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Is Self-Regulation Realistic?

PRIVACY

April 13, 2011

The Wall Street Journal uses the example of catalog mailers to examine whether companies should self-regulate on privacy. Catalog Choice, a Web site that aims to give users choice over the sharing of their personal information, allows users to choose which mailing lists they'd like to opt out of and reports that 95 percent of catalog companies honor users' requests. But some catalog companies say they don't work with any third parties and aren't required to belong to such organizations, the report states. Chris Hoofnagle of the University of California Berkeley, who advises the company on legal matters, explains "the organization is legally an 'agent' for people requesting opt-outs." (Registration may be required to access this story.)
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