Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and AOL give new privacy bill the thumbs up
Internet privacy is something of a buzz word in Washington at the moment, with a new bill set to improve consumer trust by changing the way people buy and sell online.
In a public announcement on Thursday (February 24) US president Barack Obama said that his "consumer privacy bill of rights" would do just that.
At this point in time the legislation seems to follow the structure of Europe's own data protection principles, which are thought to be tougher than the current US version.
"As the internet evolves, consumer trust is essential for the continued growth of the digital economy, explained Mr Obama.
"That's why an online privacy bill of rights is so important. For businesses to succeed online, consumers must feel secure."
And it seems that the president is not the only leader campaigning for change, with the US Federal Trade Commission also taking steps to safeguard user privacy.
Among the organisation's key recommendations to companies that are responsible for delivering the majority of targeted advertisements – a figure that sits near the 90 per cent mark – is the introduction of a "Do Not Track" protocol.
The technology will be built into web browsers later this year and aims to give users the power to opt out of online web tracking.
It is based on the principle that companies should be open with users about the way they collect and distribute information regarding their browsing habits, as well as more personal details.
It will also work to protect privacy and take greater control of the way personal data is stored – something that is sure to resonate with users given the number of privacy scandals that have taken place in recent years.
So far some of the world's largest search engines have signed on to the agreement, with Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and AOL all saying they will agree to the bill.
Posted by Aimee McBride