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Having it Both Ways? White House Now Pushing Privacy Bill of Rights

Privacy for thee, but not for he.

Earlier today, The Blaze highlighted a Daily Caller story which reported that the Feds are ordering school principals to monitor the Facebook activities of their students after-hours in order to, essentially, guard against online bullying and harassment. In light of that, we offer you another report which stands in contrast to the first story: the White House is pushing Congress to pass a "privacy bill of rights."

The Wall Street Journal reports:

The Obama administration plans to ask Congress Wednesday to pass a "privacy bill of rights" to protect Americans from intrusive data gathering, amid growing concern about the tracking and targeting of Internet users.

This person said the administration will back a law that follows the outlines of a report issued by the Commerce Department in December. The administration wants any new rules to be enforceable and will look to expand the Federal Trade Commission's authority, this person said.

If legislation is drafted based off of the December report, then that legislation will require companies to ask consumers for permission "to use personal data for a purpose other than for which it was collected."

Right now, many companies do not do that. Specifically, popular websites install information tracking technologies on an individual's computer, "feeding an industry that gathers and sells information on their finances, political leanings and religious interests, among other things," the Journal reports.

For a sense of how exposed internet users are as a result of those information tracking technologies, read this Journal report from last week. Here's a teaser:

Data-gathering firms and technology companies are aggressively matching people's TV-viewing behavior with other personal data—in some cases, prescription-drug records obtained from insurers—and using it to help advertisers buy ads targeted to shows watched by certain kinds of people.

So how does this "privacy bill of rights" square away with the Daily Caller's report about principals snooping on their students? It seems like the feds want it both ways: you can violate someone's privacy in the name of sensitivity, but you cannot violate someone's privacy in the name of commerce.

One last thing…
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