Is Online Privacy Dead or Alive?

In my role as President of the Safe Internet Alliance ( was recently asked to respond to a question posed by Lora Bentley of whether consumers had any privacy left for an article in ITBusinessEdge. Here’s what was published on their site, below you can see my full response.

I recommend reviewing the comments by the other 19 respondents; there are a wide spectrum of answers.

The health of online privacy today is fundamentally split between the ultra-wealthy who can afford to guard their privacy – and who therefore enjoy a fairly healthy level of privacy, and the average consumer for whom privacy is on life-support.

It is an irresponsible tradeoff when companies trade consumer privacy for profit. The Safe Internet Alliance has published two recent blogs raising concerns about consumer privacy, the first blog comments on the recent filing to the FCC by the Center for Digital Democracy, US PIRG and World Privacy Forum, FTC Asked to Review Stealth Collection of Consumer Data. The second takes aim at the unacceptable practices of some companies when notifying consumers (after the fact) that they’ve changed their privacy policies, and users’ privacy is the casualty, Privacy Policy Changes – Some Companies Get Notification Right.

The Alliance also provides position papers and comments to the FCC and FTC on the need to encourage innovation in building safer online products that respect consumer’s online experience and information, and is currently working with industry groups to define an Internet Users privacy and safety Bill of Rights.

If you are concerned about your privacy, I also recommend How Far is Too Far? When Companies Track Your Online Use, and Your Internet Safety and Privacy Bill of Rights.



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