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23 03 2001 WORLD-INFO FLASH
Industry Group Campaigns Against Internet-Privacy Legislation
by World-Information.Org



++ Privacy is too Expensive ++ Links ++

A group of companies and industry organizations has quietly started a campaign against Internet-privacy legislation. Led by the Online Privacy Alliance in Washington, whose members include corporations such as Disney, Equifax, Microsoft and DoubleClick Inc., they aim at halting the advance of dozens of privacy bills in U.S. Congress and in state legislatures across the country. Working together closely with the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), the largest trade association for direct-mail and marketing companies, the group recently went public with four industry funded studies that attack legislative proposals on three fronts: identifying expensive regulatory burdens, raising questions about how any U.S. Internet law would apply to non-Internet industries, and assuring lawmakers that privacy is best guarded by new technology, not new laws.

One of the studies, pursued by Ernst & Young LLP, concludes that significant restrictions on information sharing would cost 90 of the largest financial institutions up to US$ 17 billion a year of added expenses. Another study by Fred H. Cate and Michael E. Staten argues that limitations on the free flow of personal information would boost the risk of fraud and identity theft. Their argument: if an Internet retailer can’t verify address information with a credit card company, fraud becomes harder to police. Although the studies – one of them done by the DMA - deliver different findings, their arguments are aimed at the same direction: the legitimization of the collection and storage of personal data. Yet supporters of privacy protection measures contend that lawmakers face enormous public pressure to move ahead, noting that some high-tech companies – including Intel, Hewlett Packard and AOL – now favor modest protections. “It’s hard to imagine that Congress is not going to act on the privacy issue … [but] I don’t think anyone expected a bill to be flying on the floor at this point.” said Marc Rotenberg, president of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) in Washington.

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++ LINKS ++

Privacy Foundation
>>> http://www.privacyfoundation.org/

Online Privacy Alliance
>>> http://www.privacyalliance.org/

The Privacy Coalition
>>> http://www.privacypledge.org

European Commission, DG Internal Market – Data Protection
>>> http://europa.eu.int/comm/internal_market/en/media/dataprot/

Privacy & Human Rights 2000 (EPIC/PI)
>>> http://www.privacyinternational.org/survey/









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