Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Eat Your Cookies: EU Privacy Directive Takes Effect Wednesday

New European Union privacy regulations that require Web sites to get consent from EU users before tracking them around the rest of the Web will go into effect Wednesday. The directive is aimed at cookies used for targeted advertising, and applies to companies operated in any country.

However, many EU countries have yet to create laws based on the directive, which was originally legislated in 2009, and it’s not clear how aggressively various governments will enforce opt-in cookies.

“Confusion and uncertainty” is how Dennis Dayman, chief privacy and security for Eloqua–a marketing automation provider that’s supplying tools to help Web sites offer data capture choices–described the situation. He noted that what makes things even harder is that requirements will vary from country to country.

“Do-Not-Track” laws, which would require options for consumers to opt out of online data collection, are also being discussed in the United States. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D., W.Va.) this month proposed the Do-Not-Track Online Act of 2011, which would be enforced by the Federal Trade Commission if it passes.

California State Sen. Alan Lowenthal proposed a similar law in California earlier this year. Google, Facebook, AOL, Yahoo and various advertising and retail companies have submitted formal opposition to the California bill, arguing that all four major browsers already offer users options to filter their own Web use.

Image via Flickr user melissacorey.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik