Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights will be hard to enforce

While I am encouraged to see the recently announced Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, it is no reason to become complacent about your privacy.

First, the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights is a set of fairly general statements. It is unclear if or when we would see real enforcement.

Second, it will be very difficult to enforce this against non-US services, and it is almost impossible for a user to know if some or all of a website she is visiting is being provided by a non-US company.

Third, it is very difficult to tell if the policies are being violated. Unless the website uses the information directly and immediately it is very hard to tie the use of information back to the source of the information. If it is being silently collected, you really can't tell.

While such policies and statements of principle are a good thing, and one hopes that most major websites will get on board with them, if you actually want to ensure your privacy, you need to take matters into your own hands.

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