In today’s world, almost everything you do on the Internet is being tracked. Whether it is by your friends and family on social networking sites, or advertisers looking to serve more relevant advertisements based on your online activity. While this is a truth around the world and many countries have regulations in place that govern this activity, the rules can vary depending on where you live.
In order to protect international consumer privacy on the Internet, the United States and United Kingdom have created a Memorandum of Understanding . The United States Federal Trade Commission and the Information Commissioner’s office in the United Kingdom are using this data protection plan in order for companies that use information from online consumers to comply with the laws of the other country. However, the Memorandum is not legally binding. It is described as a “formal framework for them to work together.”
Before this arrangement was finalized the FTC investigated several U.S. companies who claimed that they were complying with the European Union Data Protection Directive regarding their consumer data collection practices, but failed to do so. The Memorandum requires each company to state that it is following the seven required EU privacy principles: (1) notice, (2) choice, (3) onward transfer, (4) security, (5) data integrity, (6) access, and (7) enforcement. The over-arching issue for many of these companies was that, while they included these principles in their privacy policies, they allowed the policy to lapse.
Author: Ashley Moskowitz