Obama administration working on online privacy changes

The Obama administration is to begin efforts to enhance online privacy, according to the Wall Street Journal.

A report is being prepared by the US Department of Commerce, which will reveal how the government can better police privacy breaches on the internet, including the advent of new laws and a new office responsible for the endeavour.

The news comes only a day after regulator the Federal Communications Commission began an investigation into Google’s Street View snooping, which has been the subject of multiple probes around the world, with little to no consequences.

The result of increasing privacy concerns, which are not limited to Google, as Facebook has been embroiled in privacy scares for many months now, is that while the breaches may mean no real repercussions now, the introduction of new laws could see harsher penalties for companies that don’t clean up their act in the future.

Another impact of the push, which is in strong contrast with many other countries’ policies on internet self-regulation, is the potential creation of a new post within the government, dealing entirely with privacy affairs. 

The US is “committed to promoting policies that will preserve consumer privacy online while ensuring the Web remains a platform for innovation, jobs, and economic growth,” said a spokesperson for the Department of Commerce. “These are complementary goals, because consumer trust in the Internet is essential for businesses to succeed online.”

The strategy is expected to be fully revealed within the next few weeks.