February 5, 2012
Stop Big Brother Now!

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Should Personal Data Be Personal?

“MAX SCHREMS, a 24-year-old law student from Salzburg, Austria, wanted to know what Facebook knew: He requested his own Facebook file. What he got turned out to be a virtual bildungsroman, 1,222 pages long. It contained wall posts he had deleted, old messages that revealed a friend’s troubled state of mind, even information that he didn’t enter himself about his physical whereabouts.”

““Europe has come to the conclusion that none of the companies can be trusted,” said Simon Davies, the director of the London-based nonprofit Privacy International. “The European Commission is responding to public demand. There is a growing mood of despondency about the privacy issue.”

Every European country has a privacy law, as do Canada, Australia and many Latin American countries. The United States remains a holdout: We have separate laws that protect our health records and financial information, and even one that keeps private what movies we rent. But there is no law that spells out the control and use of online data.”

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