October 7, 2010 by Special To Personal Liberty
Libertarians have long been concerned about the government's intrusion on citizens' privacy through wiretaps and other surveillance methods. However, there may be another threat on the horizon.
Corporate efforts to track individuals' habits and preferences have apparently been underestimated, which has prompted Consumer Watchdog (CW) to express concerns over Google's failure to engage in a public debate over its policy on consumers' online privacy.
The non-profit organization is running a digital advertisement in New York City's Times Square with a caption reading "Why won't Google debate your privacy with Consumer Watchdog?"
"Google's executives are discussing new frontiers of ad exploitation and sponsoring political discussions at Washington events, but they won't engage in a meaningful discussion of the company's most fundamental issue: online privacy," complained the organization's president, Jamie Court.
Among the biggest concerns are issues such as tracking people's Internet activity, including sites visited and purchases made online. As such, CW hopes its campaign will attract support for "Do Not Track Me" legislation to protect online consumers.
It also sponsored a national poll which showed that 86 percent of Americans are in favor of privacy protections that would require Internet providers to offer an option for consumers to choose to make their online activities anonymous.