Last updated: February 12, 2009 - 9:42pm
The Federal Trade Commission extended guidelines for how websites collect, save and share information about their visitors to Internet service providers and mobile providers, saying those customers should also be able to protect their personal information. The FTC has urged that websites tell consumers that data is being collected during their searches and to allow them to opt out. Now that same guidance is directed at mobile companies and Internet service providers. "You may have a contract with your ISP and everywhere you go, they can be collecting information on you," said Jessica Rich, the FTC's assistant director in the division of privacy and identity protection. There are few US laws about the collection and use of data from the Internet, with exceptions for instances where firms fail to live up to advertised promises to protect privacy, or fail to deliver an expected level of data protection. One of the four FTC commissioners who approved the report, Jon Leibowitz, warned that the industry's failure to safeguard the public's privacy could lead to a tougher federal position.
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