Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Although Internet Service providers like - AT&T, Time Warner, and Verizon - are in accord with the idea of implementing industry-wide guidelines to protect privacy online, the corporate giants want to self-regulate without Government interference.
At a hearing before the Senate Commerce Committee - representatives from all of the "Big 3" - were on hand to testify.
Tom Tauke, an executive VP for Verizon, for instance, argued that service providers ought to be able to go forward with self-regulation in mind.
However, critics say that consumer privacy may be at risk.
For this reason, Charter Communications Inc. was forced to halt plans to track consumers on the Internet for a targeted ad campaign, after Connecticut's top Legal Eagle said the intrusive practice might be in violation of applicable law.
Senator Byron L. Dorgan (D-N.D.) stressed the need for protecting consumers' rights in respect to privacy issues.
The politician argued that, if necessary, legislation should be written to ensure there are no violations in the future.
Some are downright skeptical about the "Big 3's" assurances that self-regulation would not pose a threat and that they would take care to guard the privacy of its customers.
One non-profit organization - Public Knowledge - made no bones about it.
Without legislation to date - gaps in the law have allowed the privacy of some Internet users to fall between the cracks - reps for the consumer watch dog asserted.
Although the majors in the provider-service arena deny that their companies are delivering up ads based on web-browsing habits, skeptics in the industry are pointing accusing fingers.
I, for one, support legislation to ensure there are laws in place to support the privacy rights of the individual.
God forbid, the "Big 3" should unite, and become "One".
Imagine their evil Global reach then!