Latest posts by Alvin Bryan (see all)
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It’s been almost nine months since President Obama first proposed reforms to online privacy regulations. But Internet users still suffer grave privacy attacks that cause them opportunities and drain their resources. The supposed revamp of Internet privacy rules turned out to be minor adjustments that looked good on the surface only.
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Transparency and Accountability
The online bill of rights also aimed to push for transparency and accountability for user data. Companies did say that they collected user data. But they were far from honest about defining what kind of data they took, how they used it, and who they shared it with. And most found ways to escape accountability for damage caused by data leaks.
The President stated clearly when the bill was proposed at the end of February 2013 that privacy is not a thing of the past. He rightly said that we need it more than we ever have before. But the statements about privacy as a constitutional right have not rung true in how people see their data is being treated. And his line about privacy having been at the core of the US democracy since the beginning are just empty words in the face of continued massive data mining and unauthorized sharing of personal information.
The solution remains to be the use of privacy tools. People cannot rely on the government to protect their privacy online. They need to take care of themselves with the help of VPN networks and other anti-tracking tools. Users are supposed to have control over their data. And companies are supposed to be responsible for securing any user data they hold. But it isn’t happening and people are suffering financial losses and damaged reputations as a result. In the current climate, Internet users need to depend on VPN networks and other tools operated by groups that do uphold the right to privacy.