Twenty20

A double standard on internet privacy

Today’s news is filled with concerns about personal privacy. In particular, headlines point to unresolved questions regarding control over personal information privacy. Who should control the digital footprint we all leave behind? As someone who teaches digital natives who fluidly move from Snapchat to Facebook to the next big thing, I am a privacy dinosaur — somewhere between a privacy absolutist and a privacy realist. For that reason, I am sympathetic to moves to give individuals rights to their own information. However, a legal divide on consumers’ informational privacy rights is in the internet ecosystem. Rather confusingly, under a recently passed Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rule, consumers have certain informational rights against their internet service provider (ISP) but do not have similar rights against digital applications such as Facebook or Google.