Yahoo! Still Exists, Says Internets Are Safer Than They Used To Be

A Congressional panel is looking into drafting new online privacy laws, but Yahoo says such legislation isn’t necessary because the e-industry has done such a bang-up job of regulating itself.

A Business Mirror story on the matter goes:

“Most advances in online privacy protection have come as a result of industry initiatives and self-regulation,” Anne Toth, Yahoo!’s head of privacy, said in written testimony submitted to a joint House hearing. “Market forces drive companies like Yahoo! to bring privacy innovations to our customers quickly.”

The hearing on industry practices and consumer expectations was held before the House Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet and the Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection.

The hearing concerned a debate over how companies use customers’ personal information. Charter Communications Inc. halted a plan to track customers’ Internet use for a targeted-ad campaign after lawmakers objected last year.

In February the Federal Trade Commission urged providers of Internet advertisements, such as Mountain View, California-based Google Inc., to gain consent before collecting personal data.

Closely held Facebook Inc., operator of the world’s largest social networking site, revised privacy principles in February after users complained about a policy change that let the company keep customers’ photos and content, even if users closed their accounts.

Representative Joe Barton, a Texas Republican, called loss of personal privacy “a big deal for most Americans, and it’s a very big deal to me.”

“People should have the option to prevent any kind of data collection in the first place,” Barton told the hearing. “The public calls for action have reached a deafening pitch.”

So that’s why we’re going deaf. It wasn’t that rock and roll music (that Big Brother didn’t realize we downloaded because our internet privacy is so secure) we’ve been listening to and playing too loud.

Yahoo! says consumer online privacy has improved [Business Mirror]
(Photo: Therrol)

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.