[Air-L] NY Times story on privacy legislation

Charles Ess charles.ess at gmail.com
Sat Jan 26 01:23:18 PST 2013

Dear privacy wonks,

I've just read a NY Times story reporting on U.S. business and governmental
lobbying of the European Parliament to weaken what are characterized as
current European proposals, including:
"Web businesses would be unable to perform basic collecting and profiling of
individual computer users unless they gave their explicit consent as part of
policies that allow them to specify what kinds of information could be
collected and for what purpose."
As I understand it, however, the requirement for such consent is already law
under the recently amended EU ePrivacy Directive.  While not all websites
respond this way (yet - but the law, as I understand it, allows some time
for implementation), many in my experience on this side of the pond are
already compliant, i.e., at first visit there is a request for consent to
accept the use of cookies (e.g., most recently, at

Of course, as a philosopher, my relationship with reality, much less the
U.S. and European legal systems, is a strained and tortured one, so I'm more
than willing to accept that I'm wrong on one or more counts here.  So help,

Did the Times get this bit wrong? (and, gasp!) And/or - what else am I

Many thanks in advance,
- charles ess

Associate Professor in Media Studies
Department of Media and Communication

Director, Centre for Research on Media Innovations

University of Oslo 
P.O. Box 1093 Blindern
Oslo Norway
email: charles.ess at media.uio.no

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