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The Commerce Dept. is reportedly talking to social networking companies and consumer advocates about rules to protect online privacy. Also included are possible protections for companies that have data breeches.
This is supposedly laying the groundwork for legislation that might be proposed this fall.
Facebook lost more value today than any other company in history: $120 billion. The massive selloff came after CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted that the growing privacy concerns of the public, and the likely response of lawmakers and regulators, will hit the company where it hurts: in the pocketbook.
On the same day Facebook lost 19 percent of its value, Apple’s share price was unaffected. This is because the two companies have diametrically opposing views on the privacy rights of the public. What hurt Facebook so much is actually one of Apple’s strengths.
Ever been discussing some product to your friends and then had an ad for it appear on your iPhone the next day? It’s happened enough that people want to know “Is my phone listening to me all the time?”
A group of computer scientists decided to test this phobia, which they dubbed panoptispy: the fear that everyone is being spied on.
The internet is still like the wild west, with the online equivalent of the railroad companies looking to carve it up. It’s going to take people power to keep the internet open, like today’s Operation: One More Vote. But there are personal steps we can each take to maintain our privacy and freedom of movement online.