Following up on the recently disclosed FCC investigation of Google Street View, David Streitfeld and Kevin J. O’Brien have an article in the New York Times about how inquiries into the Google Street View breach got little cooperation from Google.
Johannes Caspar, a German data protection official, comes across as a bit of a privacy hero in the story for his determined efforts to get data and evidence from Google. As I’ve commented on this blog in the past, German data protection officials seem to do more for their citizens’ privacy than U.S. regulators. While giants such as Google and Facebook seem to overwhelm U.S. regulators, EU regulators seem to get answers, concessions and/or agreements from them.
One statement in the news report really helps clarify why:
“In the United States, privacy is a consumer business,” said Jacob Kohnstamm, chairman of the Dutch Data Protection Authority. “In Europe, it is a fundamental rights issue.”
Read the news story on the New York Times and then ask – again – why we still have no clearly affirmed right to privacy in our country that would serve as a framework for regulating businesses and government in a digital world.