Here’s some news on Boucher’s privacy campaign:
It’s not clear how broad a law Boucher has in mind, though it’s likely to be some codification of generally accepted data-privacy practices. Those include telling people when you collect data and why, letting them choose to join in or not, using the data only for the reason you collected it, letting people see and correct the information and destroying it when its not longer needed.
But engineer Richard Bennett argued that DPI and network management techniques were getting a bad name and are simply the logical extension of the tools used in the early days of the internet.
Hoping to convince the subcommittee not to write legislation, AT&T’s chief privacy officer Dorothy Atwood said that the committee’s previous hearings and investigations have led to “robust self-regulation,” code-words for “no laws needed.” There’s some truth in that statement, since last summer, the subcommittee single-handedly ended ISPs dreams of letting outside companies spy on their subscribers in exchange for a little more revenue.
If the privacy is the problem, it needs to be the focus of the bill, not one of many techniques that may be used to compromise it, of course.