Monday, March 12, 2007

Private Sector Responding to Data Privacy and Security Concerns

While my last post discussed whether federal data security legislation was inevitable, it seems that industry isn't waiting for Congress to act before implementing measures which should be welcome news for anyone concerned with the security of their personal information. First, on the 12th, Seagate Technology announced that a manufacturer would begin selling laptops with built in encryption technology. According to this article, Seagate the new machines
will include a chip that makes it impossible for anyone to read data off the disk, or even boot up a PC, without some form of authentication.
thus (hopefully) making the scares following loss or theft of laptops containing sensitive information a thing of the past. Also, coming fast on the heels of the Seagate announcement, Google has announced that it will revise its data retention policies to protect user privacy. According to this article, Google will begin implementing a policy to anonymize user search records 18-24 months after their creation. When some privacy advocates, such as the electronic privacy information center's executive director, Mark Rotenberg, say that Google's new policy doesn't go far enough, it should be a welcome improvement from Google's current policy of maintaining identifying information in search records indefinitely.

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