Some of the world’s biggest technology names have come together to urge governments to help protect the privacy of internet users.
Seven major tech firms are petitioning the United States House of Representatives to pass legislation that limits the warrantless collection of internet search and browsing history by the US Government.
The group includes the likes of Mozilla, Engine, Reddit, Reform Government Surveillance, Twitter, i2Coalition, and Patreon.
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In their request to four White House representatives, the coalition has stated that since internet search history can reveal data about an individual like their medical condition, shopping habits, religious beliefs, and personal relationships.
The group notes these are extremely private and sensitive information sources, and effective legal safeguards should therefor be in place to protect them.
The letter sent by the coalition reads, “We urge you to explicitly prohibit the warrantless collection of internet search and browsing history when you consider the USA FREEDOM Reauthorization Act (H.R. 6172) next week. As leading internet businesses and organizations, we believe privacy and security are essential to our economy, our businesses, and the continued growth of the free and open internet.”
“By clearly reaffirming these protections, Congress can help preserve user trust and facilitate the continued use of the internet as a powerful contributing force for our recovery,” it further reads.
In its blog post, Mozilla suggested that, “Too much search and browsing history still is collected and stored around the Web. We believe this data deserves strong legal protections when the government seeks access to it, but in many cases that protection is uncertain,” and hence it feels that the House of Representatives should address this issue next week when it takes up the Act.
The group feels that Congress can, “help preserve user trust and facilitate the continued use of the internet as a powerful contributing force for our recovery,” and has stated that some of them do not collect any sensitive user information, hence the need to seek stronger rules to protect private data.
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