Internet firms must be accountable for data

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Internet companies need to be more accountable for the mass of personal data collected from users to guard against cybercrime, industry executives said.

"Information is the currency of growth, but it's also increasingly become the currency of crime," Peter Cullen, chief privacy strategist for Microsoft Corp, said at the Family Online Safety Institute's annual conference. "People have very high expectations when it comes to companies in terms of how they collect, use, store and most importantly protect their information," Cullen said. Companies must hold themselves to high standards when handling consumers' personal information and invest more in internal structures to ensure privacy, he added.

Michael Fertik, founder of the online reputation-management company ReputationDefender, called for US regulations that mandate opt-in defaults to give consumers greater control of their "digital dossier."


Internet firms must be accountable for data