Friday, August 11, 2006

AOL blunder revives debate over data retention law

The AOL search data blunder (see below) has revived discussion and interest in an American law that was proposed after the earlier fight with the Department of Justice over search data:

AOL gaffe draws Capitol Hill rebuke CNET

Rep. Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, said Wednesday that AOL's disclosure of the search habits of more than 650,000 of its users demonstrates that new laws are necessary. AOL has apologized for the disclosure.

"We must stop companies from unnecessarily storing the building blocks of American citizens' private lives," Markey said.

Markey's proposal, called the Eliminate Warehousing of Consumer Internet Data Act (EWOCID), was introduced in February after Google's courtroom tussle over search records with the U.S. Department of Justice.

Republicans have kept it bottled up in a House of Representatives subcommittee ever since, but a Markey representative said Wednesday that he hoped "this most recent breach will light a fire under the GOP leadership."

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