In online privacy today, notice is king. Notice is how we deal with the conflict between the preference of Internet companies to gather as much user data as possible and the rights of users to control their information. Notice is how California sought to deal with the problem of online privacy in 2003 when it passed the Online Privacy Protection Act. Notice continues to be the lynchpin of the Federal Trade Commission's campaign to secure meaningful self-regulation of the online advertising industry. The trouble is: notice isn't working. People don't read privacy policies. Even if they did, they wouldn't understand many of them. Actual privacy practices vary so little that consumers who are dissatisfied with one company's stated practices have nowhere else to go. But it's not all bad news: many efforts are underway to improve or replace notice and some of them show serious promise. This presentation describes the history, limitations, and future of notice, including the Center for Internet and Society's own efforts to change the game.
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