back to article America cooks up its flavor of GDPR – and Google's over the moon

The US government has started the process to create fresh rules to safeguard Americans' online privacy, opening a "request for comments" on its initial proposal. On Tuesday morning, the Department of Commerce opened a public comment period on a "user centric" approach it says will "provide high levels of protection for …

  1. IceC0ld Bronze badge

    reflecting the US' typical free-market approach

    ====

    does this equate to "if you don't like what you see, buy a better version" ....................................

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      does this equate to "if you don't like what you see, buy a better version" ....................................

      Not quite. More like "if you don't like what your see, hand over some cash and close your eyes".

    2. TheVogon Silver badge

      US companies mostly have to abide by GDPR anyway. It wouldn't be much effort to have a proper US version.

  2. Gene Cash Silver badge
    Facepalm

    What a shitshow

    Completely embarrassed to be an American. As usual.

    1. Ledswinger Silver badge

      Re: What a shitshow

      Completely embarrassed to be an American.

      Hold the embarrassment for a while to see where things land. The statement that GDPR has been effective because of fines is not yet evidenced. I've personally been notified of two corporate breaches affecting my personal data since it became law, and even the large company I work for has had a SNAFU and belched personal data to the wrong customers.

      That may not be a scientific study, but even looking at news coverage, I don't yet notice any obvious reduction in the number of UK data breaches since GDPR came in. I'd agree most companies are trying MUCH harder - but unfortunately effort != competence.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: What a shitshow

        Whether or not the GDPR is effective is independent from whether or not the US effort is a shitshow. From where I sit, the US effort is (as expected) a corrupt, worthless ruse. This is true even if the GDPR is a failure.

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: What a shitshow

          'corrupt useless ruse' is a distinct possibility. However, let's wait until Trump signs something into law...

          also as far as fines go, think of what the FCC will do to a company that tries to sell devices that are 'unintentional radiators' without getting them tested first... MILLION DOLLAR FINES are not uncommon.

          That being said, the fines and punishment for spammers, robocallers, and other "irritation crimes" done by businesses [and scammers] can be used as an example of "too weak" enforcement and punishment.

          I guess it's time to fire off an e-mail to Senator Diane [pejorative] Feinstein, tell her off about recent events in the news, and THEN suggest she step up to the plate with respect to GDPR and maybe save her own career. [she's a better alternative than 'the other candidate' and I might have to hold my nose, choke down the bile, and vote FOR her aka against the other one]

          'Civil Liberties' need to favor the citizens over organizations or corporations (political or otherwise). GDPR-like laws in the USA are likely to help in that regard.

          1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: What a shitshow

            Blimey Bob, you sounded left-wing there!

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Trump signs something

            He can write?

          3. Cuddles Silver badge

            Re: What a shitshow

            "'corrupt useless ruse' is a distinct possibility. However, let's wait until Trump signs something into law..."

            From the article:

            "even at this early stage, the DoC has ruled out the introduction of law"

            The fact that no-one is going to sign anything into law is one of the main ways it's obvious this is a corrupt, useless ruse. With any possibility of enforcement ruled out from the outset, it's impossible for it to be anything else.

        2. Mark 85 Silver badge

          Re: What a shitshow

          From where I sit, the US effort is (as expected) a corrupt, worthless ruse. This is true even if the GDPR is a failure.

          Appears to be the FCC mode of operation: Rules to favor the highest bidder.".

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: What a shitshow

        "I've personally been notified of two corporate breaches affecting my personal data since it became law"

        Would you have been notified of such breaches pre-GDPR? If not then it's being effective as such notification is one of the the objectives.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What a shitshow

        don't yet notice any obvious reduction in the number of UK data breaches

        One of our customers came in for a chat yesterday. They have big web-sales side to their business (ie they hold tens of thousands of people's names and addresses etc.). They have not even started looking at GDPR compliance yet. Well, they might have started now, after my boss pointed out quite how large the fines could be.

        I think we're going to have to wait for a year or three before we can see how much of an impact GDPR has (or hasn't) had. If only because most GDPR compliance project take many months to complete and most companies only started them in April.

    2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Re: What a shitshow

      Completely embarrassed to be an American. As usual.

      It's not that bad! It's not as if you guys have voted AMexit!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What a shitshow @ Jamie Jones

        Oh of course Brexit has to come into it again.

        Since you started it, remind me what sort of political butthead threatens the sick and weak to get their own way?

        The only thing stopping the thugs in Brussels giving the UK a decent deal is themselves - and they are the ones who raised the "possibility" that life-giving medicines might be "unfortunately" tied up in red tape at customs for months. Obstructing the family booze trips to Calais is one thing (although you might want to work out who loses most on *that* one - I believe British vineyards had a good year...), threatening to prevent diabetics and cancer patients getting the drugs they need is blackmail of the worst kind.

        1. Ken 16 Silver badge
          Thumb Down

          Re: What a shitshow @ Jamie Jones

          Thugs? They're just pointing out the obvious, that if the same (or even double) the number of customs staff suddenly have to cope with 10x the number of import/exports without any kind of ramp up time that there will probably be delays. Ireland for example depends on pharmaceutical exports and is recruiting 1000's of customs/vet/drug inspectors but training takes time. There's nothing to say those delays will all be on the EU side either, take a look at UK Government IT system Brexit readiness reports as covered here.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: What a shitshow @ Jamie Jones

            Thugs I said, and thugs I meant.

            I can understand that the UK cannot expect to keep exactly the same arrangements as we have now for our dealings with "the mainland", but when one of the people who is supposed to be negotiating in good faith basically says "fall back in line and shut the f*** up or we will block lifesaving meds" then it goes from negotiation to extortion and blackmail.

            They could have chosen plenty of other things like booze or cars but they chose to highlight pharmaceuticals for a reason. Can't buy a new Beemer? Oh well, just have to wait a while for it to get through the new layers of red tape. Granny needs her insulin? Whole different ballgame.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: What a shitshow @ Jamie Jones

              I think you're mixing up something you or the Daily Mail made up and what people actually said.

              When a toddler throws its toys out of the pram it's not the parents fault you know.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: What a shitshow @ Jamie Jones

                I think you're mixing up something you or the Daily Mail made up and what people actually said.

                "La Grande-Bretagne pourrait connaître une pénurie de médicaments à grande échelle si aucun n'accord de sortie du pays de l'Union européenne, prévue le 29 mars, n'est trouvé, a déclaré le directeur général du géant pharmaceutique AstraZeneca, Pascal Soriot, cité par le Sunday Times."

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: What a shitshow @ Jamie Jones

                  That's not a threat or bullying and nor does it come from the EU. It's just a consequence of what will happen if we decide to leave without a deal.

                  It's also a consequence which was easily foreseeable in advance.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: What a shitshow @ Jamie Jones

                    That's not a threat or bullying and nor does it come from the EU.

                    But nor is it something the OP "made up or read in the Daily Mail"

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: What a shitshow @ Jamie Jones

                      The OP wrote "but when one of the people who is supposed to be negotiating in good faith basically says"

                      I don't think the people in your quote are involved in the negotiations or have I missed something?

                      So, yes, it does look like something which has been made up.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What a shitshow

        t's not as if you guys have voted AMexit!

        Give them time, CalExit is still on the cards...

  3. fluffybunnyuk

    On the other hand the allegorical dentist beams proudly over a complete set of teeth extraction process. Not to mention all the backhanders for such a job well done.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    America is a blatant corporatocracy, we are a hidden one. Politicians are never going to go against corporations unless enough people kick up a stink. e.g. possibly net neutrality. Privacy is something that people don't care about because they are unaware of the problem and that's why we are where we are.

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      And it will be a lot worse for us now those pesky eurpoeans won't be able to interfere, and improve our rights, privacy, working conditions, sea quality, freedom....

      No wonder the tory establishment are salvating - they can exploit the proles once more!

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      America is a blatant corporatocracy,

      Has been for almost along as there's been an America. Read the history of land grabs, railroads, etc.

      1. Eddy Ito Silver badge
        Trollface

        America is a blatant corporatocracy,

        Has been for almost along as there's been an America. Read the history of land grabs, railroads, etc.

        Well, we did learn from some of the best and we've still another 30+ years until we've been around as long as the East India Company.

  5. JohnFen Silver badge

    Voluntary == won't happen

    "the DoC has ruled out the introduction of law or fines"

    Which means that it's a waste of effort. There is no way that any of the data-slurpers are going to stop their egregious behavior without being forced. What they're more likely to do is something like what Google does with its "My Activity" page where you can view and delete what they've gathered. That's better than nothing, but isn't anything close to what people actually need.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Voluntary == won't happen

      s/delete/hide/g

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Voluntary == won't happen

      What they're more likely to do is something like what Google does with its "My Activity" page where you can view and delete what they've gathered.

      Can you be sure that the data is actually deleted or is it merely taken into the back room?

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Voluntary == won't happen

        I don't take Google at its word for anything. I wasn't intending to assert that they actually do or don't follow through with what they say, only that other companies are likely to adopt similar policies (which they may or may not actually adhere to).

        What I assert is that a Google-style policy over data handling does not actually address the problem of data collection. It's an effort intended to convince people that they have control over their data and privacy when, in fact, they don't. In other words, it's a sham.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The US need a privacy "policy" so that they can then embed it into trade deals with other countries that are not in a position to negotiate.

  7. DougS Silver badge

    So basically nothing has changed in the past 20 years

    We will still get a mailer once a year from credit card companies etc. detailing their privacy policy, and giving us a deliberately cumbersome process for "opting out" of sharing data with third parties (no way to opt out of them collecting the data in the first place, of course)

    So now we'll get something like that from Facebook and Google too, while they continue to find newer and better ways to be even more evil and anti-consumer.

    I'd love to blame this on Trump, but the same thing would have happened no matter who became president. I know the Bernie believers will say "it wouldn't have happened if he was president" but talking a good game about privacy doesn't get congresscritters of either party to go against the lobbyists financing their next run (and cushy "fact finding" junkets that bring the family along)

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: So basically nothing has changed in the past 20 years

      "no way to opt out of them collecting the data in the first place, of course"

      And that's what makes it a complete sham. That is the one essential requirement. Everything else is just "nice to have".

  8. elDog Silver badge

    I'd take the negative comments even further. This is a license to slurp/steal/

    Any rule/regulation/law that this current US administration puts in place has only one purpose: To remove the rights of normal people and to increase the power of the currently powerful.

    Strikingly similar to the rule within the current USSR. Same philosophy guiding the BrExit, Russia, Trump, etc?

    1. LDS Silver badge

      This is a license to slurp/steal/

      Remember the CAN-SPAM act? Actually it gave many spammers a legal protection, while preempting stronger state regulations against spam.

      This could be along the same lines, actually giving Google, FB, MS & C the right to slurp while forbidding states to introduce stronger legislation.

    2. Jtom Bronze badge

      Re: I'd take the negative comments even further. This is a license to slurp/steal/

      Name any country in which that isn’t true. The cause is not the country, culture, or form of government; it’s man. It is in his very nature because of its evolutionary advantages.

      The best way to slow down corruption is to spread power out, separating who has what powers (national, state, county, city, judiciary, legislative, executive, military).

      That is why messy, loose democracies are more successful than highly managed, centrally controlled socialistic governments.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Same Govt outfit in charge of 'regulating' IoT

    Yet they didn't bother to cover privacy in any IoT meetings!

  10. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Welcome to privacyrfc2018!

    Thank you for subscribing! You can count on us to keep you up to date about all the latest privacy deals from our partners. Check out our shockingly intimate privacy quizzes online and share the results with your friends. Enter your email password and we can check which of your friends are already interested in privacy topics. Download our app to stay in touch.

    To unsubscribe, create an account then adjust your topic subscriptions. Changes may take up to two weeks to apply. New topics are added weekly.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Welcome to privacyrfc2018!

      RFC 2018 is "TCP Selective Acknowledgment Options"

      Doesn't have much about user privacy though:

      9. Security Considerations

      This document neither strengthens nor weakens TCP's current security properties.

  11. Rajesh Kanungo

    Preemptive strike against real privacy

    This work is to prevent real privacy from being discussed. The companies will want to further dilute everything and then some.

    And obviously no fines.

  12. LDS Silver badge

    "Consumers"... US still utterly unable to understant it.

    Privacy is not a consumer's right, to be discussed with with commercial entities.

    It's a citizen's basic right. It's not the Department of Commerce that should handle it. It should be the Department of Justice - and Congress.

    That's why in Europe the Authorities tasked to oversee privacy rights are not those managing commercial policies.

    US is now thinking there are no more citizens, only consumers. Maybe it's time to rewrite the Constitution as "We the Consumers of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Marketplace..."?

    Really, all those policymakers sold their soul to corporations??

    1. sandman

      Re: "Consumers"... US still utterly unable to understant it.

      You seem to be under the mistaken belief that they actually have souls... ;-)

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