One of the purposes why privacy laws exist is to give adequate protection to personal information. Today, millions of users share their personal data in social networking. These data are then collected in the database of these companies. Without adequate protection, these data could be abused. The results could be detrimental to these data owners. To avoid such consequence, users need to set limits as to which information is to be shared and which is not.
Privacy laws remained the same for more than twenty years. Considering the present status of technology, these laws have been outdated. They can no longer give full protection to personal information. If ever, these laws would have loopholes and thus could be questioned.
Just recently, Twitter disclosed an incident that illustrates the inapplicability of existing privacy laws. It received a federal order requiring it to submit its stored users’ data to authorities. Although the company questioned such action, it cannot say “no” because privacy laws would “allow” such. Users of the digital age would always be violated if the same incident happens continuously. Internet users of today need more protection that those in the past. It is because today, there are many ways that these data could be used for self-vested interests. One more thing about today’s users is they have lesser limits in data sharing. This fact validates the need for a revised implementation of privacy laws.
Tech companies decided to do something to protect themselves and their users. Lobbying is the effective strategy that they have discovered. Through lobbying, they can talk with lawmakers and privacy experts to propose their ideas. The purpose is not to totally influence decision, but to offer a wider venue for deliberation. They would like to see privacy laws that are favorable both to their business and users. They would like to see a balance between national security protection and privacy.
At present, there is a proposal for a “do not track” option. This is giving the user the leeway to consciously choose how his or her data should be treated. This method gives a user more freedom and hence is not oppressive. Another possible option is that sites would be required to obtain direct permission from data owners. Even these two proposals are not contained in today’s existing privacy laws. These are good reasons for government to act on the revision of these important laws.Tags: Internet Piracy, Internet Privacy, Privacy Issues, Privacy Laws, Privacy Rights