The director of Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, Beth Givens, went head to head in last Sunday's San Diego Union-Tribune with Michael Robertson, a San Diego-based high-tech entrepreneur who founded MP3.com and Gizmo5 among other ventures. The topic was online privacy. Givens and Robertson each contributed op-ed pieces to the Dialog section of the Union-Tribune.
In her op-ed piece, Givens noted that everyone has a different comfort level regarding the collection and use of their personal information. Most online data-gathering and profiling activities are largely invisible to consumers. Individuals should be given the tools to control how their personal information is used, and their choices should be backed up by law or regulation. Givens then went on to bust several myths propagated by the online advertising industry. She called for a multipronged approach to better protecting people's privacy that involves policymakers, industry, nonprofits and consumers.
Read Givens' statement, "Internet Privacy: A Contradiction in Terms?" at SignOn San Diego and then read Robertson's statement, "Privacy Overreaction Will Slow Progress." Let us know what you think! You can find us on Facebook at PrivacyRights or Twitter @privacytoday.