German minister calls for Internet 'honour code'
Thursday 15 July 2010
Germany's consumer minister, who vowed to delete her Facebook account in protest at the networking site's privacy policies, called Monday for an Internet "honour code" to protect personal data.
"We need an honour code... 10 golden rules - short, sharp and clear," Ilse Aigner told Die Welt daily in an interview.
"Such rules can only come from the Internet community. It would be good if users themselves made suggestions. We could base them on social networks that already have a 'netiquette'.
"The Internet could become the pillory of the 21st century. The trend is worrying," added the minister.
Last month, Aigner, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives, said she would remove her page from Facebook after failing to receive assurances from the US firm that her private data were secure.
"Anyone who visits a social networking site should know that it's a business model. The service is not free. We users pay for it with our private data," Aigner said.
She launched another broadside at Facebook saying she had become a member of other social sites with better privacy controls.
With these sites, "I can decide to open doors and windows and I can better control what personal information I share with others," she said.
"On Facebook, the reverse is true: I have to go through the cumbersome process of changing my security setting to close these doors and windows and protect my privacy.
"Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg has indicated that in principle, he does not want to change anything. In contrast, his firm wants to use members' private profiles for commercial purposes," the minister added.
Partly for historical reasons, Germany is particularly sensitive about privacy issues, with campaigners bristling at plans by US Internet giant Google to launch its "Street View" service in Germany later this year.
"Street View" allows Internet users to view panoramic still photographs at street level from spots around the world, with images taken from specially equipped vehicles.
Officials and campaigners in Germany called the service an invasion of privacy and a potential security risk.
Antonio Martin shooting: Black teenager may have tried to ambush patrolman, says police officer's lawyer
Orphan kangaroos spend Christmas without their parents
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Northern Lights above Britain: Stunning Aurora Borealis illuminates Northumberland sky on Christmas Eve
New route to Mars could make manned mission much cheaper and easier
- 1 Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
- 2 Antonio Martin shooting: Police and protesters clash over teenager's death just five miles from Ferguson, Missouri
- 3 Northern Lights above Britain: Stunning Aurora Borealis illuminates Northumberland sky on Christmas Eve
- 4 British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
- 5 Hip hop is both racial and political, and for Iggy Azalea to suggest otherwise is insulting
£40000 - £45000 per annum + car allowance: Ashdown Group: Senior Brand Manager...
£26 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking a .NET Developer /.NET Software ...
£18 - 24k (DOE): Guru Careers: A Graduate Marketing Analyst / Online Marketing...
£Neg. (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Technical Ope...