Government regulation is necessary because companies do not often want to do the "right thing". Tha majority of them only consider the bottom line when making decisions and this leads to unethical behavior in the absence of regulation. That is the reason we have laws to do things like regulate child labor, work saftey conditions, environmental policies, etc. In the past these were originally the responsibility of the company but they proved in each case they were not capable of protecting consumers and workers, so they had to be regulated.
Privacy really isn't any different, it just isn't regulated yet because the concept is relatively new and the government hasn't dealt with it properly. This problem has only begun in the last decade or so and it has really only started becoming a problem in the last few years due to advances in technology.
QUOTE(Amlord @ Jan 16 2006, 12:18 PM)
In this instance, we must ask ourselves if there is a private sector solution and the answer is yes there is. Many companies have privacy policies that protect their customers. Other have limited policies which allow them to sell the information of their customers spending habits, demographics, tax bracket, you name it.
has to say. Right at the top of the page it says:
We will not sell or disclose your personal information to unaffiliated third parties without your consent except as otherwise provided in this Policy. We may use information about who you are, where and when you browse on the Web, where your wireless device is located, and how you use our network to provide you better service and enrich your user experience when you sign up or use any of our products or services.
I read through the whole thing and nowhere else in the document does it explicitly state that information, such as usage like you'd find on your monthly statement, can be sold or obtained by a third party without your consent.
So, in this case the blogger did not give the cell phone company consent to sell or distribute his information yet he was able to obtain information about himself and others (General Wes Clark) through these services.
I don't care which way you look at it, either way your "private sector solution" is broken.