Most of us know what a hot topic online privacy has become in the past several years. And undoubtedly many of us know how important online privacy is in maintaining a strong, reputable online reputation. Case in point, consider the United States’ Communications Decency Act, which protects website owners from third-party content posted on their sites. Many consider this legislation to have been far too lenient toward websites and their owners, and indeed, it can be argued that the protection website owners have found under the Communications Decency Act has allowed for a rise in cyber bullying in the past several years.
So, regulations do have an impact on the internet landscape and how it affects internet users, and it’s important for people to be aware – at least, generally – of what new regulations concerning the internet and internet privacy are being considered.
For example, Canadians should be aware of a legislative proposal called Bill C-13, otherwise known as the Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act. Limiting cyber bullying by making it easier for the government to obtain personal data was the main inspiration for the introduction of the bill. But, as this iPolitics article points out, Bill C-13 also carries with it clauses that will dramatically change the legislation surrounding internet privacy in Canada. More specifically, Bill C-13 will give internet service providers (ISPs) “… immunity from civil liability for disclosing personal data in basically all circumstances.” The question is – is this kind of transparency a good thing?