The International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) has declared January 28, 2008 as Data Privacy Day 2008.
While some bloggers (and others) continually blast the major search engines for 'tracking', profiling and other issues, I seriously doubt it's grandstanding by public companies like Google and Microsoft, to be supporting the association, and sponsoring this latest effort.
It's no secret that tracking, profiling, and list creation are a huge money maker on the Internet. Most don't worry about it. Others take careful measures to 'cover their tracks'.
Privacy is not unique to the Internet. If you make a retail purchase (with your zip code) in a store 75 or 100 miles from your home, many major retailers keep a tally on those numbers to see if they're missing a market, and should have a store closer to you. Some travelers now keep their hotel key cards, for fear that the credit card info embedded on the magnetic strips won't be erased. There are many, many other examples.
Privacy is an issue that will continue to make significant headlines this year and in the foreseeable future.
Yahoo, Facebook (Facebook??) and others that you might expect to want to be part of this initiative are conspicuously missing (as of the time of this post).
You can visit the website of the IAPP here and read more about Privacy Day 2008 and the upcoming summit in March in Washington DC.
Memo to Yahoo, Facebook and a few others : Registration is still open.