Can the government force companies to respect privacy? Apparently, yes. California will now require internet companies to hide all information about minors, upon their request. But this leads to a more interesting question: should the government force companies to respect privacy? I used to believe the answer was no. In my hands-off political style, I often said "Why should they? Users have agreed to the Terms of Use and volunteered their information." That was until I decided to download by profile.* When I did, I was shocked by how much information I had volunteered. Google knows everything I have emailed since 2004. And Facebook knows everything about my birth, parents, residence, occupation, education, hobbies, religion, relationships, and appearance. Would I like to take some of that back? Yes. Can I? No. Should the government change that? I believe so.

*Try downloading yours from Google or Facebook