Outside the United States
Proposed Consent Agreement In the Matter Google, Inc. (Google Buzz), File No. 1023136
I believe that the scope of privacy and information access rights lie beyond corporate regulation and even beyond the influence of any single country's policy makers. Each country needs to determine, socialise and rigidly enforce specific privacy and personal identity assurance objectives so that its citizens are able to live in an environment where their actions in the social domain are highly predictable. In other words, people need to be able to unambiguously determine who has access to which information and under what circumstances. This is likely to vary from country to country based on differing cultural imperatives and objectives. Consequently each country must be afforded the opportunity to set their own bar of access to privacy information which is appropriate for their culture and their citizens. Whilst it is understood that this is likely to cause some significant issues for those who deal with personal information it is the very nature of this information that makes it not only eminently useful to corporations, but also to less desirable influences. Information that identifies individuals, their family members, their associations and their preferences are not a trifle mix of data to be randomly and freely exploited in an unrestricted fashion in a global domain. Those who hold this information and its access keys must be responsible and held accountable for any malicious exploitation of it. This applies to governments already - it also needs to apply to corporations and others who seek to gather social intelligence.