Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: Amazon's Cluelessness

Author:Mark Nottingham
Posted:9/4/2000; 9:12:24 AM
Topic:Amazon's Cluelessness
Msg #:20792 (In response to 20789)
Prev/Next:20791 / 20793

IANAL, but generally you have very few rights about what information a company can hold about you, etc. in the States.

In European countries (and some others), companies must tell you what data they store about you, provide access to it to you upon request (for a reasonable fee), and handle privacy-sensitive data in ways that are mandated by law. This is overseen by the Data Protection Commissioners, which can audit a company to assure compliance.

We have no such protections in the States; once a company has information about you, they can basically hold it forever, unless you have a binding contract with them that says otherwise.

This is interesting, because it gives European companies (or those which follow European practice, so they can do business there) a competitive advantage around the globe, as more people become sensitive to how their data is handled, privacy, etc.

See: (german)

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