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Bill would limit consumers' credit rights

Congress is considering pre-empting laws in 17 states that allow anyone to freeze their own credit and instead restricting the privilege to ID theft victims.

The proposed Financial Data Protection Act of 2006, expected to be voted on by the House as soon as next week, comes on the heels of the recent theft of sensitive data for 26 million veterans and active duty military personnel. If it becomes law, vets and military personnel who live in states that permit unrestricted credit freezes would lose that option.

Semantic web threatens data privacy

A security expert has warned that the business benefits of the semantic web could be undermined by concerns that it may expose individuals' confidential information to criminals.

The “semantic web” is a term for technologies that will make web pages easier for computer systems to interpret. Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee predicts the semantic web will be valuable for businesses partly because it will provide more accurate search results for consumers. However, the technologies are still some years away from large-scale commercial deployment.

Tech execs push for privacy rules

Silicon Valley executives pushed were in Washington Tuesday to push for a federal privacy law that would regulate the use of customer data in an era of increasing concern about identity theft and the security of digital records.

Speaking at a congressional hearing that was broadcast on the Internet, Meg Whitman, chief executive of eBay, the online marketplace in San Jose, described existing privacy laws as a crazy quilt of state and federal regulation that should be replaced by unified rules to reduce business costs.

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