If you get a chance to talk to your Congressmen as the seek your vote for his reelection, ask them if they would agree to co-sponsor the Privacy Protection Act. This federal statute wold require that all internet search services, such a Google, prominently disclose on its home page the following information:
“If you avail yourself of the internet search service hereafter provided, we (Google, or whoever) will retain this data in the file we keep on all users of our service, and we will sell this data to others for their use. We will also use this information to predict your future commercial transactions, in order to profit from it. If you accept these terms and conditions, please so indicate by signing the waiver of your right to personal privacy set out below.”
This is a rough draft, and can be expanded and refined by legislative draftsmen. It should be prominently displayed, like the warning labels on tobacco products.
If your Congressman refuses, ask him why? If you don’t like his answer, tell him you will not vote for him, and will encourage your friends, neighbors and family to do likewise.
Since its so late in the year, we can’t expect anything from this Congress. It’s only six months from now to the election, and their time will be fully consumed with raising money for their campaigns. Next year, the time will be ripe for comprehensive federal legislation.
Full disclosure is all the Privacy Protection Act involves. Most Americans are unaware of the way Google and others profit from their service. This can be seen as an exercise in public education.
The light of day can be a valuable disinfectant. Expose Google for what it is — a business based on the invasion of privacy of the American people.