations, including protecting students against having their data shared or used inappropriately.

“While big data can be used for great social good, it can also be used in ways that perpetrate social harms or render outcomes that have inequitable impacts, even when discrimination is not intended,” according to the report.

The review is intended to further discussion about privacy in the Internet age that swelled last year after the U.S. government’s own data-spying programs were revealed in leaks of intelligence documents by contractor Edward Snowden.

Data Collection

Each piece of data a person shares online has measurable value that has helped to build an industry with $156 billion in revenue in 2012, according to a report from the New York-based Direct Marketing Association. The use of tracking cookies — small bits of computer code that are implanted in people’s Internet browsers when they visit a website — allows companies to continuously update dossiers of users’ behavior, even when they’re not on the companies’ own websites or not logged in to the services

“Corporations of all shapes and sizes track what you buy, store and analyze our data and use it for commercial purposes,” Obama said in a January speech announcing the review. “That’s how those targeted ads pop up on your computer and your smartphone periodically.”

Obama said at the time that the White House would coordinate a review of how government agencies and companies collect and analyze data about people’s Internet habits. The review has been led by Podesta, who was White House chief of staff under President Bill Clinton.

While Obama’s speech in January primarily focused on efforts to restrain National Security Agency spying on telephone calls, e-mails and Internet browsing, he said companies gather large amounts of data about online activity.

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U.S. agencies and Congress should work to develop a consumer bill of rights and a federal standard for companies to report data breaches, according to a White House report of government and industry data practices.New and updated laws are needed to ensure that the privacy...
white house, obama, data breach, hacker security
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2014-15-01
Thursday, 01 May 2014 02:15 PM
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