Google and Microsoft have called for laws that govern internet privacy to be updated and clarified.
The two tech giants have joined forces and with others have formed a coalition group that states the US government has confused and used previous internet privacy laws in an inconsistent manner.
Others in the group include Intel, eBay and AT&T (US mobile phone carrier) – calling themselves the Digital Due Process coalition that wants an update to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA).
“ECPA is a patchwork of confusing standards that have been interpreted inconsistently by the courts, creating uncertainty for both service providers and law enforcement agencies, according to the group’s Web site. “ECPA can no longer be applied in a clear and consistent way, and, consequently, the vast amount of personal information generated by today’s digital communication services may no longer be adequately protected.”
Key changes proposed are, information to be stored securely no matter how it is obtained, same laws to apply to electronic information as non-electronic information and court orders should protect online data.