The internet has been laden with numerous privacy problems for many years. Despite the efforts to enforce privacy laws, the nature of internet technology quickly outdates these legislations. After a year or two of its implementation, a privacy law is made “useless” by the rapidly changing technology. There has to be a plan that will always be in pace with the real-time circumstances. Privacy advocates now say that self regulation is the best solution to privacy problems.
Self regulation is the self-imposition of privacy related measures so as to avoid privacy invasion. Even without a law, it is the limiting of the use of gathered personal information by companies or groups that collect such information. It is a voluntary action that follows a clear set of guidelines about how a certain company can protect privacy. Such actions could be done by website advertisers, ISPs, data brokers, social networking sites, apps providers, etc.
The idea of self regulation began in the U.S. in 1997. Since then, this idea has been promoted by way of distributing information and encouraging websites to make it their commitment. However, history shows that not one self-regulatory effort has had prolonged success. There were attempts that were initiated, but failed in one or more significant ways. Others never got the chance to show what they had all about before they disappeared. Although it is believed that self regulation can really help solve privacy problems, reforms in its implementation are needed. There is a strong opinion that consumers themselves have the greatest responsibility in protecting their own privacy.