You are here

My House Testimony on Internet privacy -- Before Chairman Markey's Internet Subcommittee

I testified this morning on Internet Privacy issues before Chairman Markey's Internet Subcommittee. My Testimony.

My message was straightforward:

  • The lack of a holistic, comprehensive and balanced approach to privacy law and oversight is a serious threat to Americans' privacy.
  • Broadband providers have long been subject to strict privacy laws and have longstanding policies, procedures and practices to safeguard consumers privacy.
  • I spotlighted that unlike broadband providers, application providers like Google and Yahoo, are subject to NO privacy laws and that they routinely arbitrage US privacy law to abuse Americans' privacy to the highest bidder and for competitive advantage. 
  • My new metaphor of the day was about the absurdity of only focusing on broadband providers' privacy issues and giving Google and other Internet companies a pass on privacy:
    • "The irony here is the worry about whether the broadband privacy blinds are perfect when the Internet house has no privacy walls at all!"
  • What regular readers of this blog will find most interesting is the part of my testimony where I assert offer detailed proof of why Google is the single biggest threat to Americans' privacy starts on page 5 of the testimony.
    • I will post standalone excerpts of my testimony subsequently.

Overall I was pleased that the members of the subcommittee understood my main point, that "deep packet inspection" is not the only way to potentially invade Americans' privacy, that Google and other application providers' "unauthorized web surveillance" of wherever users go on the web -- was much more of a real and pressing privacy problem because there are currently no laws in place to address the current abuses of Americans' privacy by Google and others. 

  • Surprisingly, I must commend Chairman Markey, because at the end of the hearing, he publicly acknowledged that there was a need to comprehensively address privacy law to capture the privacy-relevant activities of search engines and other Internet applications.