November 17, 2010, 5:02 PM — The Federal Trade Commission has been made aware that the private information of American citizens is being bought and sold like frozen congressman on a hot summer day.
The FTC's theoretical mission is to protect consumers against the often predatory practices of business (not yours, of course; all the other businesses that are tracking the private data of their customers, because they're misusing it in a bad way).
It has decided to issue a list of best practices outlining how businesses can avoid going to quite a lot of trouble to actually collect and analyze the information and try like the dickens to tie it to individual consumers, the better to target them for expensive and elaborate marketing campaigns.
The privacy framework will not be a set of rules or limitations that take the form of regulation, let alone a national data-privacy law.
It will be a set of recommendations with roughly the same clarity, credibility and impact of a strongly worded letter from the U.N. to this year's evil dictator asking him to please not kill and eat so many villagers.
We await the imminent collapse of the Internet and online economy from these harsh, anti-business restrictions.