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Google, Microsoft, Others Form Privacy Coalition

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 21 comments

A group of major technology companies including Google and Microsoft are today expected to announce a new privacy coalition that will campaign for updated federal privacy laws.

VentureBeat reports that Microsoft and Google are just two companies in a group of many think tanks, tech companies and civil liberties groups expected to unveil a set of principles they want to add to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.

Created in 1986, the law is supposed to govern privacy rights when it comes to electronic communication (phones, computers, etc.) but because of the advancements in technology over the last 25 years, it's decidedly out of date.

CNet reports that the coalition wants to simplify the wording of the ECPA and make it necessary for police to obtain a search warrant to access private communications and the locations of mobile devices.

However, it seems the major problem these companies have with the law is that it could potentially slow the adoption of cloud computing. According to CNet current law means Internet users have more privacy rights if they store things locally. "The main thing that's broken about ECPA is that it penalizes you for using cloud computing," says Marc Zwillinger, a partner at Zwillinger Genetski in Washington, D.C. who specializes in data privacy law and has provided the coalition with legal advice.

Read more about the coalition here.

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Top Comments
  • 14 Hide
    descendency , March 30, 2010 5:36 PM
    Aren't they some of the people that you want to keep your information from???
  • 13 Hide
    tsnorquist , March 30, 2010 6:46 PM
    TommySchIs this the picture of a MAC owner trying to read on his shiny screen?


    I'd question the "his" in your observation TommySch.
  • 11 Hide
    tommysch , March 30, 2010 6:12 PM
    Is this the picture of a MAC owner trying to read on his shiny screen?
Other Comments
    Display all 21 comments.
  • 10 Hide
    LORD_ORION , March 30, 2010 5:28 PM
    For certain they will also be pushing for provisions that make your personal information a more accessible commodity.
  • 14 Hide
    descendency , March 30, 2010 5:36 PM
    Aren't they some of the people that you want to keep your information from???
  • -8 Hide
    Regulas , March 30, 2010 5:39 PM
    Good luck with that with the Socialists in DC right now. The Demo-rats talk (lie) about privacy but they are the worst for taking it away if you look at the facts of past legislation.
  • 4 Hide
    afforess , March 30, 2010 5:41 PM
    The Enemy of my Enemy is my friend.
  • 7 Hide
    Scotteq , March 30, 2010 6:07 PM
    Google...

    Microsoft...

    Personal data...



    Scary thoughts, indeed.
  • 11 Hide
    tommysch , March 30, 2010 6:12 PM
    Is this the picture of a MAC owner trying to read on his shiny screen?
  • 9 Hide
    noodlegts , March 30, 2010 6:12 PM
    If I had to guess it's because G comes before M.

    Guys I don't think it's so bad. And like Afforess said, the enemy of my enemy is my friend (not that Google or Microsoft are my enemies, I in fact love both those companies).

    While it may be a little selfish on their part (to push cloud technology) more electronic data privacy is not a bad thing for us.
  • 13 Hide
    tsnorquist , March 30, 2010 6:46 PM
    TommySchIs this the picture of a MAC owner trying to read on his shiny screen?


    I'd question the "his" in your observation TommySch.
  • -2 Hide
    elbert , March 30, 2010 6:53 PM
    Piracy needs to include company's trying to use others tech as their own. M$ should get the boot fast for their piracy of i4i tech.
  • -2 Hide
    Kelavarus , March 30, 2010 6:55 PM
    I love how even if companies might be trying to do good, everyone puts on their tinfoil hats and goes all conspiracy theorist.
  • 1 Hide
    steiner666 , March 30, 2010 7:02 PM
    Of course you have more privacy if you store things locally. People had/have concern about the privacy of things stored on a random remote server well before this ordeal. "Cloud" computing will never be ideal for anyone who values their privacy and (rightfully and logically) doesn't trust 3rd parties with their data.
  • 0 Hide
    JasonAkkerman , March 30, 2010 7:08 PM
    I read it as "Piracy Coalition" and thought "Whoa, they are getting serious now!"
  • -1 Hide
    dreamphantom_1977 , March 30, 2010 7:11 PM
    Kind of sad since more then half of the people who use cloud computing devices don't even know what cloud computing is. I'm all for cloud computing, just not cloud storage.

    I'm glad someone is trying to protect our rights though. :) 

  • 1 Hide
    bison88 , March 30, 2010 7:24 PM
    Every time laws get "UPDATED" things get worse for the consumer or ordinary civilian. I am against any update in the legislation when Laws are backed by Corporations, not people.
  • 1 Hide
    bydesign , March 30, 2010 7:46 PM
    This article is pure spin. They could care less about your privacy and only care about their ability to sell that information without your consent. These companies should be prohibited from participation in any discussion on the matter.
  • 1 Hide
    guitarpeggio , March 30, 2010 8:07 PM
    elbertPiracy needs to include company's trying to use others tech as their own. M$ should get the boot fast for their piracy of i4i tech.


    this story is about a Privacy coalition...not piracy...
  • -1 Hide
    Niva , March 30, 2010 9:10 PM
    you know sh!t just got real if Google and Microsoft are working together on something!
  • 0 Hide
    okibrian , March 31, 2010 2:04 AM
    Jane, you are too funny. Nice picture! LOL
  • 0 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , March 31, 2010 3:44 AM
    The photo is hilarious.
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