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Even before NSA scandal, US residents were anxious about privacy breaches

Loek Essers | June 14, 2013
US residents feel that they have little or no control over the type of information that is collected and used.

Jon Leibowitz, former chairman of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, discussed the poll results during the presentation and said he can benefit from Internet data collections.

"I myself don't mind behavioral advertising," he said, adding that he thinks people who want to opt out should be able to do so. "Your computer is your property and people shouldn't be putting things in it without your consent."

People are also right to be concerned about the NSA's recently disclosed data collection practices, and this heightened awareness will make them more skeptical about data collected by the private sector as well, said Leibowitz.

Some of the biggest privacy threats comes from data gathering companies that lack adequate data security and companies that sell and combine that data, Leibowitz said. Congress should draft a comprehensive privacy protection bill, he said.

"Doing a privacy bill is something that will definitely be on our plate," said Representative Marsha Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican and member of the Bipartisan Congressional Privacy Caucus, during the presentation. But she also noted that data is a great resource that can bring new products and medical information and solutions to Americans.

 

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