Today in Connected Consumer

Things are suddenly moving quite fast on the digital privacy front. With privacy legislation stalled in Congress, the Obama Administration on Wednesday moved to take matters into its own hands by issuing a consumer “privacy bill of rights” and ordering the the Commerce Department to convene discussions with various stakeholders to develop specific practices or codes of conduct to carry out the principles outlined by the White House. Hoping cooperation with the White House could forestall more far-reaching action by Congress, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, AOL and other web advertising companies quickly signed on to the effort, agreeing to embed and honor a Do Not Track button in web browsers. Google, Apple, Research in Motion and other mobile web giants also reached an agreement Wednesday with California attorney general Kamala Harris to implement new rules requiring all mobile apps and app stores to have privacy policies. That’s not the end of the scrutiny, however. Also on Wednesday, a group of 36 state attorneys general sent a letter to Google CEO Larry Page demanding an meeting to explain recent changes in Google’s privacy policies. It’s getting awfully warm in here.

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Paul Sweeting

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