Government to slap Google and Facebook with new privacy code of conduct
Culture minister Ed Vaizey has proposed a new code of conduct for 'the internet' (good luck with policing that, chum) which could see people able to get compensation (not financial) against internet companies such as Google or Facebook if they feel they have had their privacy invaded.
The new code is an updated version of the code for privacy online which is used by the Information Commissioner's Office. If you're really bored, there's a PDF you can read of it here.
Vaizey is looking at this proposal as a similar service to the (toothless) Press Complaints Commission.
"One wants at least to attempt to give consumers some opportunity to have a dialogue with internet companies, as they would be able to do if a newspaper had inadvertently published that information," he said. "There is huge scope for self-regulation."
The Tory MP wants companies to sign up to an updated and more concise version of the ICO's code of conduct which they'll then display in a prominent place on their home page with a link to the code.
"Critical momentum could be built up if more well-known and legitimate websites signed up to the code, made that plain on their home pages and allowed consumers to see what that code states," Vaizey said.
Of course, Facebook and Google have been oft mentioned in stories, with Facebook constantly being chided for privacy issues and Google coming under fire accidentally collecting loads of personal data via the Street View cars.
The ICO will be given larger powers to penalise companies in breach of privacy laws. Don't hold your breath though.