Proposed Web Privacy Bill and You

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So this new bill being pushed in California is supposed the be in place to protect your privacy online. Okay, I have no issues with that, but there is something that strikes me a little odd personally. Not only does the proposed bill say that social networking sites would automatically have heightened security, but it places tighter controls in the hands of parents of minors who use those same sites.

This is a personal opinion of course, but the only real change that social sites online should adopt at present would be a new mantra. Allow your consumer/user base to opt-in to innitiatives instead of opt-out of them. Just because you make a small tweak to a random section of the security settings doesn’t mean you flag everyones profile as open and public as default either. Leaving the power of privacy in the hands of the users is a stronger stance than placing the onus on the company.

Of course there are those heralding the bill as a great idea, that it provides protection against personal information being tracked and sold to third parties online. To that I say ‘Learn to read’. The security settings aren’t difficult to understand in any network I’ve been involved in and they’re always in an out of the way place. You don’t login to a social network to be bombarded with ‘CHECK YOUR PRIVACY!!’ you login to see what your circle is involved in at the moment, to create or strengthen business ties, or maybe even to just talk to your aunt or grandma who lives across the country.

Just as the saying goes ‘If you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen’ if you can’t be arsed to manage your own information, don’t expect the web to do it for you. Information is bought, sold, traded and stolen every second of every day online, if you’re only waking up to that now that’s not the internets fault. PEBKAC.