Mr. Zittrain proposes a “fair practices law” that would require companies to release personal data back to users upon request. Such a rule may sound workable, but purging specific data across globally dispersed server farms is no simple endeavor. Who is to pay for the implementation of such privacy procedures — especially for free services like Facebook or Twitter that have yet to turn a profit?
A better approach to online privacy is to educate users on safeguarding personal information. Ultimately, however, the only foolproof approach to protecting sensitive data online is to simply not disclose it.
What a great argument for not using services like PHRs. Then again, it’s also a great argument for not using EHRs, EMRs, and for never providing the government with our sensitive data. Yes, users need to be educated, but those collecting the information and using it need to have more responsibility and accountability — Dissent.