On Tuesday this week the Cebit - a tradeshow for the digital industry - will open its gates. German Federal Minister for Consumer Protection, Ilse Aigner, criticizes the profiling of consumers by companies such as Facebook, Apple, Google or Microsoft. These companies would know more about individuals than any other institution did before. By knowing what interests consumers have, what they buy and with whom they are friends, consumers can be segmented: While some are canvassed, others are put on black lists.
Aigner hence demands that consumers need more control over their personal data. Companies need to give consumer access to their data and inform them how this data is used. Data protection legislation has to take account of the rapidly changing means by which data is processed. She views the initiative by German Federal Minister of the Interior positively, who considers a new law that would make it mandatory for companies to inform consumers annually about the personal data that is stored about them.
For further information, see: http://www.sueddeutsche.de/,tt5m1/computer/402/504612/text/ und http://www.bmelv.de/cln_172/SharedDocs/Standardartikel/Verbraucherschutz/Internet-Telekommunikation/GoogleStreetview.html
Source: Süddeutsche Zeitung und BMELV