Google, Microsoft, Others Form Privacy Coalition
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 but because of the advancements in technology over the last 25 years, it's decidedly out of date.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.