Internet big guns back Obama's 'privacy bill of rights'

23rd Feb 2012 | 23:53

Internet big guns back Obama's 'privacy bill of rights'

Government wants 'Do Not Track' button for browsers

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Microsoft, Google, AOL and Yahoo have committed to President Obama's proposed 'privacy bill of rights' which aims to ensure greater protection for consumers on the internet.

Amid a recent spate of controversy, Obama issued a statement on Thursday calling for clear rules to be laid down in order to ensure users' most sensitive information was being kept safe.

The plans involve a Do Not Track button, which Google has pledged to integrate within its Chrome browser to ensure advertisers cannot track movements in order to target ads if users object.

Yahoo, AOL and Microsoft, which together with the Big G is responsible for 90 per cent of targeted ads on the internet, have also agreed to incorporate the new functionality.

Online security essential

The White House says the new rules will be overseen by the FTC and give users more power over who can see their personal information and online browsing habits.

Obama said: "As the internet evolves, consumer trust is essential for the continued growth of the digital economy.

"That's why an online privacy bill of rights is so important. For businesses to succeed online, consumers must feel secure.

"By following this blueprint, companies, consumer advocates and policymakers can help protect consumers and ensure the Internet remains a platform for innovation and economic growth."

The guidelines will bring the United States more in-line with the data protection enjoyed by consumers in Europe.

The calls follow a week of controversy with Google at the centre of accusations from Microsoft and Apple after it by-passed Internet Explorer and Safari privacy settings to track users.

Via: Guardian

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